Magnificent Mile in Chicago

The Magnificent Mile is a vibrant dining, shopping, and historic area that runs 13 blocks of North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River banks at the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

This famous Chicago attraction boasts hundreds of stores, restaurants, hotels, iconic landmarks, and unique attractions, making this area one of the most popular things to do in Chicago. Tourists can see excellent views of the city of Chicago, excellent sightseeing tours, incredible shopping and award-winning eating opportunities, and world-renowned cultural exhibits.  

Pro Tip: If you want a magical holiday season experience, book your Chicago trip for November to see the annual BMO Harris Bank The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Best Places to Visit on the Magnificent Mile 

Shedd Aquarium

Enclosed within the city's Museum Campus, Shedd Aquarium is home to 32,000 interesting, diverse sea life and is considered one of the best aquariums in the United States. Guests can interact with animals at no additional cost such as feeling stingrays at "Stingray Touch". Also included with admission are fascinating exhibits such as "Amazon Rising", "Wild Reef", "Polar Play Zone", "Caribbean Reef", and "Waters of the World". Furthermore, guests can opt to meet animals like penguins, beluga whales, or sea otters for an additional fee through the Extraordinary Experiences option. 

Exterior of John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Shedd Aquarium Official Facebook

Adler Planetarium

All science buffs need to check out the Adler Planetarium, the nation's first planetarium! Located on South Lakeshore Drive, the museum has plenty to offer intrigued visitors. The planetarium includes nine special exhibits, several theaters, the historic Atwood Sphere experience, and numerous enjoyable experiences for the whole family. 

Related Post: Walking Tours - Chicago

Millennium Park 

This gorgeous urban park features the Cloud Gate sculpture ("the Bean"), so if you want that iconic Chicago picture, you know where to go. Other sightseeing spots include Pritzker Pavilion, the beautiful Lurie Garden, and glorious works of art like the Crown Fountain. 

Skydeck Chicago

Situated on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, visitors can experience unparalleled views at 1,353 feet up in the air! See Chicago from a unique perspective up in the SkyDeck, open 365 days a year. This thrilling attraction presents top-rated exhibits, theater presentations, and more! Guests can also step out on The Ledge's glass boxes, which extend approximately 4.3 feet from the deck. Overall, guests can see four states, 50 miles, and 360-degree views.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Big Bus Tours - Chicago

The Drake Hotel 

Built in 1920, The Drake Hotel in Chicago has a rich history. The Drake served as a hub for the world’s 20th-century political and cultural movers and shakers. In 1980, Hilton International purchased The Drake and revived its splendor. 

Close up view of the pink neon sign that says "The Drake" in black letter font on top of The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: The Drake Hotel (140 E Walton Pl, Chicago) via Facebook

Field Museum 

Head to the Field Museum to view a wide breadth and selection of objects and artifacts, as well as fascinating exhibitions. Connect with scientific discoveries and pieces of natural history with exhibits such as SUE, the most complete T-Rex skeleton, the famous Tsavo Lions, gorgeous gemstones and minerals, Ancient Egyptian artifacts, and much more! 

Other major attractions include, but aren’t limited to:

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events in Chicago

Interest Fact: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 started on the evening of October 8th in a barn owned by Patrick and Catherine O’Leary at 558 (formerly 137) W. DeKoven Street. Unfortunately, the fire devastated the business district, killing 300 people and leaving a third of the city’s population homeless. To this day, the cause is unknown; however, this incident spurred the “Great Rebuilding”, which led to a population and economic boom.

Where to Park Near the Magnificent Mile

There are ample convenient parking spaces near the Magnificent Mile. All of the three major shopping centers have parking garages, and many restaurants and hotels offer valet service. What’s more, some of the area hotels offer discounted parking or have packages available that include overnight parking.

Searching for specific street parking on the Mag Mile? Check them out here.

Related Post: 32 Totally Free Things to Do in Chicago

Get the Best Views & Drinks in Chicago

If you’re searching for the best rooftop bars in Chicago, check out any of these well-rated watering holes with incredible sights of the city skyline:

  • 52Eighty Lounge
  • Z Bar
  • Shanghai Terrace
  • Roof on TheWit
  • Upstairs at The Gwen
  • LondonHouse
  • Cindy’s Rooftop

Related Post: 26 of the Most Unique Things to Do in Chicago

Is Downtown Chicago Safe at Night?

Downtown Chicago, referred to as The Loop, is generally where tourists visit and is quite busy day and night. It’s called The Loop because the city’s transit trains (The El) make a loop around it. While the Mag Mile is actually north of The Loop, it’s still categorized as central to the action. Visitors can rest easy when exploring this area, although it’s always best to use common sense in any city. This includes walking in groups, especially at night; remaining in busier areas; and opting for a taxi or ride share options if you drink. 

Plan Your Vacation With Tripster Chicago

Now that you know more about one of the Windy City's most popular areas, when are you planning on seeing the Magnificent Mile in person? Book your vacation with Tripster Chicago to get the best discounts and insider information today.

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Written By Talena


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