We just got back from a fun weekend in Chicago. It was so nice to get away, and get a head start on Christmas shopping. You might have guessed from all of our Chicago visits that we loooove The Windy City. It’s gorgeous, there is always something to do, and it’s my favorite place ever to shop. I am excited to be bringing you my Chicago Shopping Guide, in partnership with The St Clair Hotel and BabbleBoxx!
Shopping in Chicago is awesome because all the shops are very centrally located on Michigan Ave – known as The Magnificent Mile. You have an awesome mix of high-end, designer boutiques (like Chanel, Dior, and Gucci), department stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s, retail shopping options like ZARA and Forever21, specialty shops like Garrett Popcorn (worth the long line, I promise), and everything in between. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but I have a few sure-fire tips to simplify your Chicago shopping spree!
Location, location, location
Ok, ok, no – I am not trying to sell you a house! I’m talking about the location of your hotel. There are a million hotels spread around Chicago (slight hyperbole, but there are a lot! haha!), but I always look for a hotel that is just off Michigan Ave. There are a few right ON The Magnificent Mile, but driving down Michigan Ave is a nightmare, and there are always crowds outside. For me, the perfect location is just a block off Michigan Ave, so you can easily walk to the stores, but also arriving and leaving aren’t a total mess!
We checked out The St Clair, which is A Red Collection Hotel. The hotel is super affordable, has some modern updates, while maintaining the look and vibe of the old architecture, and is about a block off Michigan Ave. It is also important to point out that The St Clair Hotel is within walking distance to Gino’s East which is my all-time favorite pizza place in Chicago.
Shop my outfit here.
Another fun note about The St Clair Hotel is that it is pet-friendly!
The Magnificent Mile
As mentioned above, you can find everything on Michigan Ave. Over 460 shops line both sides of the road, along with parks, landmarks, and plenty of restaurant options.
When you reach Michigan Ave from The St Clair Hotel, you’ll see a Dylan’s Candy, The Disney Store, and Burberry right there, as well as The Grand Luxe (such good food!).
Since it was pretty chilly on Saturday, we took advantage of the inside shopping located off Michigan Ave. First up, is Water Tower Place! This has a massive American Girl Doll Store inside, which is any little girls’ dream, as well as Macy’s right off the street. The mall itself is 8 stories, and contains over 100 shops, like: Akira, Abercrombie, Bath & Body Works, Express, Free People, a LEGO Store, Sephora, Sunglass Hut, and many more! This is where I go for a more “traditional shopping mall” experience. You can definitely one-stop-shop here, with the wide variety!
Next up, be sure to beck out the 50 stores and 20 restaurants in The Shops at North Bridge. This is where you’ll find Nordstrom, as well as White House Black Market, Alex and Ani, and more. This is not my “my stop” mall in Chicago, to be honest. But, if you’re looking for a quick lunch and a break from the weather, this is my go-to! There is a Panda Express, a California Pizza Kitchen, and a Just Salad (among others)!
The Shops at State and Washington is a must-stop shopping spot! You’ll find a Nordstrom Rack and an Anthropologie here!
For a more elevated shopping experience, be sure to find 900 North Michigan! This is one of my favorites! This is a seven-story malls, where you’ll find national brands and unique boutiques (Bloomingdales, Gucci, Lululemon, J.Crew, Williams-Sonoma). There are 70 stores and 10 restaurants in here!
Oak Street is my go-to for designer shopping. If you head toward the end of Michigan Ave, you’ll see Lake Michigan. Turn your head to the left, and you’ll see Gucci, Christian Louboutin, and a Sprinkles ATM! Dave and I spent a bit of time going in and out of some designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior!
Tips & Tricks
Ok, you all know how to shop. But! There are a few ticks and tips I have picked up over the years that can help you save time and money while you’re on your Chicago shopping spree!
If you visit 900 North Michigan Shops or Water Tower Place, they have coupon books that offer additional savings! North Bridge gives out coupon books for their stores, (found at the Visitor’s Desk). Sometimes, they will require you to show a hotel room key or an out-of-state driver’s license.
I am SO excited about this next little Chicago shopping hack! I learned this 2 years ago, and have been abusing the privilege whenever we shop in Chicago: Water Tower Place, The Shops at North Bridge and 900 North Michigan Shops will deliver your shopping bags to your hotel the same day, freeing up your arms for more exploring. I am not 100% how far they will deliver, but I have never had an issue at ANY hotel on Michigan Ave, or a block or two off of Michigan! This is a total arm-saver, and then you’re not bashing into people with your bags as you walk! Isn’t that the coolest offering!?
Until next time, Chicago!! You can also check out my outlet shopping experience in Chicago in this post. Now tell me, have you been on a Chicago shopping spree?!
This post was sponsored by Babbleboxx. All content and opinions remain my own.