Best Chicago Shopping Spots

Best Places to Go Shopping in Chicago

Chicago has long been a premier shopping and fashion destination. From major department stores to chic designer boutiques, the city boasts a vibrant retail scene that caters to the needs of every shopper. Today, the city is home to more than 250 Chicago-based fashion designers and 400 independently owned boutiques.

There is no better way to unwind than to go shopping, and Chicago is the place to do it. There are several shopping venues around the city, boasting almost every store you’ve ever wanted to visit. State Street is one of these venues; recently renovated to better reflect its heyday, this shopping location in the middle of the Loop offers a great shopping experience. Shops on State Street include Old Navy, Sears, Forever 21, H&M, Borders, Urban Outfitters, and many, many others.

Magnificent Mile

A Chicago shopping spree must include a visit to the famed “Magnificent Mile” along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street. Located on the Mile are department store giants Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s alongside hundreds of specialty shops and boutiques such as Crate & Barrel, the Apple Store, the Disney Store, American Girl Place, Niketown, Tiffany & Co. and Ralph Lauren.

North Avenue

North Avenue is another great shopping destination, and a definite plus to this area is that most shops have parking lots, making the area one of the most convenient you will find in the city. Popular specialty shops such as Restoration Hardware, World Market, Crate and Barrel, and Whole Foods can be found at North Avenue.

Oak Street

When you come to the end of the Magnificent Mile, you will reach Oak Street, which features great specialty stores and high-end shopping.  On nearby Oak Street, apparel from Paris, Milan, Chicago and New York resides comfortably within Chicago’s chic Gold Coast neighborhood. The result is an international street lined with intimate buildings and shops whose employees are dedicated to personal service. Prada, Kate Spade, Nicole Miller and Tory Burch are just a few of the boutiques that line Oak Street.

State Street

Another major shopping destination is State Street which goes from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street. This street was originally Chicago’s major shopping venue but has since become overshadowed by North Michigan Avenue. One major department store that is worth visiting here is Macy’s, which is one of the biggest ones in the world, taking up an entire block. There are also many other shops, specialty boutiques, and most importantly bargain stores such as Filene’s Basement, Loehmann’s, and Nordstrom Rack, making State Street a premiere shopping destination.

Chicago shopping began on State Street, often called “That Great Street,” in the heart of the Loop. One of the city’s first major retail outlets, the flagship Marshall Field’s State Street store (now Macy’s) has been a Chicago icon and world-class shopping destination for more than 150 years. The store is an architectural and historical marvel, offering ten selling floors of premier ready-to-wear clothes, collections by Chicago-based designers and the finest home lines..

Water Tower Place

Water Tower Place, on North Michigan Ave., is one of the city’s most famous malls, with stores on 8 levels. Water Tower Place has over 100 stores, including The Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Nine West and several others. Restaurants in the mall include the Mity Nice Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, and a food court.

Of course, the most popular and scenic shopping destination is the Magnificent Mile. This mile is studded with over 400 shops and restaurants and is an energy-filled, upbeat haven for everyone from the serious shopper to the tourist who just wants to breathe in the unique atmosphere of Chicago’s Mag. Mile.

Michigan Avenue

Shops on this stretch of Michigan Avenue include upscale stores such as Coach, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Cartier; more affordable stores such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, North Face, Guess and Levi’s; and specialty shops such as Crate & Barrel, Borders and American Girl Place. American Girl Place is a draw for any young girl; the store gives each girl a chance to create a doll that reflects her own unique appearance and personality.

There are malls along the Magnificent Mile as well; besides Water Tower Place, there is 900 North Michigan, Chicago Place at 700 N. Michigan, and The Shops at North Bridge at 520 N. Michigan.

River North gallery district

If you’re looking to buy some of the best art around, then head over to the River North gallery district which features some of the best art in the city. A good time to visit is during gallery season after Labor Day and during the summer when there are many programs geared towards the public going on. The River North area is also home to many home design stores and specialty shops, and is definitely worth a visit.

American Girl Place

While walking around the Chicago downtown area, you will undoubtedly see women and girls carrying American Girl Place bags. American Girl Place is every little girl’s dream. There you can find all of the American Girl dolls with all their outfits, accessories and furniture. There’s also an American Girl doll hair salon where girls can take their dolls to get their hair styled, and great dining options including brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. If you have a little girl, she will think she died and gone to heaven.

Merchandise Mart

Another great place to go shopping and sightseeing is the Merchandise Mart which is one of Chicago’s most prominent international business venues and wholesale design centers. It’s also the world’s largest commercial building and hosts many trade shows, conferences, and has many wholesale showrooms in its 25 stories throughout the year. The building is magnificent and its first two floors feature over 50 stores and a full-service food court and restaurants.

Broadway Antique Market

If you are an antiques lover, then be sure to check out the Broadway Antique Market located right off the L train. This flea market features an incredible collection of antiques and furniture, and is one of the city’s best-kept secrets for unique finds. The market also sells vintage clothing and many other products.

Neighborhood Shopping

The Chicagoland area offers a wide variety of shopping experiences, from upscale boutiques to discount outlet malls and everything in between. The primary shopping strip in the city is the Magnificent Mile, which runs along north Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street. Here you’ll find department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom, home furnishing retailers such as Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, jewelers such as Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels, big-name apparel retailers such as Gap, Banana Republic, and Ralph Lauren, plus a host of boutiques and specialty shops. The Magnificent Mile also features indoor shopping malls, such as Water Tower Place and 900 North Michigan Shops. State Street is another major shopping destination, with Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott being the main department stores.

Division Street and the Southport Corridor are home to specialty shops that carry the work of independent and Chicago-based designers. In the Lincoln Park neighborhood, shop along Lincoln Avenue, Clark Street, Armitage Avenue or Halsted Street, or venture further north to the Lakeview neighborhood (along Clark Street, Belmont Avenue or Broadway) for a wide variety of shopping alternatives. In recent years, cutting-edge national stores like Anthropologie, Marc Jacobs and Cynthia Rowley have opened shops in these neighborhoods.

Wicker Park/ Bucktown area

Can’t get enough of antiques? Then the Wicker Park/ Bucktown area is the place to go. This bohemian neighborhood features many antique shops, little art galleries, and great vintage clothing in an urban setting that is both raw and very eclectic.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park, just north of downtown Chicago has become another great shopping destination in its own right. With the influx of young professionals who have moved into the neighborhood’s beautiful brownstones aligning the tree-lined streets, there are an increasing number of independent shops and trendy boutiques that are worth visiting.

Chicago Suburbs

The Chicago suburbs offer excellent shopping centers as well. Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois is an enclosed mall and the largest in the area. Its anchors include Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, J C Penney, and Sears. Beautiful outdoor malls include Oakbrook Center in Oakbrook and Old Orchard in Skokie. These two malls feature manicured landscaping and lush surroundings to create a very pleasant atmosphere. You can include the thrill of an amusement park with your shopping trip in Gurnee, Illinois, where you’ll find Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall and Six Flags Great America.

Shopping Tours

hopping Tours can guide you through Chicago’s favorite shopping destinations while helping you discover a few hidden gems along the way. Choose from our unique destination and themed tours. A different tour every weekend between 9/29 and 12/15. SeeMore Shopping’s 2007 Fall Tour Schedule. Reserve tickets online, by phone: 312.902.2135 or email: Availability is limited. Advance ticket purchase is required

ShopWalk Neighborhood Tours

Bucktown Tour departs at Café de Luca: 1721 N Damen.
Lincoln Park Tour departs at Sweet Mandy Bs: 1208 W. Webster.
773 255 7866

Explore Chicago’s hippest and prettiest neighborhoods for shopping- Bucktown and Lincoln Park. Your ShopWalk guide will escort you on a walking tour to the neighborhoods’ most unique boutiques that you won’t find back home or on the Magnificent Mile.

Highlights: Boutiques Unique to Chicago, Personal Shopping Stylists, Discounts at All the Boutiques, and Complimentary Treats at a local cafe and along the way. Tours generally begin Monday through Friday at 11am and Saturday and Sunday at 1pm. Other times and neighborhoods are available. Reservations required.

Urban Shop Guide

(312) 533-1256

Breakaway from the traditional shopping alternatives to a truly unique Chicago experience. Urban Shop Guide is a full-service shopping tour of Chicago’s fashion treasures buried in its most vibrant neighborhoods.

Your party will be chauffeured in a luxury vehicle, be provided shopping itineraries for local boutiques, offered drinks and food of Chicago heritage, and a personal guide for their shopping experience. Walking tours also available.

Oak Street Shopping (directory of Oak St. shops)

On Oak Street between Michigan Ave & State St.

Located at the North end of the Magnificent Mile, Oak Street is an International style center, housing many of the world’s most exclusive boutiques and salons. It is a street which attracts shoppers from all over the world who seek only the best. Shoppers are offered their choice of unique and upscale clothing, shoes, jewelry, home furnishings, art, linens, and music. Full spa facilities, salon services, makeup, yoga, and fitness classes are readily accessible to pamper you in a style to which the Oak Street shopper is accustomed. Fabulous restaurants, prestigious hotels, movie theatres, banking, and valet parking are additional amenities par excellence.

Randolph Street Market Festival

1300 Block W Randolph St between Ada and Odgen

Come and experience Chicago’s world-renowned Randolph Street Market Festival, featuring the most exciting array of vintage and modern art & objects, fashion & jewelry, home furnishings & decor ever assembled in one place! One weekend a month from May through October, this Eurostyle indoor-outdoor shopping spectacle is a favorite destination for antique dealers, merchandisers, decorators, fashionistas and style setters from around the globe. Located in the historic and trendy West Loop neighborhood, the Randolph Street Market has been featured in Travel & Leisure, Lucky Magazine and the New York Times.

Chicago Suburban Shopping

Chicago Premium Outlets

1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora, IL 60502

An unparalleled collection of 120 designer and name brand outlets all at an everyday saving of 25% to 65%. Including Polo Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Kate Spade, Coach, Giorgio Armani, Nike, Salvatore Ferragamo, Kenneth Cole, Versace, MaxMara, and more. Our outdoor village setting and covered galleries make shopping enjoyable. Hours: Mon-Sat: 10-9, Sunday 10-6

Evanston Downtown Shopping

300 ground level businesses—more than most malls—including brands such as Ann Taylor Loft, Jos A Bank, Pier 1, Gap, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Design Within Reach, Francesca’s Collections, Cost Plus World Market, movies, bookstores and some exciting offbeat boutiques which aren’t found anywhere else. It also boasts 85 restaurants–more than any dining destination in Chicagoland are.

Northbrook Court

2171 Northbrook Court Northbrook, Illinois 60062

(847) 498-8161 With over 125 stores, including specialty and boutique retailers, Northbrook Court is an upscale shopping destination anchored by Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor, and features unique design concepts such as Nicole Miller, Betsey Johnson.

3rd Street Shops

12 N. Third St., Downtown St. Charles, IL.

Over 20 specialty shops under one roof. A collection of one-of-a-kind shops with merchandise you won’t find anywhere else. Located in beautiful historic downtown Saint Charles, in the heart of the shopping district. Across the street from the Filling Station (bar/grill) on Third St. in between North Ave. and Cedar St.

Westfield Shoppingtown Fox Valley

195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora, IL 60504
Corner of Route 59 and New York Street

Located in Aurora west of Chicago, features Marshall Field’s, Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, Sears and over 200 specialty stores featuring apparel for women, men and children, shoes, home furnishings, jewelry, gifts, services and much more. Dining options include Ruby Tuesday’s, Savannah’s Restaurant & Tea Room and 20 Food Court dining options with plenty of available seating. Free Kiddie Kruzzers, Free Wheelchairs, Free Shopping Bags, Package Carryout, Westfield Gift Cards, Free Signature Gift Box with a $50.00 purchase, Free Balloons. A Kiddie Climber, Carousel and Kiddie Rides are available for the Kids to complete the Family Shopping Experience.

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