Adored by locals and tourists alike, the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue in Chicago is a grand avenue in the city centre known for its upscale shopping opportunities and commercial energy. It is the main shopping street of Chicago, bordered by the Chicago River and Oak Street with an area of about 290,000 square metres dedicated to retail, restaurant, hotel and cultural space. The Magnificent Mile is the eighth most expensive avenue in the United States, contains some of the tallest buildings in the country, and is home to the most popular and famous commercial brands as a must see attraction of Chicago.
The main purpose of the Magnificent Mile is a commercial retail centre, hosting some of America’s favourite department stores like Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as luxury boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss and Prada. Three different shopping centres line the street called The Shops at North Bridge, 900 North Michigan Shops and Water Tower Place, all of which contain numerous stores, restaurants and museums. The Avenue also contains various exclusive hotels, upscale restaurants, large banking buildings and some city landmarks including Chicago Water Tower some of America’s highest buildings like the Trump International Tower and John Hancock Centre. The Magnificent Mile has its own unique atmosphere, full of energy in the busy shoppers, street performers and working businessmen, and visitors can even travel to observatory floors in some towers for panoramic views of the street and surrounding Chicago.
Visitors can travel to the Magnificent Mile from throughout Chicago via the train system to central stations, where there are local bus routes to Michigan Avenue. The nearest airport is Chicago International, which has metro routes to the stops “Grand” and “Chicago,” which are both only two blocks away from the Avenue. Drivers can travel along Lake Shore Drive or Ohio Street to reach the turnoff to Michigan Avenue.
The commercial district of the Magnificent Mile originated with the construction of the Michigan Avenue Bridge in 1920, and innovative skyscraper architecture immediately made an impact upon the cityscape of Chicago. The avenue continued to develop as a luxury shopping area, and the 1975 opening of Water Tower Place boosted the reputation of the area. The Magnificent Mile stood as a reminder of Chicago’s commercial potential as a symbol of the city’s significance and popularity.