Chicago is one of the most diverse and eclectic cities in the entire United States. Its sheer size means that most travelers will need to focus their adventures to a neighborhood or two. However, one of the most popular Chicago neighborhoods to enjoy is also one of its most accessible—the Magnificent Mile. Also known as the Mag Mile, it’s a stretch of Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River up to Oak Street in Near North. The Magnificent Mile is a visitor’s paradise. It's loaded with places to shop, dine, and explore, however, it’s also a more affluent section of the city. Do keep in mind that your shopping options will mostly be high-end, and the price of everything is going to be subject to a premium. Since a visit to the Mag Mile is on most Chicago itineraries, we’ve pulled together this helpful guide with local expertise. Check out what to see and how to save in this fantastic Chicago neighborhood. If you’re interested in exploring more of the Windy City, we also have a more expansive guide to Chicago neighborhoods.
Magnificent Mile Landmarks
- The Wrigley Building. Located just on the edge of the Chicago River, this iconic 1920s skyscraper is known for its clock tower.
- The Tribune Tower. Once home to the Chicago Tribune and many other local media properties, this building is a fine example of neo-Gothic architecture.
- City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower. A small historic gallery featuring primarily photos of Chicago, housed in a grand old limestone building.
- The Richard H. Driehaus Museum. A small-scale museum in a glamourous, nineteenth-century mansion, the building alone is worth the visit.
- Museum of Contemporary Art. A few blocks east of the Mag Mile proper, this fascinating museum is worth the short walk to see its ever-rotating collections.
- 360 CHICAGO. Located in the 875 North Michigan Building (formerly known as the John Hancock Center), this is one of the city’s best observation decks.
- Oak Street Beach. Technically a bit north of the Mag Mile, this is one of the city’s more popular beaches and boasts its own restaurant.
Magnificent Mile Shopping
- The Shops at North Bridge. This eclectic mix of stores features everything from cosmetics to accessories. They also boast a food court.
- Forever 21. One of the most affordable options on the Mag Mile, this shop is beloved by young shoppers and budget-hunters.
- Marshalls. Another place to save money, this outpost of the well-known chain features multiple stories of merchandise.
- Dylan’s Candy Bar. A favorite place for kids and candy-lovers of all ages, this place is essentially high-end sweets.
- The Disney Store. This large store is perfect for Disney fans, stocking exclusive apparel, toys, souvenirs, and collectibles.
- Water Tower Place. This seven-story marvel has over 100 retail shops selling luxury cosmetics, unique toys, high-end apparel and sportswear, and more.
- 900 North Michigan. Another collection of luxury stores, you’ll find luxe jewelry, high-end clothing for women and men, and indulgent spas, among many others.
Magnificent Mile Restaurants
- Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse. A dining venture of the city’s most famous athlete, this luxury restaurant is great for special occasions and basketball fans.
- The Purple Pig. Recently moved into more spacious digs, this restaurant focuses on charcuterie and wine.
- Eataly Chicago. A quick walk from Michigan Ave, this luxury, indoor Italian market also offers multiple sit-down dining experiences, like La Pizza & La Pasta.
- Gino’s East. If you want to chow on some real Chicago-style pizza, make some time in your schedule to wait at Gino’s (or, dine unfashionably early).
- Copper Fox Gastropub. Located in one of the best Mag Mile hotels, this inviting restaurant offers tasty New American dishes.
- Café Spiaggia. A premier Italian joint in the city, the food here is lovingly crafted by James Beard award-winning chef Tony Mantuano and Top Chef winner Joe Flamm.
Save on Magnificent Mile Attractions
Spend a day roaming up and down the Mag Mile—it will more than reward the time spent fighting through crowds. If you plan on doing a bit more than shopping and eating, then a Go Chicago pass should be your go-to way to budget. You can save up to 55% versus gate admission prices.
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