Has it been awhile since you haggled? Is your living room missing that perfect vintage piece? Are you just looking for something to do this weekend?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, a day searching for antiques, vintage items and collectibles might be what you need.
These 10 locations are great places to embark on your modern-day treasure hunt, though it’s important to check ahead before hitting the road. Many antique stores in each area have hours that vary, with some locations open by season, chance or appointment.
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10 Best Places to Find Antique Stores in the Northeast
There’s a reason they call this part of Pennsylvania Dutch Country “Antiques Capital, USA.” Route 272, which runs through Adamstown, is at the heart of an antiques scene featuring shops, malls and markets. Some of the best times to visit are the four-day stretches in spring, summer and fall called “Antique Extravaganza Weekends,” which feature more dealers and longer hours. See www.antiquescapital.com.
Antique Alley, N.H.
Head for Route 4 and you’ll find a 20-mile stretch with numerous shops that house hundreds of dealers, according to the Route 4 Antique Alley Association. The alley runs from the traffic circle in Lee through Northwood and Epsom into Chichester. Pick up the trail about 10 minutes off Interstate 93 in Concord or 20 minutes off Interstate 95 in Portsmouth. Go to www.nhantiquealley.com.
Armory Antique Marketplace, Newport, R.I.
It’s easy to spend a day in Newport, especially when the weather’s warm. After you’ve seen the mansions (antiques in their own rights), visit this hard-to-miss antiques and collectibles mall on Thames Street. The fortress-like site houses dozens of dealers within the sturdy walls of the Newport Armory. The facility served as a military armory for more than 80 years beginning in the late 19th century and is also home to the City of Newport Maritime Center. Visit www.armoryantiquesnewport.com.
The Berkshires, Mass.
Pick up Route 7 in Western Massachusetts for a leisurely ride through the scenic Berkshires and more than a few antique shops. Southwestern communities such as Sheffield and Great Barrington are home to a variety of finds including Swedish antiques, country items and wicker furniture. In 2011, the Massachusetts House of Representatives adopted a resolution recognizing Berkshire County as the “Antiques Capital of the Commonwealth.” See www.bcaada.com for more.
Brimfield Antique Show, Brimfield, Mass.
Those planning to visit should be happy it lasts six days because there is so much to see. The show, which generally runs in May, July and September, is centered on a mile stretch of Route 20 on about two dozen individual fields. Some of these areas may charge admission, not every field is open every day, and it’s a good idea to bring cash. The show made National Geographic’s “The 10 Best of Everything: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers” as one of the world’s top antique and flea markets. Go to www.brimfieldshow.com.
Charles Street, Boston
If you’re wondering where to go antiquing in Boston, Beacon Hill is a good place to start. The shops on Charles Street, between Cambridge and Beacon streets, are some of Boston’s best, especially for those hunting antique china or furniture. Shoppers looking for something different can visit Cambridge Antique Market with 150 dealer spaces spread over five floors. It’s just across the Charles River in Cambridge.
This small New England town may be known best for its shipbuilding heritage, but its antiques reputation isn’t far behind. Main Street is home to a walkable concentration of antique shops ranging from a little-bit-of-everything to specialty locations. Some have even taken to calling Essex “America’s Antiques Capital.” If you’re hungry, visit Woodman’s of Essex, the reported birthplace of fried clams. Go to www.visitessexma.com.
About two hours north of Manhattan, Hudson’s Warren Street is lined with antique stores. Take a stroll and you’ll find furniture, decorative objects and vintage clothing, just to name some of what’s in the mix. The area is also home to a number of art galleries and a variety of dining options. Visit www.hudsonantiques.net.
Rhode Island Antiques Mall, Pawtucket, R.I.
Chances are pretty good you’ll spot this antiques center while driving along Interstate 95 near the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border, just outside Providence. The two-story, 20,000-square-foot shop has room for roughly 200 dealers. Look for collectibles, furnishings and other items on the first floor, then tour the lower level for a more eclectic mix of selections. Go to www.riantiquesmall.com.
Mirrors, folk art, decorative accessories and collectibles are some of the treasures to be discovered in the antiques capital of Connecticut. Traveling along Route 6 (Main Street) is a great way to see what the area has to offer, with the majority of shops situated along a 3-mile stretch, including some in historic homes. Go to www.antiqueswoodbury.com.
Did we miss a destination that is one of your favorites? Tell us in the comments.