What is the Magnificent Mile?
For tourists and locals alike, the Mag Mile is a destination spot when you need to shop for something special. What is the Magnificent Mile famous for? Chicago’s premier commercial district, the “Mag Mile” is an especially vibrant and bustling 13-block segment of Michigan Avenue—stretching from the banks of the Chicago River on the south and to Oak Street on the north. It’s also adjacent to the Loop, making it easy to check out landmarks like the Willis Tower and then head out for some shopping afterward. Keep reading for more info about what you can find on Chicago’s most famous street!
Where is the Magnificent Mile?
What street is the Magnificent Mile? In Chicago, Lake Michigan is a defining feature of the city’s aesthetic and an appealing frame for its landmark-packed skyline. So it’s only fitting that the Magnificent Mile is actually a section of Michigan Avenue!
Mag Mile shopping is perhaps the most spectacular part of Chicago’s most upscale avenue, but there’s lots more to explore! Along its 13-block span, you’ll find more than 460 Michigan Avenue shops, 275 restaurants, 60 hotels, and beautiful skyline views. If you’re here for a truly immersive Chicago experience, try walking the Mag Mile’s busy streets while you glance up at the historic buildings, public art, and live music that lend Chicago its unique character.
Experience the Best Shopping in Chicago
Whether you’re here to treat yourself or get your holiday shopping done in one go, make sure you don’t miss the fabled stores on Michigan Avenue. More than 450 upscale retailers make their home here, including flagship experiences for major department stores and international designers. You’ll find Michigan Avenue shops devoted to everything from fine jewelry and travel goods and gourmet confections!
Here are just a few of the most famous stores on Michigan Ave:
- Department stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus
- Malls like the historic Water Tower Place and three multi-story shopping centers
- Luxury labels like Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Coach, and Giorgio Armani
Not-To-Be-Missed Mag Mile Landmarks
Keep your eyes open for the following Chicago landmarks as you navigate the crowds, excitement, and live jazz of the Mag Mile:
- Drake Hotel | 140 E. Walton Place – A full-service hotel founded in 1920, designed in the Italian Renaissance style.
- Old Chicago Water Tower District | 806/821 N. Michigan Avenue – A historic district that includes the Chicago Water Tower, Chicago Avenue Pumping Station, and Chicago Fire Department Fire Station No. 98.
- Tribune Tower | 435 N. Michigan Avenue – Neo-Gothic skyscraper built in 1925.
- Woman’s Athletic Club | 626 N. Michigan Avenue – The first athletic club for women in the United States, founded in 1898.
- Site of Fort Dearborn | Intersection of N. Michigan Avenue and E. Wacker Drive – Site of the original Fort Dearborn, destroyed during the War of 1812.
Mag Mile Shopping, Dining, Thrill Rides, and More
No need to choose between stunning views and delectable dining if you find yourself on the Mag Mile. The famous stretch is packed with unique Michigan Avenue shops and attractions that allow you to experience more with every minute:
- TILT – Located at historic 875 North Michigan Ave—formerly the John Hancock Center—“Chicago’s highest thrill ride” literally tilts you out and over the Magnificent Mile and Chicago’s famous skyline from the 94th floor.
- Signature Room – Just one floor up from TILT, the Signature Room’s 95th-floor dining room is a perfect pit stop when you’re in need of a cocktail and a bite to eat.
- Willis Tower Skydeck – If you think you can handle an even bigger thrill, there’s the Ledge—glass boxes that extend out 4.3 feet from the Willis Tower’s 109th-floor Skydeck. You’ll also find amazing opportunities for wedding events, date nights, and unforgettable meals!
See More of Chicago from the Willis Tower Skydeck!
Can’t decide which stores on Michigan Ave to see first? Consider taking a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk as well, or you can see what Chicago has to offer all at once from 109 stories up! From here, you can fully appreciate another Chicago design feat: its one-of-a-kind grid system. Check out our dining options and group visits!