Always charming New England is the northeastern region of the United States. The region includes the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. All six serve as exciting destinations for all who love the lure of antiques. Here are the very best antiquing locations in each state.
In Maine, head for Cabot Mill Antiques, in Fort Andross, which offers 160 different stand-holders, and more than 16,000 square feet of shopping. As the name suggests, it is housed in an impressive restored textile mill set alongside the Androscoggin River in Brunswick, Maine. Open since 1996, enjoy shopping amid exposed brick, gigantic windows, sixteen-foot high ceilings, and grand views of the river. While in Brunswick, tour the Bowdoin College Museum of Art; and have a meal at Libby’s Market or Frontier Café.
In Vermont, all roads lead to Bennington and The Antique Center at the Shops of Camelot Village. Why? Because this is Vermont’s biggest concentration of antiques. Imagine, two hundred plus dealers, in more than 25,000 square feet of space inside not one but two historic barns. The Antique Center has earned its well deserved reputation as a prime antiques sleuthing destination, over the past forty years under the same ownership. Open daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Be sure to put the Blue Benn Diner or Madison Brewing Company on your dining list while you are in Bennington. Visit the Bennington Museum for Grandma Moses paintings and more.
New Hampshire offers Antique Alley, the oldest shopping district in New England. It is also one of the largest, with five hundred dealers stretched along Route 4, the old road that connects Portsmouth to Concord. Wend your way through Northwood, Lee, Epsom, and Chichester, charming towns that present a great backdrop for hunting for elusive treasures. Since the 1970s, Antique Alley has served up the best in quality and variety of antiques, from dusty sleepers, to stunning statement items. For a tasty meal, go to the Barley House in Concord or to Surf in Portsmouth for the lobster and the view. Stroll through Portsmouth’s Strawbery Banke Museum to enjoy early New England architecture.
You will have a whale of a time antiquing in Bedford, the setting of Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick. This famous whaling town is filled with over four hundred antique dealers. Whether you are looking for stand alone shops or antique malls or warehouses, you will find them all in Bedford. Just imagine, the more than 150,000 square feet of excellent collectibles and antiques waiting for you. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a must see. Have a marvelous Massachusetts meal at Flatbread Company or Bedford Farms.
Woodbury is known as The Antiques Capital of Connecticut. Nestled in the southwestern section of the state, the town first became known as an antique lover’s destination more than fifty years ago. Celebrated antiques dealers founded their shops along Main Street and the selection has grown to over two dozen different shops to choose from today. No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to be enticed by the wide range of styles, period and types of antiques. While in Woodbury, don’t miss the Glebe House Museum and The Gertrude Jekyll Garden (the only garden in the USA designed by the celebrated British landscape gardener). Dine at Carlito’s, John’s Café, or the Good News Café.
Rhode Island’s antique shoppers aim for Pawtucket home of The Rhode Island Antiques Mall. It is on the border with Massachusetts along I-95; so easy to get to. There are about 200 dealers in 20,000 square feet of display space. The Mall is divided into two levels, one concentrating on furniture and home décor, and the other, with a wide-ranging selection of curiosities and smalls. The dealers hail from all parts of New England, so you can let the region’s treasures come to you. For living history, tour the Slater Mill Museum, America’s oldest cotton mill. Hungry? Have a meal at the Garden Grille or Modern Diner.