A potent concentration of famous retailers around Michigan Avenue and neighborhoods bursting with one-of-a-kind stores combine to make Chicago a shopper's paradise. Michigan Avenue's legendary Magnificent Mile lures thousands of avid shoppers every week. How often can you find Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York within walking distance of one another? In recent years State Street has regained some of its former glory as well, with discount department stores sharing prime real estate with trendier clothing boutiques and the Block 37 retail development.
Neighborhood shopping areas, like fun-but-sophisticated Lincoln Park, eclectic Lakeview, and the hipster haven of Wicker Park/Bucktown, offer countless independent stores that cater to every desire, whether Prairie tyle furniture, cowboy boots, or outsider art. And there are countless smaller shopping enclaves within these neighborhoods that have concentrated clusters of antiques stores, home-furnishings shops, high-end boutiques, and other specialty stores. Those averse to paying retail won't have to venture far to unearth bargains on everything from fine jewelry to business attire. When it comes to shopping, this is one city that has it all.
Be forewarned that a steep 9.5% sales tax is added to all purchases in the city except groceries and prescription drugs. Neighborhood shops on the North Side, especially those in Wicker Park and Bucktown, tend to open late—around 11 or noon. Most stores, particularly those on North Michigan Avenue and the North Side, are open on Sunday, although this varies by type of business (galleries, for example, are often closed on Monday); where applicable, more information is provided at the beginning of each category.