The Magnificent Mile
Every major city in the world has one: that region, the street or neighboring residents and tourists are automatically targeted for luxury shops, exclusive nightlife and 5-star hotels. Oxford Street and Bond Street in London, Fifth Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles are some of the best known, but if you visit Chicago, you can also find one there.
In Windy City, this area is known as the Grand Mile (or Mag Mile for short) and stretches between the Chicago River and Oak Street, on the north side of the city. Most of the city’s top luxury retailers are located here. Museums, landmarks and nightlife venues, as well as some of Chicago’s best hotels, are located on the Mag Mile, making it a must-see during any tour of the Illinois state capital.
The nickname “Grand Mile” was invented by the real estate developer Arthur Rubloff in the 1940s. At the time the region was already one of the busiest trade routes in the city, after advances in transportation to the early 20th century allowed the expansion of the historic retail district of Loop original. Over the following decades, it lived up to its name, growing and prospering along with the city’s wealth. Today, the area includes some of Chicago’s best hotels and most of its major and notable landmarks, such as the Trump Building, John Hancock Center, Chicago Water Tower, Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. Some of these buildings are also among the tallest in the United States, making the magnificent kilometers-long urban landscape an impressive sight.
Visitors to Windy City during the last week of November will receive an additional gift when visiting the Magnificent Mile: each year the area is lit up by the Festival of Lights, with a parade and a giant Christmas tree. Whether its street level or the balconies of Chicago’s best hotels, this bright display of light and color will brighten up any visitor’s night.
Basically, like Oxford Street or Fifth Avenue, the Grand Mile is one of those corners that cannot be overlooked when visiting the city in question. If you are visiting or planning to visit Windy City, be sure to go to this nasty and boring area to enjoy shopping, clubs and sights to your heart’s content. You will be happy to have done this.
Here are some things you shouldn’t miss while you’re there:
Navy Pier is almost at the foot of the Mag Mile. It is a great place for walks, with everything from small shops and kiosks to a huge iron wheel, from where you can see the whole city. If you want to take a boat trip, just take one of the excursion boats attached to the cave.
Go through the other end of the Mag Mile and you will find Lincoln Park Zoo. It is a free and great place. There are many exhibits, photo opportunities and typical zoo restaurants for hungry children and adults. You probably won’t be able to get out of there without some vibrant and furious memories.
See the Water Tower – the only thing that survived the Chicago fire in that area. You’ll find horses and carts there, so take a walk around the northern part of the Mag Mile. It is a great trip and will give you a breath.
Well, that should get you started. Chicago has a lot to offer, so choose what you want.