Chicago is a city of great achievements, stupendous architecture, long standing history and lovely natural enclaves. What attracts so many visitors is not just this honorable past, but its lively present. The city continues to stay upbeat, young and relevant, offering some of the best restaurants, shopping, entertainment and arts on the world stage. This is most evident along the famed Magnificent Mile.
This stretch of roadway occupies Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue. It is a straightaway from the Chicago River Northwards, a transition from the classic downtown area. The attractions of the area are found on Michigan Avenue proper, but also on many of the parallel and horizontal streets. The street is never dull as it is decorated to keep up with the various holidays and seasons, both by the storefronts and the trees and flowerbeds.
At the heart of the daily pulse, there is also a variety of annual events as well as new attractions. Farmer’s Fridge is a fresh food experience that is ongoing at the Shops at North Bridge. The Chicago Flower and Garden show takes place in mid March. Mastercard sponsors a Shopping festival each year, while in November a lights show dubbed the Nation’s largest evening holiday event brings the streets to a whole new level of activity.
The shopping experiences here have been rated among the best in the world. On par with 5th Avenue or Rodeo drive, although not quite as spectacular as say, Kuala Lumpur or the Emirates. Many of the top luxury brands from around the world have their street level storefronts: Ferragamo, Burberry, Omega, Yves St. Laurent, Zegna and Brooks Brothers just to name a handful. Water Tower Place, The Shops at North Bridge and 900 North Michigan Shops are three major mall conglomerates found along the stretch.
Attracting close to 22 million visitors a year means many want to spend some quality time enjoying all the benefits and attractions of the area. The splendid hotel offerings make for indulgent, high-rise experiences in the midst of the urban appeal. Top lodging venues include, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Peninsula, Park Hyatt and Ritz Carlton. These are the heavyweights, but Allerton, Westin, Omni and Drake Hotel are top-notch offerings as well. The competition in such a concentrated space makes for great quality of service and high standards. Many of these hotel feature fine dining and spa amenities for walk in guests as well.
Being at the heart of a diverse city and a place that prides itself on foodie type relevance, means one will find singular expressions of national cuisines, fusions and almost any gastronomy available. Recommended places like The Signature Room, Spiaggia, Spago, Allium, Troquet River North, The Prime Rib, and Tru are true endeavors in culinary expression.