Florida - The United States has so many great towns in every state, but some are just a little more inclined to the antiques trade than others. Below, you'll find what some of the writer's here at the Institute think are a few of the best "antique towns" in the country (listed in no particular order).
Located in the bucolic setting of Verde Valley, this community has a great selection of second-hand stores, vintage and colorful antique shops. Larry's Antiques & Things is one of the most popular with over 2 acres of knicks & knacks to be had.
While this charming Northern California town is probably known more for it's wine tastings, it should also be recognized as a great stop over for a little antique hunting. Mill Street Antiques is favorite as is the Jimtown Store which mixes wine and antiques together!
Alabama: Pell City
There are a lot of small towns in Alabama that boast some great antique stores, but Pell City with a population of approximately ten-thousand should probably be your first stop. Noted for having not one, but three giant showrooms of antiques and collectibles from one owner. This little town has become somewhat of an antiques mecca for decorative arts enthusiasts. David Tims owner and operator of the massive showrooms is usually on hand to make a deal every day - some come prepared!
Located in the southwest corner of Connecticut, and often referred to as the Antiques Capital of Connecticut, the town of Woodbury started its antique and collectible odyssey more than 50 years ago when well-known dealers began establishing their businesses in historic homes in and around the town's Main Street. Over the years, it has made Woodbury a favorite rural antiquing destination for collectors, decorators and dealers alike (including such design icons as Martha Stewart.)
Often overlooked on many antiquing-maps, this is a fan favorite for locals. The little seaside town offers buyers a chance to shop in two states with a ferry that runs to Cape May, New Jersey. Mercantile Antiques is definitely worth a look with a cooperative of almost forty dealers providing a wide range of antiques and collectibles.
We'd be somewhat remiss if we didn't mention a favorite in our home state. Often referred to as Antique Central in Florida, this old town is a mixture of palm trees, scrub-oaks and antique stores that line the old boulevards. Smiley's Huge Antique Mall was certainly one of the best known before burning recently, but has just reopened under new ownership and name (Antique City Mall), and is reportedly doing well.
While we're in the South, another favorite of ours in the beautiful town of Thomasville, Georgia. This lovely town is filled with not only great antique stores, but a good deal of historical sights as well. Dealers from across the country come here to source some of the best antiques in the South. A visit is incomplete until you've been to Toscoga Marketplace - a multilevel antique mall.
Not just famous for potatoes, Pocatello's downtown and surrounding area is home to more than a dozen decorative arts stores. Antiques are a favorite, but you'll also find vintage and thrift stores to accompany as well. Black Rail antiques and Old Town Mercantile offer a wide selection of goods at reasonable prices.
These are just a few of our favorite "antique" towns. There are of course, many, many, more which we'll be visiting later this year, so stay tuned...
- A.I.A. Staff Writers
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