Spend any amount of time wandering around the North Michigan Avenue shopping district and you're bound to see them: vintage carriages being pulled by noble steeds ambling along next to the bustling traffic. These are the Noble Horse Carriages, part of what makes this area of the city unique.
While many utilize the carriages for special occasions such as weddings or proms, it's also a nice break to be able to relax and enjoy the sights and give those feet a rest. Split amongst a party of four, the $35 for a half-hour ride is quite reasonable. General boarding takes place at Michigan and Chicago Avenues, next to the historic Water Tower and across from the John Hancock Center. They usually have plenty of carriages in operation, especially during warmer months.
Additional Attractions in the Area
Chicago Sports Museum. It is comprised of 8,000 square feet and offers an interactive, high-tech experience, unique sports memorabilia (think Sammy Sosa’s corked bat), and an impressive collection of local sports artifacts. The Hall of Legends gallery highlights an array of “play with the legends” baseball, basketball, football and hockey interactive games, such as "defending the goal" with Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.
Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. The museum opened in 1967 and quickly became one of the more well-known contemporary art museums in the country. It became notable when artist Christo wrapped the MCA building with 8,000 square feet of tarpaulin in 1969, his first of many such wraps in the United States. Since then, it's hosted a number of ground-breaking permanent and traveling exhibitions.
Oak Street Beach. Whether it's rollerblading, volleyball, relaxing and soaking in some rays or wanting to check out tiny swimwear, Oak Street Beach is steps away from the Magnificent Mile and a people-watching extravaganza right in the middle of a bustling Chicago. As one of the city's most accessible beaches, it's in walking distance to the likes of Drake Hotel Chicago, Intercontinental Chicago Hotel, Park Hyatt Chicago and Ritz-Carlton Chicago.
Richard H. Driehaus Museum. This historic building in the Gold Coast was once known as one of Chicago's wealthiest homes during the 19th century. It was then known as the Samuel M. Nickerson House, a mansion so grand in architecture and interior design that much of it has been preserved for visitors to enjoy today. The museum showcases a collection of preserved and restored furnishings from the Gilded Age, plus hosts a number of programs and traveling exhibitions.
Shops at North Bridge. The Near North shopping center located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile boasts 50 specialty shops, 20 restaurants, five hotels and Nordstrom. Many of the stores and restaurants are not located within the main structure; they encompass seven blocks in the immediate area.
Water Tower Place. Neighbor to John Hancock Center and at the base of the Ritz-Carlton, Water Tower Place is a multi-level indoor shopping mall featuring more than 100 stores. It's anchored by a seven-story Macy's, shopping options like Forever 21, American Girl Place and Abercrombie & Fitch, and Broadway in Chicago's Broadway Playhouse.