A trip to the Windy City would not be complete without checking out some of its most iconic stores – even if you’re just window shopping. Luckily, these hot spots are positioned on some of Chicago’s must-see shopping districts too.
Often referred to as the “Mag Mile,” Michigan Avenue is Chicago’s version of New York’s 5th Avenue, or Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. A majority of the original high-end stores like Chanel and Yves St. Laurent are located on the North end of the strip where the Avenue meets Lake Shore Drive. While these stores undoubtedly carry a high level of prestige, it’s premier shopping destinations like Water Tower Place that draw hoards of visitors every year. The eight-level atrium shopping center boasts the largest number of stores exclusive to Chicago, as well as established favorites in all price ranges such as Forever 21, Macy’s, American Girl Place, Abercrombie & Fitch, Sephora, and many more!
Just in case you didn’t find what you were looking for, The 900 Shops and The Shops at Northbridge are two additional shopping centers brimming with even more ways for you to spend your money! Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, the 900 Shops are more high-end (think Michael Kors, Gucci) than the former, which is anchored by Nordstrom and features several chain stores and a few Chicago originals like Vosges Haute-Chocolat and Candyality.
Directly off of Michigan Avenue you’ll find the most prestigious shopping district in the city. While the short block of Oak Street in-between Michigan and Rush Street is lined with luxury retailers like Prada, Hermes, Barneys New York, Jimmy Choo, David Yurman, and Harry Winston (among others), there’s a little local flavor as well. Lester Lampert has been a family owned Chicago fixture for over 80 years. Known for his original creations, you’ll also find beautiful pieces from well-known designers such as Carrera y Carrera, Seiden Gang, and Favero.
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, Sarah’s Pastries and Candies is a great little spot to pick up a coffee and a confection from Chicago’s own Sarah Levy. Right next door, sisters Ashley and Allison Zisook own Sofia Boutique, a newer Oak Street addition filled with both vintage and must-have pieces from local and established designers.
State Street that “great street” may have had its fair share of changes over the years but it still draws tourists and locals like bees to honey, and for good reason. One of the largest department stores in the world, the historic Macy’s on State anchors this shopping district. No matter your style and retail preferences; this famously omnibus store delivers a wide range of goods and service. A visit here is more than a shopping trip; it's an essential Chicago experience.
This landmark building, recognized as a National Historic Landmark, offers eight floors of retail therapy for spendthrifts and window shoppers alike. While there, make an effort to tear your eyes away from the merchandise to check out the building's luxurious interior – graceful chandeliers and a stunning Tiffany dome create a perfectly indulgent atmosphere.
Taking its name from one of the original city blocks established in 1830, Block 37 shopping center is one of the newer shopping establishments on State. Bordered by State, Randolph, Dearborn, and Washington streets, the five-story atrium features an eclectic array of stores like Michelle Tan (a local designer), AKIRA (a Chicago original), Steve Madden, Puma, Zara, and more.