Chicago Is A Great Place To Shop
Chicago is known for many things, from its sports teams to its theaters to its food. One thing that people often tend to overlook is the quality of the shopping in the Chicago area. Chicago and its suburbs are home to a nice collection of unique and impressive outlet malls and shopping centers.
If you're staying downtown, you have to shop on Michigan Avenue, and two of the best options are Water Tower Place and the 900 North Michigan Shops. Since 1975 the 78 story Water Tower Place building has dominated the downtown skyline. When it was built, it was the tallest building made from reinforced concrete in the world. The shopping portion of the building houses more than 100 top stores, and unlike their pricey neighbors, many of these store are aimed at more middle class clientele. To find the luxury shops, however, you only need to go up the street to the 900 North Michigan Shops. The building at 900 North Michigan Ave. is the eighth tallest in the city. Built in 1989, it was originally developed to be Water Tower Place's upscale sister. With anchors like Bloomingdale's and Henri Bendel, it lives up to its expectations, welcoming upscale shoppers to come in from Michigan Avenue and stroll through the multitude of shops and boutiques adorning its six story atrium.
Just outside of the city, you can find a more modest shopping option in the Harlem/Irving Plaza. This grand old mall in the nearby Chicago suburb of Norridge has been around since 1956, making it one of the oldest malls in the area. The Harlem Irving Plaza, known to locals as the HIP, features popular but modest stores like Best Buy, Target, and Kohl’s. A food court was added in 1996, featuring options that range from Gloria Jeans Coffee to Panda Express. Heading to the far north, you should definitely visit the Gurnee Mills Mall. Carved out of an empty field across the street from Six Flags Great America in 1991, this sprawling single-level mall now boasts more than 20 million visitors per year. There are more than 200 shops to choose from, many of which are discount outlets which feature great deals. You can find everything from Saks Fifth Avenue to Bass Pro Shops, all with plenty of dining and entertainment options nearby.
To move back toward the upscale side of things, you'll want to check out the northwest suburbs. The town of Rosemont hosts the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. This relative newcomer (built in 2013) is the first fully enclosed designer outlet mall to be built in Chicagoland for over 20 years. With over 130 stores, the Fashion Outlets of Chicago has the added benefit of being a mere half mile from O'Hare International Airport. The mall even includes a convenient area to print airline tickets and check in baggage in between visits to retailers like Bloomingdale's, The Outlet Store, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th and Gucci. Further west is the massive Woodfield Mall. With more than 300 stores, Woodfield Mall is one of the largest shopping outlets in the country. Built in 1971, the mall's name is a combination of the names of former Sears chairman of the board General Robert Wood and Marshal Field. Located in the popular Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Woodfield welcomes more than 27 million people per year to its shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
As you can see, there are many wonders to behold in Chicago. Whether it’s on the docks of Navy Pier or the grand walkways of Michigan Avenue, there will always be room for the best of shops tied together with the richest history and the earliest of beginnings that make this city great!