This glitzy strip of stores and striking buildings runs for, you guessed it, about a mile (1.6 km), along North Michigan Avenue. A sharp developer came up with the “magnificent” moniker in 1947, and it has stuck ever since. Often known as the Mag Mile, it is home to big-guns department stores like Neiman Marcus, as well as high-end boutiques such as Tiffany & Co, and popular chain stores (Gap et al). The strip is at its best around Christmas when twinkling trimmings provide welcome relief from the often gray days.

Water Tower Place Mall

  • 835 N. Michigan Ave.

  • 312 440 3166

  • open 10am–8pm Mon–Thu, 10am–10pm Fri, 8am–10pm Sat, 12–6pm Sun

Garrett Popcorn Shop

  • 670 N. Michigan Ave.

  • 312 944 2630

  • hours vary

Bridge to Success

The North Michigan Avenue bascule bridge, built in 1920, was the first of its kind in the world. Instrumental in Chicago’s northward expansion, it provides a fitting gateway to the city’s main retail artery – the Mag Mile. The southwest tower houses the McCormick Tribune Bridgehouse and River Museum, which details the history of Chicago River and displays the interworkings of this landmark drawbridge.

North Michigan Ave. Bridge

Magnificent Mile Map

Choose from a wide range of high-end, global, fast food at Foodlife food court in Water Tower Place.

The Pumping Station has a visitor center and a

Hot Tix booth

  • (open 10am–6pm Tue–Sat, 11am–4pm Sun)

for reduced same-day theater tickets .

Top 10 Features
  1. The Drake Hotel

    This elegant hotel became an instant glamor hot spot when it opened on New Year’s Eve in 1920. Marilyn Monroe was among the many stars who have graced it with their presence. High tea in the lobby café is a real treat .

  2. John Hancock Center

    When this sleek 100-story building was built in 1970, it was the world’s tallest. Exhilarating views of Chicago and beyond are afforded by the 94th-floor observatory and adjoining open-air area, the Skywalk.

  3. Water Tower Place

    Housing one of the city’s busiest shopping malls, this multi-use complex is one of the world’s tallest reinforced concrete buildings. Its 100-plus shops include branches of Macy’s and Lord & Taylor department stores.

  4. Historic Water Tower & Pumping Station

    Dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers, these structures are among the few that survived the Great Fire of 1871. The water tower now contains an art gallery, while the pumping station still functions and also houses a visitor center .

  5. American Girl Place

    Eager girls and their loving moms swarm to this palace of little-girliness , which all kind of merchandise from the popular American Girl doll range. Try the store café  or attend the surprisingly acclaimed musical performances.

  6. Hershey’s Chicago

    North America’s largest chocolate manufacturer offers a themed retail experience in its Chicago store. Old favorites such as Hershey’s Reese’s and Kit Kat are on sale alongside the latest new products .

  7. Garrett Popcorn Shop

    A Chicago fixture since 1949, this beloved popcorn shop seduces mind-boggling numbers of people, who snake through its huge lines to get their bag of caramel, cheese, buttered or plain.

  8. Hotel Inter­Continental

    Built in 1929 as a luxury club for the all-male Shrine association, this amazing hotel reveals a range of flamboyant architectural styles in its public spaces. Take a self-guided tour to see the highlights, including the stunning swimming pool.

  9. Tribune Tower

    The result of a design competition organized by the Chicago Tribune newspaper, this Gothic tower is either adored or abhorred by locals. Either way, it’s a dramatic Mag Mile landmark.

  10. Wrigley Building

    The two towers of the former Wrigley head­quarters add to Michigan Avenue’s exciting skyline. At night, colored lights illuminate them, as they have done since the building opened in 1921.

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