Souvenir Shopping Part 1 (Self Guided), Chicago

It would be a pity to leave Chicago without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Chicago, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 1
Guide Location: USA » Chicago (See other walking tours in Chicago)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Author: Daniel
Lego Store

1) Lego Store

What to buy here: Lego Willis Tower.

Chicago’s Willis Tower (formally Sears Tower) was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1973 and is still the tallest building in the US. Brave travelers can venture out onto its 103rd-story glass balconies on the recently renovated Skydeck to get a bird’s eye view of 1,353 feet below. Bring a slightly smaller version of the landmark skyscraper to your living room with a Lego kit. The kit includes detailed instructions to create a 9-by-3.1-inch model. Pick up the $25.99 kit at the Lego Store on level 2 of Water Tower Place at 835 N. Michigan Ave. and allow the kids to enjoy the interactive play area. Young girls will love the American Girl Place located on levels 1 and 2 of the nine-level shopping complex. Water Tower Place is just steps from the John Hancock Building, the fourth tallest building in Chicago and the sixth tallest in the US. Lego kits for the Hancock Building are available at the retail counter of the observatory.

Operation hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:00-21:00; Sunday: 11:00-18:00.
Tiffany and Co

2) Tiffany and Co

What to buy here: Tiffany Elsa Peretti Bean Pendant.

Though it’s official name is “Cloud Gate,” the 33-by-66-by-42-feet stainless steel Millennium Park centerpiece is affectionately known by locals and tourists alike as “the bean.” The design by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor was selected in a competition and unveiled in the park on May 15, 2006. Since then the bean’s unique reflective properties have made it a photography hotspot in the city. Carry the likeness of Cloud Gate around your neck with an Elsa Peretti Bean pendant from Tiffany & Co. The 9-millimeter-wide sterling silver bean rests centered on a 16-inch chain. For $100 you can take home a coveted Tiffany blue box as well as a memory of Chicago. Chicago’s Tiffany & Co store is located a mile north of Millennium Park at 730 N. Michigan Ave. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Saks Fith Ave

3) Saks Fith Ave

What to buy here: Chicago Skyline Snow Globe.

In February 2011, 20.2 inches of snow fell on Chicago, making it the Windy City’s third worst snowstorm after blizzards in 1967 and 1999. The average Chicago winter generates 38 inches of snow (Fall through Spring), but you can make it snow year-round on the city’s skyscrapers with a snow globe. Saks Fifth Avenue’s exclusive musical snow globe features all the landmark buildings, including the Willis Tower, Chicago Theater, Tribune Tower, Marina City and the Water Tower. The 6-inch-tall globe plays “My Kind Of Town” and sells for $40. Saks Fifth Avenue is located on the bustling Magnificent Mile shopping street at 700 N. Michigan Ave. Their hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Travel a block north to see the Water Tower, the only public building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, now a city landmark and official visitor center. Walk 25 minutes east to reach Navy Pier, the midwest’s No. 1 tourist destination. At the intersection of East Grand and Lake Shore Drive, you’ll find dozens of restaurants as well as shops where you can pick up another snow globe or other Chicago souvenirs. Navy Pier is also home to an Imax theater, the Chicago Children’s Museum and docks for cruise boat rides.
Garrett Popcorn

4) Garrett Popcorn

What to buy here: Garrett Popcorn.

There are two indications you’re near a Garrett Popcorn Shop – the smell of cheese and caramel goodness wafting in the air, and the long line snaked around the block. Garrett Popcorn Shops have been popping kernels in old-fashioned copper kettles since they first opened at 10 W. Madison St. in 1949. Indulge in the Chicago Mix, a blend of caramel and cheese corn – the mix of sweet and salty is not as crazy as it sounds. Fill a souvenir Chicago skyline tin with your favorite flavor, from buttery to Pecan CaramelCrisp. Prices start at $26 for a 1-gallon tin, and go up to $197 for a 6.5-gallon tin of three deluxe flavors. For a less pricey option, a small bag starts at $3. Garrett is no longer at 10 W. Madison St., but you can find them at 625 N. Michigan Ave., open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They also have multiple locations across the city, including in O’Hare Airport.
Vosges Haut-Chocolat Downtown Boutique

5) Vosges Haut-Chocolat Downtown Boutique

What to buy here: Bacon + Chocolate Gift Box.

It’s no secret Chicagoans love pork – their annual Baconfest proves it. And while bacon is delicious on a hamburger or alongside your morning eggs, Chicago chocolatier Vosges has coupled it with another of life’s guilty pleasures – chocolate. Vosges’ Mo’s Bacon Bar mixes 45 percent deep milk chocolate with fine nibbles of hickory-smoked bacon. The bar retails for $7.50. For the ultimate sweet and salty gift box, try their Bacon + Chocolate Gift Box, which contains bacon toffee, milk and dark chocolate bacon candy bars, two flying chocolate pigs and Mo's Bacon + Chocolate pancake mix for $69. Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Merchandise Mart

6) Merchandise Mart (must see)

Merchandise Mart opened in 1930. This outstanding Art-Deco construction features hundreds of amazing stores and unique boutiques, a wide range of restaurants and a food court. The Mart is the world’s largest commercial building, largest wholesale design center and one of Chicago’s premier international business locations.

Select showrooms are open only to wholesalers, with others accessible to the general public. Unlike stores with traditional shelf and rack displays, entire usable rooms are created, providing consumers with an opportunity to compare form and function between applications and manufacturers. A portion of the stores offer items for purchase singly or as a collection, while others offer design services, preservation, renovation, or installation.

Why You Should Visit:
A remarkable building to see even if you have no reason to go in, but certainly a perfect place to have a look around at all the showrooms with stunning furniture and accessories.

The best view of this fine Art Deco structure is from the river.
Among interior highlights are the main floor designer galleries & the Egan showroom.
In addition, on the 1st+2nd floors there are restaurants, coffee shops, post office, banks, etc.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm; Sat: 10am-3pm

Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Creating your own self-guided walk in Chicago is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Architectural Walking Tour in The Loop District

Architectural Walking Tour in The Loop District

Chicago features an outstanding architectural legacy. This city has long been connected with some of architecture's most important names: Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and Holabird & Root. The Loop District offers an extensive number of Chicago's famous architectural "must-see" buildings such as Aqua Tower, Willis Tower, Chicago Theatre, or Rookery...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Chicago is the thirds largest city in the United States, it is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, and it offers numerous vibrant tourist attractions. It is a thriving center of international trade and commerce and a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty. It features world-famous museums and galleries, amazing architecture, lake front parks and a huge variety of restaurants and...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.1 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Chicago without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Chicago, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.9 km
The Magnificent Mile Area Walk

The Magnificent Mile Area Walk

The Magnificent Mile is located between the Chicago River and the Lake Shore Drive. It is considered one of the great avenues of the world, being Chicago's version of the Champs-Elysees. Take this walk to explore the Magnificent Mile boulevard and the surrounding area, that features a wide selection of amazing shops, world-known museums, restaurants and spectacular architecture.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Nightlife Tour

Nightlife Tour

Legendary Cocktail Lounges play an important part in Chicago's nightlife. Here you can feel the city pulsing with the beat of extraordinary performances of live jazz, blues, rock, folk and country. At Chicago's cocktail lounges you can meet the trendiest people and relax over the magnificent cocktails. Take this walking tour to discover the most famous cocktail lounges that Chicago has...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Art Galleries Tour

Art Galleries Tour

The art world in Chicago is considered vast. There is a large number of art galleries in this city and each gallery has its own unique setup and outstanding exhibitions on display. The beautiful galleries feature works in a wide range of fields, from up-and-coming artists to famous artists like Pablo Picasso. Take this walking tour to explore some of the most famous galleries in Chicago.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Chicago Souvenirs: 15 Distinct Local Products to Bring Home

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One of the most fascinating cities in the U.S., if not the whole world, Chicago has no shortage of things closely associated with it, often due to their direct origin (blues, gangstership, etc.), so one might literally be spoiled for choice as to what to choose as a "piece" of Chicago to...