A Guide to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

If you want to get the pulse of Chicago, use this guide to walk the Magnificent Mile as you take in historic buildings, public art, and experiences that give Chicago its unique identity.

On review, you’ll quickly discover what is the Magnificent Mile, where it is located, things to do, where to eat, where to park, and where to stay.

What is the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile, also called Mag Mile, is one of the city’s most well-known neighborhoods that offer some of the most popular attractions in Chicago.

It is packed with places to shop, eat, and explore. It is also the wealthiest part of Chicago.

History enthusiasts on an urban road trip group will enjoy the blend of contemporary and historical architecture and design.  

Where is the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is north of the downtown business district, also known as the Loop. The Magnificent Mile starts at the Chicago River, runs north, then ends at Oak Street.

Where to Stay on the Magnificent Mile

Chicago Magnificent Mile hotels have great amenities ranging from fitness centers to on-site restaurants, free Wi-Fi, and contemporary-style guest rooms.

They are conveniently located to nearby shopping and city attractions.

Best Hotels on the Magnificent Mile

🏨 The Peninsula | 108 E Superior St | $$$$

🏨 The Ritz-Carlton | 160 E Pearson St | $$$$

🏨 Four Seasons Hotel | 120 E Delaware Pl | $$$$

🏨 Waldorf Astoria | 11 E. Walton | $$$

🏨 The Drake | 140 E Walton Pl | $$$

Best for Business Travelers

🏨 Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile | 633 N St. Clair | $$$

🏨 Omni Hotel | 676 N. Michigan | $$$

🏨 Park Hyatt | 800 N Michigan Ave | $$$

🏨 Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile an IHG Hotel | 505 N Michigan Ave | $$$

Best for Families

🏨 Homewood Suites by Hilton | 152 E. Huron | $$

🏨 Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile | 540 N. Michigan | $$$

🏨 Courtyard by Marriott Magnificent Mile | 165 E Ontario | $$

🏨 Chicago Hilton Magnificent Mile | 198 E Delaware Pl | $$

Best Budget Hotel

🏨 Club Quarters | 75 E Wacker | $$

🏨 Hampton Inn | 160 E Huron | $$

Best Boutique Hotels

🏨 21c Museum Hotel | 55 E. Ontario | $$

🏨 Hotel Audrey | 166 E. Superior St | $$

Search Hotel Rates on the Magnificent Mile

Things to See and Do on the Magnificent Mile

Mag Mile boasts the highest concentration of high-end retail boutiques and department stores in the city. 

All within a glorious mile are some of the best designer-oriented department stores and boutiques in the world.

Starting from the south end of the Chicago River, and walking north, you’ll see these famous buildings:

  • London Guarantee Building | 85 E Wacker Dr | Historic landmark
  • McCormick Bridge House and River Museum | 99 Chicago Riverwalk
  • Wrigley Building | 400 – 410 N. Michigan | Famed architecture
  • Plaza of the Americas | 430 N. Michigan | Historical landmark
  • The Shops at North Bridge | 520 N. Michigan | Chic shopping
  • Prince the Immersive Experience | 540 Michigan Ave | Celebration of the Artist (limited duration)
  • AMC 600 | 600 North Michigan | Mega movie theater
  • Starbucks Roastery | 646 Michigan | The World’s Largest Starbucks
  • The Water Tower | 806 Michigan Ave | Historic landmark that survived the Great Chicago Fire
  • City Gallery in the Water Tower | 806 Michigan Ave | Free art gallery in the historic Water Tower
  • Fourth Presbyterian Church | Michigan & Chestnut St.

Just north of the Mag Mile is one of the most popular beaches in town, Oak Street Beach.

During the festive season at the end of the year, don’t miss the Magnificent Mile holiday walking tour!

Guide to Magnificent Mile

Returning south from Oak Street, there are several exciting things to see and do.

  • World Traveler Sculpture | Michigan & E. Lake Short Dr
  • The Drake Hotel | Michigan & E. Lake Short Dr | Legendary hotel frequented by celebrities
  • 875 N. Michigan | Famed architecture, formerly the John Hancock Building
  • 360 Chicago | 875 N. Michigan | Unbeatable 360-degree views of Chicago
  • TILT | 875 N. Michigan | Hurls you up and over the Mag Mile
  • Chicago Sports Museum | 835 N. Michigan | Celebrates Chicago sports
  • Water Tower Place | 835 N. Michigan | Known for its vast selection of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.
  • Warwick Allerton Hotel | 701 N. Michigan | Chicago landmark
  • Tribune Tower | 435 N. Michigan | Historical landmark
  • Museum of Ice Cream | 435 N. Michigan 
  • Intercontinental Magnificent Mile | 505 N. Michigan | Grand hotel from the 1920s era
  • Jack Brickhouse Statue | 419 N. Michigan | Famous American broadcaster
  • NBC Tower | 455 Cityfront Plaza Dr | Famous for art deco architecture
  • Jean Baptiste Statue | 401 Michigan Ave | First citizen of Chicago

On Mag Mile, you’ll find many more retail stores including Tiffany, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue, Burberry, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Victoria’s Secret.  

When you return to the south end, you can relax on a cruise along the Chicago River or take an extended cruise onto Lake Michigan for a guided architectural tour, and learn about these celebrated buildings and many others.

Where to Eat on the Magnificent Mile

Restaurants on the Mag Mile offer great food and a chance to relax your feet after a day of shopping and site seeing. Chicago is a foodie town and you’ll find everything from deep-dish pizza to Italian Beef. The Grand Luxe, Cheesecake Factory, and Lou Malnati’s are our top picks!

🍽️ Smashburger | 360 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ Ghiradelli Ice Cream | 400 Michigan Ave | $$ | Desserts

🍽️ Lou Malnati’s | 410 Michigan Ave | $$ | Italian

🍽️ Billy Goat Tavern | 430 Michigan Ave | $ | American

🍽️ The Purple Pig | 444 Michigan Ave | $$$ | American

🍽️ The Sugar Factory | 55 E Grand Ave | $$$ | American

🍽️ The Grand Lux Cafe | 600 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ Starbuck’s Reserve Roastery | 646 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ Althea | 700 Michigan Ave, 7th Floor | $$ | Vegan

🍽️ Ralph Lauren Restaurant | 115 E. Chicago Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ The Food Court at Water Tower | 835 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ American Girl Cafe | 835 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ The Signature Room at 95th | 875 Michigan Ave | $$$ | American

🍽️ The Cheesecake Factory | 875 N. Michigan | $$ | American

You’ll also find full-service restaurants inside the nearby hotels.

Along the Chicago River (at the southern tip of the Magnificent Mile) is the mile-plus-long Riverwalk. It is filled with bars and smaller restaurants at the Chicago Riverwalk and offers some of the best views and people-watching in downtown Chicago.

Where to Park on the Magnificent Mile

Most of the available parking is owned by the hotels in this area. You can find lots a few blocks to the east or west of Michigan Avenue. There is also a garage at 505 N. Michigan Ave.  

The best way to get around is via Chicago’s Transit System. However, if you are looking for the best rates for nearby parking, try SpotHero.

Final Thoughts on the Magnificent Mile

Mag Mile is synonymous with all the best Chicago has to offer. The area is rich with retail, restaurants, and points of interest that entice locals and visitors alike.

My favorite time to walk the Mag Mile is very early in the morning when there is hardly any street traffic. Watching the sun rise from the direction of Lake Michigan is calming and pleasant.

The Magnificent Mile at night is lively and if you walk two or three blocks to the west, you’ll find even more food and retail options.

It reflects the essence of Chicago. It’s magnificent.

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