Hit the shops and see the bright lights of Chicago

Chicago Illinois riverside view with scryscapers

The dazzling mid-western city of Chicago offers American shopping at its finest, with an alluring mix of legendary department stores, cool boutiques and discount outlets brimming with amazing bargains.

The Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue is a pleasure to explore. You’ll find a vast variety of goods and prices. There’s a mix of individual shops, designer boutiques and, of course, the famous Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. As well as a brilliant range of clothes, accessories and homewares, you can expect the ultimate in customer service in these stores.

On the great State Street, you’ll find majestic Macy’s. Spend a whole day here wandering around its eight beautifully laid-out floors. It showcases all the big fashion names, as well as new designers, many from Chicago. Other Chicago shopping hot spots include Oak Street for luxury boutiques mingled with day spas, charming Lincoln Park, where the one-off shops are housed in Victorian buildings, and Wicker Park for quirky buys and interesting gifts.

It’s easy to explore Chicago on foot or by using its excellent public transport system. But, for a helping hand, book a Chicago ShopWalk tour. It costs from £30 for a two-hour guided tour for you and your friends. Or try a Chicago Greeter tour, where a friendly local shared insider information for free and will tailor the trip to suit your needs.

For a break from the Windy City, take a trip to the nearby Premium Outlets centre, where over 120 shops await. Drool over the discounted luxury brands, such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and MaxMara. The sportswear is amazing, too, and you’ll get to see the latest offerings from Nike and Adidas, and pick up a pair of branded trainers from around £30. Once you’re all spent up, enjoy Chicago’s outstanding architecture, lakefront beaches and the best jazz and blues clubs in the world.

Our suggestions

• Unwind in Millennium Park, home to free concerts and amazing public art. And later, visit Buddy Guy’s Legend club, for the best live blues music.
• See the sights from a height at the John Hancock Observatory. In North America’s fastest lift, you’ll arrive at the 94th floor in a speedy 39 seconds. At the Skywalk open-air viewing deck, you’ll find breathtaking views of the city.
• Refuel with a divine Chicago deep-pan pizza at Uno on East Ohio. We love the Prima Pepperoni!

Book it

• Fly to Chicago with Virgin Atlantic from £500 return. Visit www.virgin-atlantic.com
• Stay at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, a luxury hotel within easy walking distance of the main shopping area and attractions. Double rooms from £180 per night. Visit www.sofitel-chicago.com
• For information on the area, visit www.gochicago.com

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