I’m no track star, so even the mention of the word “mile” makes me break a sweat. That is, unless you’re talking about The Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. This urban shopping stretch is a 13-block strip, flaunting more than 460 stores in shopping centers and storefronts—just what shopaholics’ dreams are made of. It runs from the Chicago River in the south to Oak Street in the north.
Magnificent Mile shopping offers the ultimate retail therapy, so cruise over to this mecca, lace up your walking shoes, and prepare to shop ’til you drop. Whether it’s an ordinary day in the city or the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the following are some of the must-visit stores along the way:
After all this talk of miles and exercise, you might as well explore some of the strip’s sports stores. The Columbia Sportswear Chicago Store sits at the northern end of the strip, between E Chestnut Street and E Pearson Street on Michigan Avenue. Next, Just Do It™. That is, just go over to the Nike Chicago. Channel Michael Jordan and get some new kicks at the Nike shop, located just four blocks south of Columbia Sportswear. For some innovative tech gear, make your way farther south to the Under Armour Brand House on the corner of E Ohio Street and Michigan Ave.
If you start salivating when you see designer goods, your inner Carrie Bradshaw is going to go wild on this stretch. Begin your shopping adventures in the northern portion of the avenue. Here you’ll find Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors, and Anne Fontaine all lined up in a pretty little row, between Oak Street and East Delaware Place. Continue moseying south, even if it’s just for the window shopping, and discover the lavish delights at Giorgio Armani and Burberry.
Everyone deserves a little frosting, and the jewelry shops on the avenue are just the place to find some sparkle. Start the hunt in the northern portion at Michigan Avenue and E Delaware Place, at the Bulgari Store Chicago, and then cruise farther south to Tiffany & Co., where the best treats come in little blue boxes. With your eye on the prize, don’t miss Cartier, which sits in the south, closer to the river.
When your kids are along for the shopping spree, a little bribery is usually in order. Fortunately, since this avenue is lined with teddy bear, doll, and toy shops, it won’t take much to convince your munchkins to behave. After getting your retail fix, let your kiddos run wild and free at the American Girl® Place and neighboring Build-A-Bear Workshop, located right next to each other in the northern end of the Mile, between E Chestnut and E Pearson Streets. And if they’re really lucky, take ’em to The Disney® Store near the middle region of the strip just past E Superior Street.
After slipping into designer clothing, chasing after your kids in the toy stores, and lugging around shopping bags, stretch out those muscles. You’ve conquered Mag Mile, and now it’s time to revel in the glory of all your new purchases.