Skyline and Lake Michigan Views on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
Two of Chicago's most celebrated treasures are Lake Michigan and the city skyline. Both are put on display in the guest rooms at the Avenue Crowne Plaza Magnificent Mile. To the east, the dark-blue waters of Lake Michigan stretch to the horizon, and to the north and west, iconic skyscrapers gleam in the sun. "Because the guest rooms start on the 14th floor,” notes the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, “every room has a view." Whether it's a glimpse of lake or skyline depends on availability, but neither disappoints. In addition to the vistas, one-bedroom king suites pay tribute to the Windy City with framed photographs of the Chicago River and the corncob-shaped Marina City towers. Contemporary décor includes a tawny, leather sleeper sofa and a striped zebra chair.
In the morning, a breakfast spread (available for an additional fee) is set up in the hotel's 40th-floor Sky Lounge, where walls of slanted windows on three sides show off the city just as it’s waking up and first combing its giant, Mike Ditka-esque mustache. The second option with this Getaway includes two entrees at the onsite Elephant & Castle restaurant, which serves classic pub fare such as fish 'n' chips and shepherd's pie alongside 26 ales on tap.
Chicago's Magnificent Mile: Upscale Boutiques and Historical Architecture
On Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, landmark skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center and the Wrigley Building tower over the city's liveliest retail corridor. In total, the stretch of high-end real estate houses some 460 stores, ranging from exclusive designers such as Armani and Chanel to beloved brands including Apple, American Girl, and Gap. Double-decker buses and horse-drawn carriages circle the Chicago Water Tower, a limestone icon that survived the Great Chicago Fire, and droves of shoppers navigate eight levels of boutiques and cafés at the nearby Water Tower Place.
Lake Shore Drive runs two blocks east of Michigan Avenue. Travel + Leisure called this stretch “the greatest architecture road on earth” thanks to the superstar skyscrapers lined up along the lakefront. Looming above them all, of course, is the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower)—the tallest building in North America. Runners, cyclists, and runaway lawn mowers travel the adjoining Lakefront Trail throughout the year.