Antiquing in Iowa

Everything you need to know about antiquing in Iowa

Iowa doesn’t usually attract visitors for its breathtaking landscape. But if you’re interested in antiques, then Iowa is the place to be. Great antique shops dot the entire state, so you’ve got lots of options – whether you’re an Iowa resident taking a long weekend or an antique specialist planning a week-long tour of the Hawkeye state. To help you get started, here are a few places worth stopping.

 

 

Marion

There are eight specialty antique shops in this quaint city, and you can park your car for the day and walk to all of them. Some shops you may want to visit include: Antiques of Marion, a great place to find furniture from estate sales, as well as glass toys and other collectibles. Caroline’s Interior’s, which features high-end steals from brands such as Crabtree + Evelyn and Vera Wang. Harmening Haus is the place to go if you are looking for vintage clocks or pocket watches. The shop also has an expert clock repair technician on-site. Finally, drop by the Marion Center Antique Mall, which locals say is a must-see. You’ll find a vast variety of antiques and collectibles from multiple dealers all in one place.

 

Walnut
Every summer, this small town proudly hosts the Walnut Antique Show, which has been named one of the top antique shows in the country by Country Living. There are around 300 dealers and close to 50,000 shoppers who make the trek to this antiquing hamlet. In fact, Walnut has always called itself Iowa’s (unofficially) official “Antique City.” There are 15 antique shops, but the town itself has a population of fewer than 1,000 residents.

 

Le Claire
If you watch The History Channel, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of American Pickers, a show about finding the country’s best antique towns and shops. Mike Wolfe, one of the show’s hosts, is a native of Le Claire. He owns a shop called Antique Archaeology, which specializes in usual items. Because of the show’s popularity, Le Claire draws a lot of visitors for antiquing. While you’re in the area, check out these shops, too: Grasshoppers & Vintage Vine Wine Cellar has antiques and wine – a winning combination There’s also the Le Claire Antiques & Appraisals shop, which has a garden on the premises that showcases vintage garden décor. Big River Antiques collects valuables from multiple dealers and offers expert appraisals on-site.

 

Story City, Iowa
If you’re looking for the largest antique mall in the state, you’ll find it in Story City, located in the mid-section of the state. The mall has 125 antique dealers and is only closed three days per year. According to their blog, some of the most popular items from 2012 were canning jars and old farm metal. They sell a lot of ball jars, milk pails, trunks, globes, and world maps. So if you’re interested in canning or geography, you’ll be right at home.

 

Waterloo, Iowa
This city is located in the northeastern part of the state and has lots of antiquing options. There’s Bargain Heaven, which is a resale center and antiques dealer specifically intended for the ultimate bargain shopper. There’s also the Calico Hen House, which has 8,500 square feet of antiques, decorating accessories, and home furnishings from more than 50 dealers. This antiquing center has been in business for nearly 30 years.

 

Whether you’re a professional adding to your inventory or a homeowner looking for the right vintage furniture, Iowa has some of the best antique shops in the country. Check out these and other locations to find your next undiscovered treasure!

 

 

Angie Picardo is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a financial literacy site that is dedicated to helping people take control of their money, from developing the best investment strategy for their needs to understanding personal finance.

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