We live within day-trip driving distance to Chicago so sometimes I take for granted what a cool city it is. While I was there it dawned on me that not everyone has visited and it might make a cool blog post... DUH.
Many of you may have heard of the Magnificent Mile (especially you Oprah fans) but if not, here is a little bit of info from Wikipedia about the "Mag Mile",
"Today, The Magnificent Mile® contains a mixture of upscale department stores, restaurants, luxury retailers, residential and commercial buildings, financial services companies and hotels, and caters primarily to tourists and the affluent. The area also has a high concentration of the city's major media firms, such as the Chicago Tribune newspaper, and advertising agencies. The Magnificent Mile includes 3,100,000 sq ft (288,000 m2) of retail space, 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 51 hotels, and a host of sightseeing and entertainment attractions to more than 22 million visitors annually. The American Planning Association selected The Magnificent Mile as one of the 10 Great Streets for 2007 through its Great Places in America program. In recent years, The Magnificent Mile has added trees and flower-filled medians to reflect the changing seasons.
Many of the world's leading retail stores populate The Magnificent Mile, including department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, and Macy's. In addition, some of the finest luxury boutiques such as Cartier, Escada, Bulgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel, Max Mara, Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, Georg Jensen, Harry Winston, Yves Saint Laurent, Tory Burch, St. John, Loro Piana, Jil Sander, Givenchy, Aritzia, Stuart Weitzman, Prada, Paul Stuart, Betsey Johnson, Montblanc, Anne Fontaine, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Bottega Veneta, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Cole Haan, Charles David, Giorgio Armani, Kenneth Cole, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, Hugo Boss, La Perla, Agent Provocateur, Dennis Basso, Piazza Sempione, Fratelli Rosseti, Hickey Freeman, Jil Sander, Henry Beguelin, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Bernadaud, Christofle, Arthur, Sermoneta, Manrico Cashmere, Marlowe, Graff Diamonds, David Yurman, Fogal, Wolford, Frette, Pratesi, Culti, Tiffany & Co., and Guess are located along The Magnificent Mile. In fact, in its book The 10 Best of Everything: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers, the National Geographic named The Magnificent Mile along with Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue as one of the ten best shopping avenues in the world."
Piazza Sempione, Fratelli Rosseti, Hickey Freeman... Hickey who?!? Some of the stores on Michigan Avenue are SO fancy that I've never even heard of them! There are lots of other stores that I have heard of but most, unfortunately, are not really on the ol' Chic on a Shoestring budget. Boooooo.
However, don't let those fancy names scare you away. It is SO fun to window shop these stores for inspiration and there are several shops that are reasonable if you can find a sale (J.Crew, Banana Republic, Crate & Barrell, GAP and my personal favorite- Marshall's)
It's also kinda fun to go in some of the real swanky places and pretend like you might be able to afford to buy something besides a sterling silver heart bracelet that was really popular 10 years ago at Tiffany's. ;)
Fancy-pants Tiffany & Co.
More affordable J.Crew upstairs from super pricey Gucci...
4 Story Crate & Barrel = FUN
The Lux Cafe is an awesome yet not too expensive restaurant that kind of reminds me of the Cheesecake Factory. They hid Marshall's in a basement right by here... apparently it's not swanky enough to be a store front on Michigan Ave.! lol :)
To my dismay, one of my Michigan Ave. favorites, a beautiful and huge Pottery Barn store, closed. Sigh... :(
cheap thrifty I did most of my shopping at a huge TJ Maxx on State Street. It has a Filean's Closet in the basement for even more bargain shopping. I got some Seven For All Mankind clearance jeans($29!!) and shoes to list on eBay and hopefully quadruple my money. Didn't find any decor unfortunately.
As you can see the popcorn is almost gone!
The city and river are breathtaking at night!