Chicago is a beautiful city 365 days a year, but it might be a little harder to appreciate in the depths of our winter. But when spring finally rolls around, the city is at its finest - which makes it a perfect time to plan your trip to Chicago.
If you're planning a spring trip here, some shopping is probably in your itinerary. While the Magnificent Mile is the premier shopping stretch in the city, I suggest you branch out a bit as well - the rest of Chicago is filled with pockets of fantastic shopping stretches to be explored.
Enjoy the weather by exploring some of Chicago's fantastic neighborhoods and picking up tons of unique finds.
Armitage Avenue, Lincoln Park
Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park is filled with tiny boutiques and shops for nearly the entire breadth of Sheffield to Halsted. Easily hop on a Brown Line from the Loop and you'll have everything you need in this two-block stretch, from familiar names like BCBG, Mac Cosmetics, Benefit and Lush to unique spots such as Art Effect and Lori's Shoes. Armitage also houses Chicago's first Warby Parker shop, the New York-based glasses retailer, complete with in-store photo studio (no purchase necessary!). Continue your shopping adventure down on Halsted for Barbour, Club Monaco and Lucky Brand. Stop for tacos and margaritas at Taco Joint when you're done, or grab a doughnut from Glazed and Infused to get your day started (or both, no judging).
Southport Avenue, Lakeview
Travel just a few more stops up the Brown Line to the Southport Corridor, the perfect stretch for a day of shopping. Ranging from Roscoe Avenue north, the Southport Corridor will easily fill an afternoon of shopping. Popular chains such as Gap, Anthropologie and Free People are intermixed with small boutiques such as high-end Krista K and U.S. Apothecary - a quaint shop filled with candles, succulents, accessories and more. Comfy, cool Lou & Grey just opened its doors on Southport, and while the brand's a member of the Ann Taylor family, the store is stocking lots of local Chicago finds as well. End your day at Crosby's Kitchen - or start it with their brunch on a Saturday or Sunday - or grab a beer at Mystic Celt or Justin's.
Damen Avenue, Bucktown
Rather than jumping on the Brown Line, take the Blue Line instead and explore Bucktown. Damen Avenue is the place to shop for fashion-forward women and men. Just north of North Avenue find Nanette Lepore, Scotch & Soda, GANT Rugger, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Shinola. Pop into hip local boutiques such as RSVP Gallery, Apartment Number 9 and p.45 for a mix of trendy brands and local designers. Not looking for clothes? Alexis Bittar jewelry and Diptyque and make an appearance on this stretch. Enjoy the rest of your day post-shopping on the patio at Big Star (depending on how nice the day is, you might want to put your name in before the shopping) or pizza and beer at Piece.