America’s best destinations for antiquing


Written by:

Exploring America’s antique scene can lead you to undiscovered small towns or bustling urban centers.

While it’s true that the largest selection of antiques can often be found in urban centers, it’s important to note that quantity isn’t the only factor at play.

The history and culture of a location can greatly influence the quality of its antique stores.

If you’re on the hunt for something both vintage and one-of-a-kind, check out the best 10 cities in the U.S. for antiquing. We’ve ranked them from towns with the least antiques those with the most, so you won’t want to miss the end of our list.

Walnut, Iowa

Walnut, Iowa

This is far from the largest city on our list, but Walnut, Iowa, still boasts more than 17 antique shops. Stop by any time you like, as these shops are open all year long. However, if you can visit in fall, you might catch the Antique Fall Festival, which brings in dealers from all over.

nina zaslove/FLickr

Sonoma, California

Sonoma is much more than just wine country. Here, you can find the French Flea Market at Chateau Sonoma, which hosts more than 20 French antique dealers. If you’re interested in French fashion and antiques, this is absolutely the best place to go antiquing in the U.S. The French Flea Market takes place in May, so plan accordingly.

nta Kilim antique shop on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Terence Faircloth/Flickr

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe Antiques hosts 35 individual dealers. This sprawling mall is an antiquer’s heaven, with vintage collectibles and oddities from all over the world. The mall says that new merchandise arrives daily, and includes everything from Native American pottery to mid-century Americana. You can visit Santa Fe Antiques all year long thanks to its constant influx of new antiques.

Thrift store furniture
Danchenko / iStock

Austin, Texas

Austin has more than 40 thrift, consignment, antique and vintage stores, which makes it well worth a visit if you’re looking for rare and special finds. The Austin Antique Mall alone boasts more than 100 vendors who all bring something a little different for discerning hunters. Austin can get brutally hot in the summer months, so this might be a good trip to plan for winter, when other locations might be too cold and snowy for antiquing.

New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has a rich history, so it comes as little surprise that they also offer some fantastic antiquing. The city’s website lists 52 antique stores throughout the city. Wander the French Quarter or traverse the Lower Garden District to Uptown. No matter where you turn, you’ll find unique and historic discoveries. With so many stores, there’s no set time of year that’s best for a visit.

Flea market

West Palm Beach, Florida

Much like New Orleans, West Palm Beach offers more than 50 shops for hunting down antiques. Antique Row has received rave reviews from visitors. You can find 17th to 20th century antiques, furnishings, art and more. And the weather in West Palm Beach is some of the best in the country which makes it a great winter escape spot.

Brooklyn flea market

New York City, New York

It’s not precisely clear how many antiquing stores you’ll find in New York, with markets and fairs constantly coming and going. If you arrive in winter you can catch the Winter Antiques Show. The Park Avenue Armory hosts antiquing shows all year. You can also find some upscale antiquing that includes high-end furnishings, jewelry and even haute couture. Or check out the classic flea markets and fairs in places like New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. A lot of neighborhoods throughout the city had their own weekend flea markets that offer great antiquing opportunities, but the landscape here is constantly shifting, so you’ll need to be on your toes.

Brimfield, Massachusetts
Lee Wright/FLickr

Brimfield, Massachusetts

You can travel through Boston and find tons of antique stores. But if you go just a little further afield, you’ll discover Brimfield, Massachusetts, which hosts America’s oldest outdoor antiques flea market every summer. The event is well worth checking out. It has been running for more than 50 years and attracts so many antiques dealers that they need to take over several fields to put them all on display. The exact number of dealers will change from show to show, but be assured – it’s a lot.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Photo Italia LLC/iStock

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Hop over to Portsmouth and you’ll find the famous Antique Alley, which contains more than 500 antiques stores. That’s more than you can possibly see in a day, so plan your trip to Portsmouth accordingly. Whatever time of year you go, you’ll find furniture, books, albums, clothing, art, sports memorabilia, architectural salvage and so much more. Antiques Alley is historic in and of itself, starting in 1976 when an ice cream shop became Parkers Antiques, the first group antiques show in the state.

Adamstown Pennsylvania

Adamstown, Pennsylvania

Welcome to the antiques capital of the U.S. Adamstown has a truly astonishing number of antiques dealers – more than 5,000!  The Antiques Capital has dozens of markets and dealers. Do your research before arriving. Some only do business on certain days, while others are open year ‘round. If there’s something you’re specifically interested in, ensure you arrive while that shop is open. You can find cultural memorabilia, leather-bound tomes and art from a bygone era. If you only make one stop on this list, make sure it’s the antiques capital of the country.