I have always wanted to go back and visit Chicago and I am happy that I finally had a chance to do that. From museums to beaches, dining out experiences and parks, there’s never a dull moment here. But if I am being honest, what’s drawn me to Chicago this time is the shopping. I see that you’re not too surprised at my enthusiastic statement. Chicago is known for its superlative shopping experience. Here are my definitive picks, after many happy hours of looking for the next best thing I absolutely had to have.
All the big stores have huge presence here. I walked into Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s and spent many moments taking in the sights with joy. There’s something about these places that feels familiar and awe-inspiring at the same time. There’s a sense of warmth, but also a feeling of reverence when I walked in. It makes sense- Bloomingdale’s has been around for more than a hundred years. A store with such a rich heritage always seems to know exactly what the customer is looking for. Admirable, in many ways. Macy’s is Macy’s anywhere, but it’s extra special in Chicago. You’ll find it in the Marshall Field’s building and walking into it, you might feel a sense of sheer nostalgia, for that time when stores where the norm to find anything from a safety pin to a swimsuit. I got the perfect pair of earrings at one of the stores to go with the brand new pantsuit that I bought at another. I’ll leave it to you to figure out where.
If you’re looking to shop for some sporty stuff and want to get some diamonds to go with it, head to Magnificent Mile. Shop for some athleisure at Uniqlo and then buy a tennis bracelet at Tiffany. Because, why not? While here, you need to check out American in Water Tower Place. It’s such a lovely place to shop for gifts for nieces, nephews and friends. The store has cookie decorating contests and events to celebrate the day of love with family. Find out more from the website and plan on your trip. I picked up the Kaya books and Doll STEM. Nothing like books to inspire, don’t you think?
It’s not just the big stores that caught my attention. I am always looking for one-of-a-kind clothes and the independent retailers in Chicago help me do just that. I went to a dream book store- Myopic Books, this time to shop for myself. If you like music like I do, the Dusty Groove should be on your list. This store is renowned for its eclectic collection of 45s and LPs. Speaking of eclectic, what a strange time I had at the Woolly Mammoth Antique and Oddities. There are all sorts of things to see here from a disturbingly large number of skulls and bones, to maps and manuals. An interesting time, this store makes for.
If you don’t want to do a lot of walking, but a lot of shopping, a mall may be the right idea for you. I did a lot of walking and needed to take it a tad easy. Luckily, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg did just this for me. I am told that it’s one of the biggest malls in the country. I found some of the most iconic stores here, including Coach. There are a lot of places for you to eat as well and if the feet start hurting (the mall is 2.2 million square feet, so a definite possibility), then take a trolley to head out to the outside stores.
You can’t visit the city and not go to Chicago’s Diamond District also known locally as Jeweler’s Row. Even if you are browsing or are looking for a good deal for a piece of diamond jewelry, then you’ll need to head to Wabash Avenue. Just make sure you do your research first and go prepared if you intend to buy something there. The District stretches from East Monroe Street to East Washington Street and I discovered that diamonds is not the only draw of the place. It’s teeming with some of the most gorgeous buildings you can set your eyes on. Look around at these magnificent specimens of early 20th century buildings. A good place to start (to gawk it and to buy jewelry) at is Jewelers Center that houses close to 200 jewelers. Some of the stores that I visited are the family-owned Donna Jewelry, Bryn Mawr Jewelers, and Sabbia.
I might have paid extra at baggage claim, but Chicago is so worth it!
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