Shopping for new stuff is always nice, but things tend to get particularly interesting when poking around for history-rich items in antique stores. Plus, there's the whole "thrill of the chase," buzz you get from walking into a place not quite sure what's going to come home with you. If you're the type who can spend hours treasure hunting for vintage goods, there's zero doubt you'll feel right at home in any of these best cities for antiquing.
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Palm Springs, California
You know Palm Springs is the perfect place to venture if you want to sip chilled cocktails by the pool, but this California paradise is also a destination ripe with antiquing and thrifting. The city's a real sweet spot for mid-century modern finds, and there are also stores featuring vintage Native American goods—like turquoise jewelry and silver pieces—along with traditional flea markets and thrift stores. The Uptown Design District—located along North Palm Canyon Drive—is an antiquing hotspot, and the Palm Springs Vintage Market is always a good time.
Round Top, Texas
Everything's bigger in Texas—antique scene included. Located just outside of proud-to-be-weird Austin, you'll find a little town called Round Top. It hosts the Round Top Antique Festival twice per year, a major event that began in 1968 and has been running annually ever since. The event takes the town's population of 90 to a few hundred thousand as people flock to the area to get their antiquing on. It's best to visit during the festival, but you can swing on through for antique shopping anytime of the year.
Charleston, South Carolina
With its candy-hued buildings, cobblestone streets, and incredible seafood, a visit to Charleston, South Carolina just makes sense. Add the fact that it's a hub for antiquing and you'll find yourself in a shopper's paradise. The southern city hosts the very well-known Charleston Antique Show, and downtown Charleston is considered home to some of the most iconic antique shops in the entire country offering a range of high-end splurges to affordable buys.
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While Nashville is the place to go if you want to get riled up in a honky tonk, it's Hazel that earns the title of "Antiquing Capital of Kentucky." The small town is home to about a dozen antique shops lined up and down Main Street, which means you can pop into one shop after another without having to get back in the car. For example, Blue Moon Antiques specializes in rare, large-scale furnishings and The Felix Antique Shoppe sells everything from collectible dolls to glassware with a past.
Palm Beach, Florida
Florida's Palm Beaches promise lounge-y days with your toes in the sand and restaurants to write home about. It's also a premiere destination for antique lovers who want to get their hands on some historic conversation pieces. Thanks to a high concentration of antique stores and consignment boutiques, Palm Beach is considered Florida's "Antique Row." It's also home to monthly antique shows hosted at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
How does a whopping 5000+ antique dealers in one city sound to you? If you're already salivating at the thought, you might as well book your trip to Adamstown, Pennsylvania right now. Go ahead, we'll wait. Located in Lancaster County, this town is a must-visit for antique treasure hunters who can easily spend an entire weekend—or even week—perusing the countless markets and shops. The stores are mostly concentrated around Route 272 and each shop has its own hours.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Another East Coast city for antiquing is Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The city's "Antique Alley"—located along old highway Route 4—is considered New England's oldest antiques shopping district. It really blossomed in the 1970s, and today is home to numerous stores featuring everything from vintage record albums to retro clothing to folk art, sports memorabilia, and household collectibles. This destination is also unique in that it hosts an annual vintage Christmas market.
Sonoma County, California
Sonoma county is known for being one of the world's best places to sip on wine, but did you know it's also a destination for avid antiquers? This antique hotspot is home to The Antique Society, founded in 1989, which boasts over 100 dealers in a 20,000 square foot, single-story marketplace. The county's tourism office has even put together a two-day antiquing itinerary to help maximize your time spent sifting for treasures.
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It may be named after the walnut tree, but this small Iowa town is arguably more well-known for its bustling antique scene. It hosts an annual Walnut Antique Show, held annually over Father's Day Weekend each year for the past 40 years. The event draws over 300 vendors from across the country, who set up booths for happy antiquers to shop their hearts out. If you're not in town during that June weekend, fret not. There's still plenty of shopping to be had in the city's many antique stores and specialty shops.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Come for the cajun creole and schmoozy jazz, stay for the abundance of antique shops. The Big Easy has made antiquing a bonafide sport fit for any self-proclaimed treasure hunting aficionado. Not only does the city itself ooze history, but its countless shops are filled with everything from 18th century European furniture to rare vintage cookbooks offering insider tips on local cuisine. There are thousands of square feet to shop, so wear good shoes and carve out a big chunk of your day because we promise that time will escape you.