Monday, April 07, 2008

Magnificent Mile in Chicago

Searching for a great place for a girlfriend's getaway? A spring vacation? A place to just shop till you drop? A place to go yachting in the morning and take in a great play at night? Then you must make it to Chicago's famed "Magnificent Mile." Magnificent Mile is the term used for a mile of North Michigan Avenue (and the streets that intersect) north of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, with over 460 exclusive stores, 200 restaurants and a host of other cultural and recreational activities.

What will you find along the Magnificent Mile? Well, besides the usual upscale suspects (Bloomindales, Saks, Nordstrom's, Cartier, Burberry, Armani and Nieman Marcus) you'll find such specialty clothing stores as Ermenegildo Zegna, Fogal of Switzerland, Luca Luca and Anne Fontaine. Not to mention something for the chocolate addicts: Lindt Chocolates and Vosges Haut Chocolat.

You'll also find something for the pet you left back home at "Tails in The City," a pet boutique. You'll find everything from dog sweaters to gourmet dog treats. Surely Max (one of the most popular dog names, by the way) would love a carob peanut butter pie made just for him. Or maybe Fluffy would like little treats shaped like martini glasses. That way you two can toast your return.

Magnificent Mile in Chicago also offers an antique store, 6 art galleries and too many museums to mention (and you'll get bored reading them and click out of my site, and I don't want that, right?) Okay, I'll list some of them: The Field Museum, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Contemporary Art and the International Museum of Surgical Science (seriously, you should check out their gift shop where you'll find "giant microbe plush toys" and the "Mr. Thrifty Skull with 8-Part Brain" model).

If you're in the mood for a show, there are also numerous theaters to choose from. Now playing at the Drury Lane Water Tower is "Shout - the Mod Musical," which is a musical celebration of the 60s. "The Ballad of Emmett Till" is playing at the
Goodman Theatre from April 26 - June 1. If you're into comedy there's also The Second City.

The Magnificent Mile is also full of tour companies if you want sightseeing tours of Chicago, as well as boat charters for tours of Lake Michigan.

Where to Stay Near Magnificent Mile

Take your pick. You have choices within the Magnificent Mile area for all budgets, from the Holiday Inn to The Four Seasons to the Omni. We took a look at and found they gave 3 stars (the most they give) to several hotels in the Magnificent Mile: the Park Hyatt Chicago, Ritz-Carlton Chicago, and Four Seasons Hotel.

For all you into quality and lower prices, they also gave 2 stars to a couple more moderately-priced hotels: The Tremont Hotel in Chicago and the Chicago City Center Hotel and Sport Club. For the lowest-priced hotel in the Magnificent Mile area, Frommer's suggest you go with the Red Roof Inn, which they say "is your best bet for the lowest-priced lodgings in downtown Chicago."

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