Where to Shop for Antiques and Crafts in New England

Posted by Fodor's Guest Blogger on July 28, 2011 at 12:50:46 PM EDT | Post a Comment
By Christina Valhouli In New England, shoppers can pick up serious antiques or quirky bric-a-brac in old mills and converted barns. Or hit funky galleries or annual craft fairs to meet artisans and buy one-of-a-kind products. Your souvenirs will be as memorable as the shopping experience. New-England-Antiques.jpg Alongside New England’s wealth of early American history is some of the best antique and craft shopping in the country—and often in beautiful settings perfect for browsing. You can explore galleries in converted farmhouses, craft shops clustered around the village green, or a picturesque Main Street (Woodstock, Vermont, or Camden, Maine, are good bets). Drive through historic coastal towns, like Essex, Massachusetts, where finds such as sun-bleached, centuries-old wooden tables or antique compasses evoke the area’s maritime heritage.

Top Shopping Routes and Sights

One of the most effective and fun ways to shop is to hop in the car and drive through sleepy, scenic towns. On several key shopping routes in New England, stretches of road are absolutely packed with shops. Charles Street in Boston and downtown Providence and Portland are ideal, compact urban shopping areas for walking. If you do have wheels, try these routes. Route 100, Vermont One of the most picturesque drives in the Green Mountain State, this winding road goes from Wilmington north all the way up to Stowe. You’ll pass craft studios, general stores like the Vermont Country Store in Weston, and plenty of red barns and covered bridges. Vermont Country Store Review Route 7, Berkshire County, Massachusetts Practically the entire route is chock-a-block with antiques stores. The Berkshire County Antiques Dealers Association publishes a handy guide to the various shops. Key Western Massachu¬setts shopping towns include Great Barrington, Sheffield, and Lenox. Berkshires Travel Guide Main Street, Putnam, Connecticut Most of the town has a stuck-in-time quality, so it’s a great place to spend the day the northeastern part of the state. The majority of antique stores are clustered around Main Street and its offshoots. Start your hunt at the massive Antiques Marketplace. Antiques Marketplace Review Route 1, Southern Maine Pick up this Maine coastal route to hit shopping hot spots like Kennebunk, Wells, and Ogunquit. Colonial furniture, architectural antiques, and galleries with quirky specialties are great breaks from summer traffic. Ogunquit, the Kennebunks, and the Southern Coast Travel Guide Route 133, Essex, Massachusetts North of Boston, more than 30 antiques shops line this road. Many shops are in old Colonial and Greek Revival buildings. Research potential shops of the Essex Antiques Dealer Association. Side Trips from Boston Travel Guide Route 6A, Cape Cod. Also known as the Old King’s Highway, this winding route runs through Sandwich, Barnstable, Dennis, and Brewster past plenty of antiques shops. Yarmouth has several art galleries and annual crafts festivals are held in Falmouth, Orleans, and Chatham. Cape Cod Travel Guide New-Hampshire-Craftsmens-Fair.jpg

Top Craft Fairs

Center for Maine Crafts, West Gardiner, Maine (mainecrafts.org) League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, Newbury, New Hampshire August (pictured, www.nhcrafts.org) Ocean State Artisans Holiday Craft Festival, Warwick, Rhode Island November (www.oceanstateartisans.com/) Petersham Craft Center, Petersham, Massachusetts (www.petershamcraftcenter.org/) Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts (www.societyofcrafts.org) Stonehouse Antique and Crafts Center, Chester, Vermont (802/875–4477)

Top Antique Shows

Brimfield Antique and Collectible Shows, Brimfield, Massachusetts May, July and September (www.brimfieldshow.com) Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market, New Milford, Connecticut Most Sundays except in December and March (www.etflea.com) Farmington Antiques Weekend, Connecticut June and September (www.farmingtonantiquesweekend.com) Maine Antiques Festival, Union, Maine August (www.maineantiquefest.com) Photo Credit: parema / iStockphoto

Member Comments (2)  Post a Comment

  • flirtinfilly on Aug 5, 11 at 04:17 PM

    You missed a wonderful town full of antiques and great dining options in Woodbury, Connecticut! About 75 miles from NYC, 150 from Boston.

    http://www.antiqueswoodbury.com/

    Enjoy!

  • Swantraveller on Jul 31, 11 at 07:06 PM

    Great list you have here! I'd sure love to go to those Craft Fairs. Looking forward for more of these.

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