A Guide to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

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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.

This review will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the Magnificent Mile, one of Chicago’s most iconic and vibrant destinations. You’ll discover where this famous stretch is located, the diverse range of activities and attractions it offers, the best places to dine, convenient parking options, and recommended accommodations for your stay.

What is the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile, often referred to as the Mag Mile, is one of Chicago’s most renowned and iconic destinations, offering a wealth of popular attractions and experiences. This vibrant neighborhood is a mecca for shopping, dining, and exploration.

Packed with an impressive array of upscale retailers, world-class restaurants, and cultural landmarks, the Magnificent Mile is a true embodiment of Chicago’s affluence and sophistication.

While it is widely considered one of the wealthiest areas in the city, it also seamlessly blends contemporary and historical architecture, creating a unique urban tapestry that appeals to history enthusiasts and architecture aficionados.

Whether you’re on an urban road trip or simply exploring the city, the Magnificent Mile offers a blend of experiences. You can admire stunning architectural, splurge in finest shops, or indulge in a dining experience. This Chicago neighborhood will leave a lasting impression on every visitor.

Where is the Magnificent Mile

boat on chicago river near Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile is located north of Chicago’s downtown business district, commonly referred to as the Loop. This iconic stretch begins at the Chicago River and runs northward along Michigan Avenue, terminating at Oak Street.

The Magnificent Mile is a prime destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment in the heart of the city. It features an impressive lineup of upscale retailers, world-renowned department stores, and a diverse array of restaurants catering to various cuisines and budgets. Additionally, the area is home to several cultural attractions, including art galleries, museums, and theaters.

Spanning approximately one mile, the Magnificent Mile offers a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, attracting both locals and visitors alike. Its prime location, just north of the Loop, makes it easily accessible from various parts of the city, contributing to its popularity.

With its stunning architecture, iconic landmarks, and a wealth of amenities, the Magnificent Mile truly lives up to its name as one of the most magnificent and celebrated stretches in Chicago.

Where to Stay on the Magnificent Mile

hotel room

Hotels along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago offer a wide range of exceptional amenities to enhance your stay. From state-of-the-art fitness centers to upscale on-site restaurants, these hotels cater to diverse needs and preferences.

Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi is often provided, ensuring seamless connectivity throughout your visit. The guest rooms are meticulously designed with contemporary styles, featuring modern furnishings and thoughtful touches to create a comfortable and inviting ambiance.

Many of these hotels take pride in providing an unparalleled level of service, ensuring that every guest feels valued and well-attended.

For staycations, we book at the Embassy Suites Magnificent Mile because it is the best hotel for value in my opinion.

Whether you’re visiting for business or leisure, the Magnificent Mile hotels offer a luxurious and convenient experience, placing you at the heart of this vibrant and iconic destination in Chicago.

From the moment you step through the doors, you’ll be immersed in an atmosphere of sophistication and hospitality that truly sets these hotels apart. 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 | $$


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 many 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.

A 20-minute walk to the east of Grand Avenue will take you to Navy Pier.

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 Chicago’s history.

Where to Eat on the Magnificent Mile

deep dish pizza on a plate at Pizano's Chicago

Restaurants on the Mag Mile offer great food and a chance to relax your feet after a day of shopping and site seeing. There are plenty more options on nearby side streets if you don’t mind the extra walk.

Chicago is a foodie town and you’ll find everything from deep-dish pizza to Italian Beef.

The Purple Pig, the Cheesecake Factory, and Lou Malnati’s are our top picks!

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

Based on 6097 reviews
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Steven BelserSteven Belser
02:53 19 May 24
Alicia SuttonAlicia Sutton
02:03 18 May 24
Everything was absolutely delicious! We sat at the bar watching all the food being prepared. I should have taken more pics! The Chef, our server and the entire staff were incredible! We had the Tuna Tartar, Duck Croquettes, Brussels sprouts, Pork Belly, Ribs, Octopus and Tiramisu. A couple of martinis with stuffed olives and we will definitely be back!
Rodrigo AlvarezRodrigo Alvarez
20:33 17 May 24

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

Based on 6753 reviews
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An-Ha Do (Omai)An-Ha Do (Omai)
19:20 18 May 24
My favourite place whenever I come to the states! Waiters are super friendly, food get serves so quickly and tastes amazing. Not cheap (50$ for one person, with lemonade, appetizer and pasta dish), but always worth it.Didn't get a Cheesecake this time but normally the Lime one is to die for! Highly recommend!Only the Middle East (and somewhere in Macau?) has franchises and I never miss to stop by when I get the chance.Please come to Europe 😂😂
Damian BMDamian BM
03:06 18 May 24
Food was good and were accommodating about changing an item.It was the end of night so was kind of quite in there.Most staff were focused on turning down the resturant.
22:24 17 May 24

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

Based on 3670 reviews
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Bob BoughBob Bough
01:51 19 May 24
Great salad and pizza. Loud but fun
Mike WatsonMike Watson
00:03 19 May 24
Chastity CottonChastity Cotton
23:11 18 May 24
Our server could of cared less we were there. We spent the entire time being ignored while others were waited on ahnd and foot. Never reilled.our drinks or smiled. Seen our server practically doing tricks for other tables. Made a reservation and the hostess forgot about us. Made the food not worth it.

🍽️ Smashburger | 360 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

🍽️ 676 Restaurant and Bar | 676 Michigan Ave | $$ | American

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

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

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

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

🍽️ 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

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.

On the northern end of Mag Mile near Oak Street Beach, there is also access to water activities like kayaking and boating.

Where to Park on the Magnificent Mile

cars at a stop light

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

The most convenient way to get around the city is by using the Chicago’s Transit System (CTA), which operates buses and trains throughout Chicago.

If you’re looking for the best rates on nearby parking, consider using SpotHero, a mobile app and website that allows you to reserve and pay for parking spots in advance at discounted prices.

When visiting, you may wonder if having a car in Chicago necessary. From my perspective, renting or owning a car can be an unnecessary expense unless you plan to travel to places not served by the city’s extensive public transportation system.

Final Thoughts on the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile, or “Mag Mile,” is synonymous with the best that Chicago has to offer. This iconic stretch along Michigan Avenue is a vibrant area rich in world-class shopping, dining, and attractions that draw both locals and visitors alike.

One of the best times to experience the Mag Mile is early in the morning when the streets are relatively quiet. I enjoy watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan to the east creates a serene and calming atmosphere, making for a pleasant start to the day.

As the day progresses, the Magnificent Mile comes alive with energy and excitement. At night, the area is particularly lively, with people exploring the various restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. Venturing just a few blocks west of Michigan Avenue reveals even more diverse dining and retail opportunities.

The Magnificent Mile truly encapsulates the essence of Chicago – a city that seamlessly blends sophistication and culture. It’s a magnificent experience that showcases the best of what this world-class city has to offer.

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