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We have always enjoyed the Michigan Ave. shopping on our trips to Chicago. My wife has heard if you want to take in the REAL Chicago shopping experience however you want to get off the beaten path and take in some of the smaller shops. I am not sure where they are talking about here. Anyone have ideas on this topic?

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1. Re: Shopping....

Show your wife this site and see if this is what she is looking for! This is probably what she has heard of!


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2. Re: Shopping....

Yes, Oak Street is great boutique shopping. Also, there is a Shabby Chic on Superior. I like the area around North Avenue and Clybourn--great shopping along there and to the north of that area.

Rensselaer, Indiana
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3. Re: Shopping....

Gopher40, there are several areas I think your wife would be interested in to see the "real" Chicago.

In Lincoln Park, Armitage has a number of lovely shops of differing types.

If you go west on North Avenue to North/Clybourn/Halsted ("Clybourn Corridor" area), there are many "big box" stores, as well as Crate & Barrel, CB2 (Crate & Barrel's spin-off), Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc. This area really doesn't have much "flavor" as it's been gentrified within the last few years, but I mentioned it because of the shopping. HOWEVER, if you go north on Halsted from that intersection, the Steppenwolf Theatre and the Royal George Theatre are only a couple of blocks away. So you can take in shopping and a show.

Many of the galleries in the River North area have moved northwesterly into the Wicker Park/Bucktown areas, and there are quite a few more other types of shops in those areas. This is not Oak Street but it's good shopping.

For a funkier area, go up around Clark/Belmont, and heading north on Halsted up into the "Boystown" area, there are many more unusual shops, resales, record places, etc. Try Gaymart for kitchsy stuff.

If you go north on Broadway from Belmont ("Lakeview" area), there are a number of home decor stores, bookstores, record shops. Go south on Broadway to Diversey ("Lincoln Park") and there are quite a few other shops of varying types. Stop in at Intelligentsia for their coffee -- check out their website for more information.

Of course, if you go north to Wrigleyville (Wrigley Field is at Addison and Clark), you'll find mostly shops with team jerseys, hats, etc. plus sports bars.

Go west from there (on Addison, 5 blocks) over to the hot North Southport area and there are a few shops of various types, Julius Meidl (coffee house, has live classical and jazz some evenings), lovely restaurants (try Tango Sur) and the Music Box Theatre (1920's mini-movie palace which shows classics, art films, silents, foreign films--and which is a wonderful way to spend an evening).

Lincoln Square has one of the most diverse nationality conjunctions, and has many shops.

The Hyde Park area (where the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry are located) has many book stores, etc. However, be careful to stay in that immediate area by the museum and campus.

If you do a search on the web for shopping in these areas, I'm sure you'll find a pretty good listing of the shops there.

Each of these areas has it's own attitude and "flavor", so it just depends in what your wife is interested. Hope youand your wife find whatever you are looking for and have fun while doing so!

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