Sure, you can find antiques in large cities, in fact, you can find much more in them. But, not every antique enthusiast enjoys the energy of our country’s larger metropolises. Plenty of small towns boast excellent antique shops, markets, and so much more. So, we were thrilled when Country Living published their list of the best small towns that are antiquing paradises for those looking to discover rare finds at competitive prices.
Many folks really enjoy outfitting their homes with antique items that offer warmth and character. A new generation is turning to antiques as a way to reuse and reduce their carbon footprints. So much of the newly manufactured furniture out there is made with plastics and other materials that are not friendly to Mother Earth. Antiques have already been manufactured, all you need to do is show these pieces some love and they will continue performing for you for years to come. Antiquing is just so fun and rewarding! Here are the best small towns to hunt for antiques!
Situated in the picturesque Verde Valley, Old Town Cottonwood has an eclectic antique and secondhand scene. Country Living recommends Larry’s Antiques & Things as it has more than two acres of treasures to shop. It’s not the only great spot you will find in this Cowboy town.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
If you have heard of Eureka Springs, Arkansas chances are that it concerned the town’s spas. But, there is more to it than just a lovely soak. The town boasts a great antique scene with Country Living singling out Castle Antiques, located near the scenic Inspiration Point, as one of the very best spots to shop.
Georgetown, Colorado has one of the best nicknames ever: “Silver Queen of the Rockies.” Take a day trip here and you will not be disappointed. It might be a small town but it is mighty in its galleries, coffee shops, and of course antique stores. We urge you to take a look at the shops that are there to find the places you want to stop.
Woodbury is considered the antique capital of Connecticut. Usually, when a place gets that sort of distinction it is for larger cities. Woodbury, however, is of modest size. They have some of the most cleverly curated antique shops in the US there. Country Living notes that it is one of Martha Stewart‘s favorite places!
Spanish moss dripping from the branches of giant trees is commonplace in Micanopy, Florida. The town, located in the North-Central part of the state, has dubbed itself “The Antique Capital of the Sunshine State.” The beaches often get all the attention in Florida but there are magical pockets across the state.
Thomasville, Georgia is steeped in history. As you might imagine, that means that there are a number of antiques that help tell the town’s story. Country Living suggests visiting the Toscoga Marketplace which houses multiple stories of antiques for you to explore.
As scenic as it gets, Pocatello, Idaho has plenty to do indoors as well. The town has no less than a dozen antique stores and four vintage shops for you to explore. Country Living encourages you to visit Vain & Vintage the next time you are in town.
Galena is a swoon-worthy town that represents the best of what the Midwest has to offer. If you have the pleasure of staying in town, be sure to check out one of the many treasured B&Bs located in the area. You will likely want to spend more than just a day here as there are 16 antique stores nearby and the crowning jewel of them is The Galena Antiques Mall which houses over 55 dealers.
There are only about 900 residents in Walnut, Iowa. Knowing this, you might find it curious that there are no fewer than 16 antique stores in town. There are likely more pieces of milk glass in this town than there are people. Beginning in 1987, Country Living says the town was officially nicknamed “Antiques City.”
Lawrence is the sixth largest city in Kansas but, trust us, it still retains its small-town roots. The sweet downtown features a number of shops and galleries and places to grab a snack. Make sure you stop at Mass Street’s Antique Mall where Country Living says you can spend an entire day shopping for antiques.
The second Georgetown to make the list is found in Kentucky, in an area steeped in Bluegrass. The historic district found here really has a small-town feel to it. While you are there, you will want to check out Georgetown Antique Mall which has spread to not one but two buildings.
Ponchatoula is known for a couple of things in Louisiana. To start, it’s the “Strawberry Capital of the World.” We’ll take it, yum! Second, it is also known as “America’s Antique City.” The small yet beguiling town is home to CJ’s Antiques, a 15,000-square-foot shop packed with antiques and collectibles, Country Living explains.
We have news for you: there’s more to Maine than just lobster. That does not mean you should not get some lobster while you are in Wiscasset! We can think of no better pairing than lobster and antiques! Spend a day (or two) going through over 16,000 square feet of antiques at Wiscasset Village Antiques. You won’t be sorry!
Yet another one of the towns on our list nicknamed “America’s Antique Capital,” Essex has everything from high-end to modest antique offerings. For the fancy stuff, Country Living suggests visiting David Neligan Antiques. If you’re after more down-to-earth offerings, The White Elephant Shop is the place for you!
Boulder City, Nevada
Do you like offbeat, quirky little towns? Boulder City is a place you must visit! It is a town of about 15,000 located 26 miles from Las Vegas. At The Antique Depot and Sherman’s House of Antiques, you can find everything from old neon signs to an antique washing machine, suggests Country Living.
New Bern, North Carolina
The handsome Tryon Palace was originally the governor’s mansion and is a landmark in this small town. After stopping to see the mansion, you will need to check out the antiques shopping in the region, including New Bern Antiques, which Country Living says is the largest antique and collectibles mall in Eastern North Carolina.
Only 25 minutes from Portland is this antique-filled town, which was originally founded as a Utopian society, Country Living notes. Now, Aurora is a utopia of dozens of antique, vintage, and specialty shops.
Wickford, Rhode Island
Historic Wickford Village and nearby North Kingstown boast some of the best antiquing in Rhode Island. Furniture is popular here: Wickford Antique Estate Liquidators offers beautiful period pieces, Country Living says. For smaller items, check out Re Rhode Island, which focuses more on vintage and consignment pieces.
It doesn’t get more picturesque than Chester, Vermont which feels like an idyllic New England town. When you visit, you should definitely check out Stone House Antique Center which covers over 20,000 square feet! At Yankee Ingenuity Antiques, you will find stereotypical Vermont items alongside plenty of cast iron and vintage hardware.
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Nicknamed the “Antiques Capital of the Northwest,” Snohomish is home to over 175 antique dealers. Visit one of the antique malls that house many of these dealers’ goods for all things old and vintage. You are sure to walk away with something extra special!
What did you think of these small towns? Which ones do you want to visit? If you liked learning about quant antiquing towns, you might also have a wanderlust for the most handsome lighthouses in America. Keep reading to find even more places to add to your adventure to-do list!
Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, Ohio
The Toledo Harbor Light is located about five miles north of Maumee Bay State Park’s shores. The lighthouse marks the entrance to the Toledo Shipping Channel where Lake Erie and Maumee Bay meet. Boaters are generally destined for the Maumee River. In 1897, the Toledo shipping channel was dredged wider and deeper to allow increased shipping to the Port of Toledo located in the Maumee River, furthering the need for a new lighthouse. The Army Corps of Engineers designed the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse and construction began in 1901. If you happen to be in Toledo, don’t miss one of Ohio’s most magical lighthouses.
Eldred Rock Light, Alaska
One of the most remote lighthouses on this list, Eldred Rock Light is a historic octagonal lighthouse adjacent to Lynn Canal in Alaska. It is the last of the ten lighthouses constructed in Alaska between 1902 and 1906. It was also the last of 12 manned lighthouses that were started in Alaska. This is one of the lighthouses on the list that looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale.
North Head Lighthouse, Washington
On May 16, 1898, the North Head Lighthouse was put into service as the primary navigation aid at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse had served this function since October 15, 1856; however, ships continued to run aground at the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” Due to the sheer number of shipwrecks, it was determined a second lighthouse was needed on the northwestern spur of Cape Disappointment, commonly referred to as North Head.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina
Cape Hatteras Light is a lighthouse located on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks in the town of Buxton, North Carolina. It is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The lighthouse’s unique pattern makes it easy to recognize and one of the most famous lighthouses in the United States. The construction of a lighthouse at Cape Hatteras was first authorized in 1794 when Congress recognized the danger posed to Atlantic shipping. However, construction did not begin until 1799. The first lighthouse was lit in October of 1803. Made of sandstone, it was 90 feet tall with a lamp powered by whale oil.
Cockspur Island Lighthouse, Georgia
Situated on an islet off the southeastern tip of Cockspur Island marking the South Channel of the Savannah River, the Cockspur Lighthouse stands twelve miles east of the port of Savannah (an exceedingly fun and historic town to visit). The islet, often covered by high tide, is comprised of oyster shells, and marsh grass. Of all the lighthouses in Georgia, this one is the smallest.
Battery Point Lighthouse, California
Battery Point Light is a lighthouse in Crescent City, California, United States. It is registered as a California Historical Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as “Crescent City Lighthouse.” Its oil lamps were first lit on December 10, 1856. Lighthouse keepers still reside there. The Battery Point Lighthouse is open to the public for tours which include the opportunity to look into the personal quarters of keepers and their families and at the furniture and artifacts left behind since the 1850s. This is one of California’s lighthouses that you simply must see.
Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina
The current Bodie Island Lighthouse is the third that has stood in this vicinity of Bodie Island on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was built in 1872. It stands 156 feet tall and is located on the Roanoke Sound side of a portion of a peninsula that is the first part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The light was electrified in 1932, phasing out the need for on-site keepers. Finally, all of the light station’s property, except the tower, was transferred to the National Park Service in 1953. It is one of North Carolina’s finest lighthouses.
Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota
We’re back to another one of the midwestern lighthouses! Split Rock Light Station was completed in 1910, and for half a century it oversaw the safe passage of freighters carrying freshly mined ore from Minnesota’s Iron Range. After a November gale wrecked nearly 30 ships in 1905, the president of a steamship company led a delegation urging the United States Lighthouse Service to construct this rugged landmark. Visit this one in the summer for the best experience.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse, California
The original Point Loma Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located on the Point Loma peninsula at the mouth of San Diego Bay in San Diego, California. It is situated in the Cabrillo National Monument. It is no longer in operation as a lighthouse but is open to the public as a museum. It’s now part of the National Park Service. It’s one of the most handsome lighthouses in California!
Yaquina Bay Light, Oregon
The Yaquina Bay Light is a lighthouse that was built in 1871, soon after the founding of the city of Newport, Oregon, in the United States. It is located on the north side of Yaquina Bay. In 1871–1874, it was the busiest and most populated of the many coastal ports between Washington and California. It was decommissioned in 1874 but tourists still have lots of love for it. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
White Shoal Lighthouse, Michigan
One of the lighthouses in the Great Lakes, The White Shoal Light is a lighthouse located 20 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge in Lake Michigan. It is an active aid to navigation. It is also the tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It’s the tallest lighthouse on the great lakes. Visit its website for a live feed from the top of this beautiful baby.
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon
For more than a century Heceta Head Lighthouse has helped sea goers navigate the Pacific Ocean’s treacherous currents. The Cape owes its name to Don Bruno de Heceta, who in 1775 embarked on a secret voyage for the Queen of Spain to sail up the West Coast. Due to the onslaught of scurvy, Heceta and his crew turned back just before the Columbia River, but not before he noted the shallow waters and rocky headland that now bear his name.
Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine
One of our all-time favorite lighthouses, Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on a head of land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor, which is within Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. Completed in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. If you visit, be sure to also check out the adjacent Fort Williams Park.
New London Ledge Light, Connecticut
New London Ledge Lighthouse is a lighthouse on the Thames River in Connecticut at the mouth of New London harbor. It was built in 1909 in the Second Empire style and was automated in 1987. In 1990 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2014, the New London Maritime Society was announced as the new owner of the lighthouse. “New London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation, an all-volunteer organization, will still continue its role of restoring, preserving, and interpreting the lighthouse.” its website claimed.
Loggerhead Lighthouse (Dry Tortugas Light), Florida
The Dry Tortugas Light is a lighthouse located on Loggerhead Key, three miles west of Fort Jefferson, Florida. It was taken out of operation in 2015. It has also been called the Loggerhead Lighthouse. It has been said to be “a greater distance from the mainland than any other light in the world.” In 1992, the light was acquired by the National Park Service.
Block Island Southeast Light, Rhode Island
An architecturally distinctive gem that sits atop Mohegan Bluffs, Southeast Light is one of the two lights on Block Island. This one is the easiest to access. Its grounds offer amazing views out over the Atlantic, including the island’s best perspective on the new Block Island Windfarm located three miles offshore. Construction was completed in 1875. The lighthouse has a 52-foot brick and granite tower and has been named a National Historic Landmark.
Lorain Lighthouse, Ohio
Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Port,” Lorain Lighthouse is one of Ohio’s most beloved lighthouses. Standing at the north end of the West Harbor Breakwater in Lorain Harbor, its light is no longer lit, and its fog horn no longer sounds, but it remains a silent reminder of Lorain’s historic relationship with Lake Erie shipping.On June 30, 2017, the Lorain Lighthouse Foundation and the community of Lorain celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Lorain Lighthouse as an Ohio Historical Marker was dedicated to commemorate the occasion.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California
Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872, according to California Parks. Its five-wick lard oil lamp, and first-order Fresnel lens, comprised of 1,008 prisms, was first lit at sunset, on November 15, 1872. The lens stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and weighs 2,000 pounds. That’s one really big lens!
Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Michigan
Surprisingly, Michigan is home to more lighthouses than any other state in the United States. The Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association is raising funds to repair Ludington State Park’s Big Sable Point Lighthouse. It’s the last of the Great Lakes lighthouses to become electrified. Help light her up!
Diamond Lady Lighthouse, North Carolina
AKA Cape Lookout Lighthouse, Diamond Lady Lighthouse stands tall above the shimmering sand at Cape Lookout on North Carolina’s central shore, a place only accessible by boat. It was built in 1859 and was later painted with its distinctive black and white checkered pattern in 1873. Isn’t this tall lady something spectacular?
Greens Ledge Lighthouse, Connecticut
Are you looking to purchase a lighthouse? Back in 2015, this was one of six being offered for free by the Federal Government as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. The acquisition was made through a founding donation by the Pettee Family and restoration began in June 2018 to address the critical structural deficiencies of the lighthouse. The original construction was completed in 1902. For us, it seems like a dream come true to live in one of the country’s most picturesque lighthouses.
Point Bonita Lighthouse, California
According to the National Park Service’s website, this Bay Area stunner has “helped shepherd ships through the treacherous Golden Gate straits” ever since 1855! You can visit the lighthouse and trail on Sundays and Mondays from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM. It’s one of the most rewarding hikes you can take on the west coast. You will not be disappointed!
Boston Lighthouse, Massachusetts
On the coast of Little Brewer Island, you’ll discover the oldest lighthouse in the United States. The very first structure was built in 1716, and the current one was erected in 1783. If you’re in the area, you can take a tour of the Boston Harbor which includes this National Historic Landmark. We recommend seeing Boston’s handsome lighthouses in summer because it’s too bitterly cold to truly enjoy them in the winter months.
Biloxi Lighthouse, Mississippi
If you can’t travel down to the deep South along the rugged coast of Mississippi to witness this attraction in person, don’t worry! The smart folks of Biloxi set up a live video feed from the top of the lighthouse so everyone can enjoy the view from up top. If you do make it to Biloxi to see its lighthouse be sure to start saving now because the casinos there are such a blast for tourists to take advantage of.
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Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, Florida
This gorgeous red lighthouse is the tallest in Florida and one of the tallest in the United States. Its origin goes way, way back to 1835. Although it was out of use for decades because of destruction and construction, it’s been back in business since 1982. In 1998, this beauty was named a National Historic Landmark.
There you go! We hope you found these lighthouses as beautiful as we do. These beacons of hope are just so inspiring. If you liked these vacation-worthy lighthouses, take a look at Mamas Uncut’s picks for the best babymoon ideas. There’s so much of our world to explore!
- 1 Cottonwood, Arizona
- 2 Eureka Springs, Arkansas
- 3 Georgetown, Colorado
- 4 Woodbury, Connecticut
- 5 Micanopy, Florida
- 6 Thomasville, Georgia
- 7 Pocatello, Idaho
- 8 Galena, Illinois
- 9 Walnut, Iowa
- 10 Lawrence, Kansas
- 11 Georgetown, Kentucky
- 12 Ponchatoula, Louisiana
- 13 Wiscasset, Maine
- 14 Essex, Massachusetts
- 15 Boulder City, Nevada
- 16 New Bern, North Carolina
- 17 Aurora, Oregon
- 18 Wickford, Rhode Island
- 19 Chester, Vermont
- 20 Snohomish, Washington
- 21 Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, Ohio
- 22 Eldred Rock Light, Alaska
- 23 North Head Lighthouse, Washington
- 24 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina
- 25 Cockspur Island Lighthouse, Georgia
- 26 Battery Point Lighthouse, California
- 27 Bodie Island Lighthouse, North Carolina
- 28 Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota
- 29 Old Point Loma Lighthouse, California
- 30 Yaquina Bay Light, Oregon
- 31 White Shoal Lighthouse, Michigan
- 32 Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon
- 33 Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine
- 34 New London Ledge Light, Connecticut
- 35 Loggerhead Lighthouse (Dry Tortugas Light), Florida
- 36 Block Island Southeast Light, Rhode Island
- 37 Lorain Lighthouse, Ohio
- 38 Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California
- 39 Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Michigan
- 40 Diamond Lady Lighthouse, North Carolina
- 41 Greens Ledge Lighthouse, Connecticut
- 42 Point Bonita Lighthouse, California
- 43 Boston Lighthouse, Massachusetts
- 44 Biloxi Lighthouse, Mississippi
- 45 Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, Florida
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