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12 Hours in a Shopping Hot Spot

Explore the best stores and boutiques in Chicago Northwest

Some might not think of being on their feet for a full day as relaxing; others know that diving into retail can be a stress reliever. That’s me. Some of my favorite getaways involve discovering boutiques and stores I don’t get to explore at home.

Woodfield Trolley - Chicago NorthwestImagine my delight when I found myself just outside Chicago, for a meeting, with a full day to spend shopping. I started out on the Woodfield Shopping Trolley with unlimited energy and a budget that had been saved for this very experience.

IKEA Schaumburg - Chicago NorthwestIKEA
It’s easy to get to every hot spot in one day with the trolley, which gives free door-to-door service from one place to the next. At the third stop on the route, we landed at one of my favorite stores: IKEA. I browsed the warehouse, looking at everything from throw pillows to cupboard organizers. While I knew I couldn’t take the silver desk I coveted home with me, I was able to have it shipped (score!) and I picked up a few small art prints for my office at a killer deal.

Woodfield Village Green Photo courtesy of DDR Corp - Chicago NorthwestWoodfield Village Green
I brought my purchases with me on the trolley and headed toward the next stop: Woodfield Village Green for some bargain hunting. As soon as I jumped off, I was on my way to Bloomingdale’s Outlet and Nordstrom Rack, looking like a kid in a candy store. Kate Spade sunglasses my chocolate; an Alex and Ani bracelet my gummy bears. I wore them out on my way to Old Navy, where I bought a cute scarf for my niece, and to ULTA for the hair spray that I had left at home. Browsing at Marshalls and Homegoods was a great way to wrap up my visit without breaking the bank.

Woodfield Mall - Chicago NorthwestWoodfield Mall
Next the trolley headed to the Woodfield Mall, a shopping hub to say the least. I ate lunch (and dessert, of course) at the Cheesecake Factory before grabbing a cute sweater at Macy’s and the boots I’d been eyeing online at Steve Madden. The LEGO® store provided gifts for my nephew, the MAC store offered me a new, bright red lipstick and I couldn’t resist the tulle skirt I found at H&M, perfect for any party.

The Streets of Woodfield
Just when I wasn’t sure I had the energy for more, the Streets of Woodfield called my name.  I started with a quick stop at Dick’s Sporting Goods for a patterned workout tank that would complement some yoga pants I own. After that I grabbed a latte from Starbucks to keep me going, and browsed Crate & Barrel for nearly an hour, finally finding the perfect placemats for my newly remodeled kitchen.

Downtown Arlington HeightsDowntown Arlington Heights
There’s even more shopping to do in the Chicago Northwest area, and I decided I needed about five more days just to explore all that the Arlington Heights area had to offer. Though it’s not a stop on the trolley, it’s easily accessible and a boutique lover’s dream. I bought my sister a bottle of wine at Tuscan Market & Wine Shop, and even took an extra for myself. Next, I satisfied my appetite with a relaxing meal at Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Bar & Restaurant. After dinner, I wandered past the Metropolis Performing Arts Center and made mental notes to bring my boyfriend back to see a show there soon. It takes something good to distract me from my shopping goals, but downtown Arlington Heights managed to entrance me.

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel - Chicago NorthwestWinding down
After a full day of great bargains and all my favorite stores, I decided to head back to the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, where my meetings would start the next day. I knew this city was an amazing place to visit, and I discovered that it’s also an amazing place to shop.

Discover even more fantastic shopping in Chicago Northwest.

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