The Magnificent Mile

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The Magnificent Mile of Chicago boasts iconic buildings and mesmerizing storefronts. The 1-mile stretch of Michigan Avenue has been known to take days to conquer, depending on your shopping list and stamina. This popular destination right off Lake Michigan, is now home to many restaurants and hotels that have the wedding world scrambling for reservations. I took a sunny day to claim my sidewalk space, dodging cabs, double-decker busses and those wild pedestrians (myself not included) to show you everything the Magnificent Mile has to offer.

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I began my journey on the corner of Michigan and Oak, steps away from the historic Drake Hotel. From high-tea, to a classic cocktail in their Coq d’Or bar. Alcoholic or not, a drink at this hotel is the best way to begin your journey. Also, a fabulous venue that hosts up to 600 guests with spectacular views of the Lake Michigan coast!

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 It doesn’t take long until you are sucked into the 900 Shops. This 7-level shopping mall houses a brilliant stationer, Jane Weber Ink and the truly luxurious men’s barbershop, Truefitt & Hill. We have had many of calls into Truefitt & Hill booking our client’s appointments for a nice hot shave for themselves and all their groomsmen on the their big day. Other luxury stores include Gucci, MaxMara, Montblanc, Micheal Kors and the lovely L’Occitane.

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Next up, is the John Hancock building. If you can bear the height, travel up the 94 floors to the observatory area to get one of the most amazing views of the city. And if your pocket can bear it, dinner at the Signature Room on the 95th floor is as amazing as it is romantic!

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Water Tower Place is a madhouse housing the over 100 shops in it’s 8 stories, American Girl Place, Sephora, Lacoste, Macy’s, Crabtree & Evelyn and Free People to name a few. A bustling food court is on the seventh floor featuring a smattering of restaurants in a cafeteria style owned by the well-known Chicago chain Lettuce Entertain You. Have your out-of-town guests kill some major time at this place!

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Across the street, is the new (ish) TopShop one of three in the U.S. I had to make a little pit stop here during my walk. Conveniently, the delicious Ghirardelli chocolate is located right next door…just sayin’.

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In the same nook is the fabulous Park Hyatt, home to the newly renovated restaurant, Nomi.  Nomi offers chic ambiance and views looking out upon Michigan Avenue. Providing three truly wonderful Dinner Rehearsal spots, their relaxed lounge, al fresco Garden space or with their delicious seasonal plates in the Nomi Kitchen. All are perfect for an intimate date, girls night out or for a larger group celebration.

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Adjacent to the Park Hyatt is The Ralph Lauren Café, the perfect venue for a bridesmaid’s lunch or shower and an ultra classic Chicago destination with a menu to die for.

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As you venture down, it is more sensory overload as all the big name shops jump out at you from corner to corner. The Ritz, The James Hotel, The Intercontinental, The Peninsula, and the Park Hyatt Chicago are all swanky places just steps off of the bustling mile that will offer your guests wonderful accommodations and the true Chicago experience.

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Fuel! Highly suggested for such trek.

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Bandera and The Purple Pig are two of the many restaurants that have the coveted Michigan Avenue address. Located on the second story, Bandera’s windows stare right onto the busy avenue while their live piano player offers a tranquil atmosphere. The Purple Pig is such a fun wine and cheese bar, that offers an extensive wine list and small Mediterranean plates.

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As you reach the end of the journey, two recognizable buildings, the Chicago Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building, hold down the fort on either side of Michigan before crossing the Chicago river into the loop!   Whew, I made it!  Did I miss any spots that you love on Michigan Avenue? Please share!  

 

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