Magnificent Mile / Streeterville
Many people have been to these favorite Windy City spots dozens of times over without ever realizing they were living it up in the heart of Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Blocks of name brand and designer retail stores, clusters of packed pubs and daytime delis, amusement park attractions and live performances, and unobstructed views from one of the tallest buildings in the city. Yep, Streeterville is definitely a hot Chicago tourist scene, dotted by residential high-rises and some of the city’s most prized architecture and popular sites.
Perhaps the heightened interest in the area’s specific features (such as the Michigan Avenue shopping strip, stunning Chicago River district and never-ending action at Navy Pier) has overshadowed its identity as a neighborhood. Well, the Streeterville name may have escaped the limelight, but this highly-energetic section of Chicago brings fun, leisure and excitement to the forefront! From an afternoon spent hitting up the crowded “vertical malls” and snacking at the famous Cheesecake Factory, to an evening show at the IMAX Theatre and a dinner cruise along the shoreline, Streeterville is full of enjoyable activities and experiences that make it a memorable Chicago destination for people of all interests.
For families and the “young at heart,” Navy Pier stands out as a nonstop playland, set on its own private peninsula of diversion where visitors are inspired to forget the daily routine for awhile and have a little fun! The pier is best known for its giant, 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel but there is so much to do in the park that you’ll need to budget your time to fit it all in. The museum-minded can make a stop at the Chicago Children’s Museum or Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows (both located on Navy Pier) and anyone with a penchant for the theatrical has their choice of stages to see a show of your liking. The IMAX movie theater is also big draw for Navy Pier with its ultra-BIG screen and cool 3D productions, and the summertime fireworks displays are a festive celebration the whole city can enjoy. Aside from the actual attractions on the pier, a number of boat cruises operate from the docks here offering guests a selection of different water tours, including shoreline sightseeing and midnight party rides.
Navy Pier is really its own little world, affixed to the Streeterville neighborhood by a small manmade isthmus and flag-adorned entrance gate. But back on the mainland this happening Chicago community is bursting with big city action in the form of first-rate dining spots, skyscraping towers and one of the most celebrated shopping districts on the planet! The aptly named Magnificent Mile stretches along Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to the Chicago River. Considered the main drag of Chicago, this corridor offers a terrifically long list of retailers that span from haute couture fashion and fine home furnishings to bargain basements and niche stores. And just off the beaten path is an international smorgasbord of restaurants where hungry diners can get simple café bites, Spanish tapas, fancy French meals, traditional American cuisine, Asian food takeout, pizza by the slice, authentic Italian eats, dive bar grub and much more. Traffic around this part of town can be hectic, but an abundance of taxis (and a small legion of horse-drawn carriages) are on hand to get you where you want to go.
Between commercial businesses, entertainment venues and dining establishments, there isn’t much room for single-family homes and green backyards in Steerterville. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t sought-after housing options in this thriving Chicago neighborhood. As one of the city’s highest-priced real estate sectors, Streeterville has a healthy luxury residential market of condominium towers and apartment buildings with their share of posh penthouse suites and deluxe high-rise units. If rooftop swimming pools, 24-hour door attendants, first-class onsite services, plush accommodations and an unbeatable location near Chicago’s most cherished sites are your idea of home, then perhaps Streeterville should be more than just a place to visit. With all Streeterville has to offer, it may just be the ultimate Chicago neighborhood – and the perfect backdrop to experience the true Windy City lifestyle!