We hope you’ve saved your pennies, because your bank account is about to take a hit. Even if you avoid some of Chicago’s luxury shopping malls and exquisite designers, Chicago’s bargain and thrift stores are full of must-have items. From renown jewelers to one of the world’s largest department stores, there is something in Chicago for every visitor – and every budget.
A Shopper’s Dream World: Magnificent Mile
There’s a reason this mile is called magnificent. These eight blocks make up some of Chicago’s best shopping venues, boutiques, galleries and stores. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this area along Michigan Avenue gradually rebuilt into a shopper’s paradise. The Mile is home to top designers like Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Bulgari. Find jewelers like Tiffany & Co. and Cartier along the eight block of Michigan Avenue. And if your budget is a little tighter, the window shopping and people watching along this stretch is fantastic.
A Bit of Everything at Water Tower Place
For one of Chicago’s best shopping malls, check out Water Tower Place. Home to souvenir shops like Accent Chicago, this atrium is also the home of Coach, Clarks and Atlas Galleries. For visitors with a sweet tooth, stop by the candy museum known as Candyality. (Their collection of retro candies is top-notch.)
The Shops at North Bridge
Spanning six city blocks, the Shops at North Bridge contain 50 shops, five hotels and 20 restaurants. Browse popular chains like Victoria’s Secret, the Armani Exchange or Hugo Boss. For a more unique experience, stop by the Vosges Haut-Chocolat or the Art of Shaving.
State Street and the Loop
The Loop is a common destination for visitors who want to see Chicago’s landmarks, but it is also one of the area’s best shopping districts. Prior to World War I, State Street was Chicago’s best shopping district. Seven of the biggest department stores in the world were located within this half-mile area. Since then, the Magnificent Mile has become the main focus of Chicago’s shoppers, but State Street still offers one of the largest department stores in the world- Macy’s. Also check out discount stores like Filene’s Basement or Loehmann’s. When your shopping is complete, relax with a delicious meal or a cup of coffee in Macy’s Walnut Room.
If you’re hunting for the perfect diamond necklace or ruby earrings, or maybe you just like to peruse things that glitter, Jewelers’ Row is the place to go. Roughly half a dozen high-rises make up the area along Wabash Avenue. Designed with hundreds of tiny booths, jewelry representatives clamor loudly as they hawk their wares. Even if you are not in the market for jewelry, the old world experience is worth a trip.
Whether it’s a chic jacket or a new pair of shoes you’re looking for, Chicago has it. So pack your bags and leave a little extra space for your new purchases – you’re going to need it.