Monday, April 17, 2006

Chicago Area Shopper’s Guide

The Chicago area is a shopper’s paradise. Possibilities include power shopping at outlet malls, strolling through quaint villages or cruising along on the Magnificent Mile. A few of the best picks are:
Read More About Shopping!

The City

Michigan Avenue
The Magnificent Mile! North Michigan Avenue has become a prime shopping destination within the city. The Magnificent Mile runs from the Chicago River north to Oak Street. Here you’ll find department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom, home furnishing retailers such as Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, jewelers such as Tiffany, big name apparel retailers such as Gap, Banana Republic and Ralph Lauren, plus a host of boutiques and specialty shops. The Magnificent Mile also features indoor shopping malls, such as Water Tower Place and 900 North Michigan Shops. For an interactive map of this upscale shopping district, follow the link below:

To get to the Magnificent Mile from the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, walk ½ mile to the CTA Rosemont Station and take the Blue Line subway to Washington Street. Walk 1 block east and catch the #146 bus. Or, continue walking east to Michigan Avenue, and then turn north.

For information about these and other shopping destinations in the Chicago area, check the Chicago Traveler website’s shopping guide at:

State Street
State Street is Chicago's main street, located in the very heart of the city. For 165 years, it's been a major retail hub of the Midwest. The 1922 hit song Chicago gave the street its famous nickname: "That Great Street,” where they do things they don't do on Broadway! There are a lot of great stores to visit including Old Navy, Filene’s Basement, TJ Maxx and Sears.

State Street is not only a shopping, dining and entertainment attraction, but also an historical walking tour. The historic anchors, Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott, are architectural gems as well as retail giants. Architecturally, the Marshall Field's store is without peer. The Tiffany ceiling is the largest glass mosaic of its kind and the first ceiling ever built in favrile iridescent glass. The Great Clock at the corner of State and Washington has been keeping time for over a century and has been celebrated by American artist Norman Rockwell. Field’s State Street store was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1979 for both its beauty and historical significance.

The Carson’s building is also a National Historic Landmark. Carson Pirie Scott was built in 1899. The building was designed by Louis Sullivan, and is known for the intricate metalwork which decorates the façade. Louis Sullivan is highly regarded by historians and architects as a pioneer in American commercial architecture. The Carson, Pirie, Scott Building is an exemplary model of his work, showcasing his philosophy of form following function.

Other points of interest include the Chicago Theater, the Reliance Building, the Harold Washington Public Library and more.

Dining in the greater State Street area has as much history as its architecture. The Walnut Room at Marshall Field's, a local favorite, was the first department store tea room. Trader Vic's in the Palmer House Hilton and the Billy Goat Tavern, known for its cheeseburgers (and the basis for a famous Saturday Night Live sketch), are also well-known destinations.

From Rosemont, take the CTA Blue Line to Washington. Then, walk 1 block east to State Street.

For additional details, see:

The Suburbs

The shopping center nearest to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare is Woodfield Mall. Located in northwest suburban Schaumburg, it has one of the finest collections of department stores and specialty shops in the Midwest. Here you'll find Nordstrom, Marshall Field's, Lord & Taylor, JCPenney, Sears and nearly 300 stores and restaurants.

With its distinctive collection of shopping, dining and entertainment, it has been voted the favorite suburban attraction of Chicago's visitors.

Dining options are numerous. There are a great many fast food restaurants and specialty food establishments, as well as a number of full service restaurants, such as RainForest Cafe, Vie de France, Cheesecake Factory and Todai Seafood Buffet.

In addition to the many stores in the mall, the surrounding area includes the huge, unique IKEA home furnishings store, a Borders Books and Music, Carson Pirie Scott and Costco. For the convenience of shoppers, a free trolley is available to take you between 7 stops in the shopping district. For additional information, call the Trolley Hotline at 847-923-3880. The suburban Pace bus route #606 runs from the Rosemont CTA terminal to Woodfield Mall.

For further information, see:

Gurnee Mills
Gurnee Mills is the Midwest's largest value-retail and entertainment mall with over 200 manufacturer and retail outlet stores including Abercrombie & Fitch, Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, OFF 5th Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet, Fossil, Gap Outlet, JCPenney Outlet, Levi's Outlet by Designs, Nautica Outlet Store, Polo Jeans Outlet, Kohls and VF Factory Outlet.

Two food courts offer shoppers nearly 30 eateries. Full service restaurants include Rainforest Cafe, Ruby Tuesday and the Corner Bakery. Family fun and entertainment venues include Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, which includes a 30,000 gallon fresh water aquarium, fishing demonstrations and a full line of Tracker boats on display inside the store. Other entertainment includes Serpent Safari's indoor reptile exhibit, Rink Side Sports Family Entertainment Center and a 20 screen movie complex.

Gurnee Mills is 33 miles from the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Take I-90 to I-294/I-94 towards Milwaukee. Exit at Grand Avenue and go west. You'll find Six Flags Great America right across the street.

For additional details, see the Gurnee Mills website:

Long Grove
For those who prefer to shop on a smaller scale, Long Grove is a refreshing possibility. This village was first settled in the early 1800's by German farmers. Now their business district is home to over 80 shops and restaurants that cater to the needs of the modern shopper. However, the early charm is still here. Some of the shops include the Irish Boutique, the Little Viking, the Apple Haus, the Long Grove Confectionery, and the Pine Cone Christmas Shop. There are a number of restaurants to choose from, including the Seasons of Long Grove and the Village Tavern. Long Grove’s shopping district is located at the intersection of Old McHenry Road and Robert Parker Coffin Road. Shopping hours are generally Monday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

To get there from Rosemont, take I-90 to I-294/I-94 towards Milwaukee. Exit at Route 22 (Half Day Road) and go west to Route 83. Turn south on Route 83 and west on Robert Parker Coffin Road.

For further information, see:

Hawthorn Shopping Center
Hawthorn Shopping Center is located north of Chicago in Vernon Hills, at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) and Town Line Road (Route 60.) This indoor mall features anchors Marshall Field’s, Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, and Sears, plus 140 specialty stores featuring apparel, gifts, electronics, home furnishings, jewelry, toys and much more. Dining options include a food court and full service restaurants - John's Garage and Ruby Tuesday. Other stores and restaurants are also located nearby on Routes 60 and 21.

Just north of the shopping mall, you'll find the Cuneo Museum and Gardens, which features a 1914 mansion with 75-acres of lakes, fountains, formal gardens, a conservatory of exotic plants and a 9-hole golf course.

Hawthorn Shopping Center is located 25 miles from the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Take I-90 to I-294/I-94 towards Milwaukee. Exit at Townline Road (Route 60) and go west to Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21.)

For details about Hawthorn Shopping Center, see the website:

Now, go out and shop ‘til you drop!


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