The Magnificent Mile is magical year round, but it’s especially enchanting during the holidays. The carolers sing, snow covers the limestone walls of the Historic Water Tower, trees lining North Michigan Avenue are illuminated with more than one million holiday lights.
This world-famous retail district, home to hundreds of shops and boutiques, is the perfect spot to find something for everyone on your list (and maybe something for yourself too). Here’s your guide to holiday gift shopping on The Magnificent Mile.
With 460 retailers dotting The Magnificent Mile, well-known and loved anchor department stores include Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s.
Malls & shopping centers
900 North Michigan Shops
One of the grand boulevard’s three multi-story malls, you’ll find national brands and unique boutiques (Gucci, Lululemon, Williams-Sonoma) within 70 stores on seven levels.
The Shops at North Bridge
Spanning six blocks with 50 world-class specialty shops, 20 sumptuous restaurants, and five elegant hotels, you’ll find everyone from Louis Vuitton to Stuart Weitzman here.
Water Tower Place
Hit this historic mall to browse handbags at Coach and shoes at Clarks and find that perfect gift. Visit the eight-level atrium for adored doll store American Girl Place and The LEGO Store for the perfect kids gifts. Stop for a bite from one of 14 kitchens at foodlife.
Insider tip: Water Tower Place, The Shops at North Bridge and 900 North Michigan Shops will deliver your shopping bags to your hotel the same day, freeing up your arms for more exploring.
Luxury labels & high-end brands
Step into the five-story black chrome, plaid-etched store and watch runway footage roll on a digital wall.
Tiffany & Co.
Draped in velvet, marble and polished metal, the ambiance is as luxurious as the rings and crystal at this internationally renowned upscale jeweler.
High end looks for women draw customers to this bright red boutique, home to haute fashion ambassador known around the world: Ikram Goldman.
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Fashion & apparel
Denim in all styles, fits, and washes go from classic 501 originals and hip skinny jeans to layering pieces like flannel tops and jean jackets.
The only authorized Patek Phillipe dealer in all of Chicago, this Gold Coast shop specialized in high-end timepieces from luxury brands like Rolex in their three-story boutique.
Gear up for winter in Chicago (or anywhere) with Overland Sheepskin Co.’s extensive collection of sheepskin and leather jackets, fur coats, leather and shearling boots, and more.
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More top brands
Geek out over all the latest gadgets, computers and accessories at this light-filled tech magnet. If you can’t tell from the ground, the riverfront store’s all-glass walls and a steel roof are designed to look exactly like a Macbook from above.
This Midwestern brand, born in Detroit, is all about artisan-level craftsmanship in whatever they make — which includes bags, watches, purses, accessories, and even bikes and bluetooth speakers.
In the city that Michael Jordan built, Nike takes shopping to a whole new level — well, four levels to be exact — with a flagship that boasts a historic timeline of famous Air Jordan shoes on display, plus all the gear to play your sport of choice.
More top brands:
Sweet treats along the way
Follow the enticing aromas to this gourmet popcorn shop. Be sure to try their most famous flavor, The Garrett Mix: a sweet-savory blend of caramel and cheese.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
The 2-level outpost of this colorful candy shop touts bins and bins of confections, plus a bar, cafe and dessert counter and bar to rest your legs (and refuel with a sugar rush).
More sweet treats:
This Spanish Colonial Revival is an architectural gem celebrated as one of Chicago’s most attractive buildings for nearly a century. You might recognize its dazzling white terracotta cladding and nighttime lighting from films and television shows.
A Neo-Gothic icon, the limestone tower’s elegant buttresses, intricately carved stonework. and octagonal campanile serve as a grand gateway to The Magnificent Mile.
Head to the 94th floor of 875 N Michigan (formerly the John Hancock Center) and take in a 360° view of four states from the 1,000-foot observatory. Try TILT: an exhilarating experience that tilts guests out and over the city streets below.
Insider tip: Stop by the Signature Room at the 95th restaurant for their decadent seasonal build-your-own hot chocolate bar.