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Things To Do In Chicago’s Streeterville Neighborhood

At its western edge lies the Magnificent Mile, home of unparalleled shopping and some of the oldest and tallest structures in Chicago. Its eastern border is magnificent Lake Michigan, traced by Lake Shore Drive except where the eclectic carnival that is Navy Pier juts into water.

For residents of Streeterville, knowing where to visit is mostly a matter of knowing where the postcard photographs were taken.

Here are some of the best-known Streeterville attractions:

Navy Pier: Tremendous skyline and lake views are just the beginning of the pier’s many attractions. Ride a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel just up the lakeshore from where the first such contraption thrilled visitors to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Board cruises and bus tours of Chicago’s iconic sites. Visit the immersive IMAX 3-D theater, Chicago Children’s Museum or Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Discover the many public art installations that dot the pier grounds. Or simply enjoy classic Chicago fare such as the barbecue at Harry Caray’s Tavern, the deep-dish pizza at Giordano’s or a “cheezborger” from Billy Goat.

MCA Chicago: The permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art includes fanciful creations from Jeff Koons, examples of Alexander Calder’s mobiles and iconic Andy Warhol works. Founded in 1967 and now occupying a magnificent structure at Chicago Avenue and Mies Van Der Rohe Way, MCA prides itself on championing “the provocative side of contemporary art and culture.”

The Magnificent Mile: From the DuSable Bridge across the Chicago River to Lake Shore Drive’s brief westward jog at The Drake hotel, Michigan Avenue’s Mag Mile is a promenade to past history and commerce. Landmarks include Chicago Water Tower (the only public building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871) and neighboring classics — Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. John Hancock Center, now officially 875 North Michigan Avenue, towers 100 stories over the district, which features shopping and rents rivaled only by Fifth Avenue in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Indoor Diversions

Strolling the Mag Mile or Navy Pier aren’t the only things to do in Streeterville. For those looking to enjoy the great indoors, here are a few options:

  • Afternoon Tea at The Drake is a more-than-century-old tradition enjoyed by the posh and popular from Queen Elizabeth to Frank Sinatra to Princess Diana.
  • Tilt at 360 Chicago, on the 94th floor of the Hancock, allows visitors downward-facing views of the Mag Mile from more than 1,000 feet above street level. As a whole, the observation deck offers unparalleled views of the city and lakefront.
  • Bowling is the just the start of the fun at Lucky Strike Chicago, which also features pingpong, billiard tables, arcade games and food and drink — tucked two blocks from Navy Pier, one block from the Mag Mile, and adjacent to the AMC River East 21 theater complex.

Don’t Forget

The Signature Room and The Signature Lounge occupy the 95th and 96th floors, respectively, of the Hancock. Ohio Street Beach is a small bit of paradise near the base of Navy Pier, while just to the north Oak Street Beach bustles with activity. The Shops at North Bridge, Water Tower Place and 900 North Michigan Shops are vertical malls dotting the Mag Mile.