Find Unique Antiques from Snohomish to Chehalis
Washington state’s unofficial antique trail stretches more than 110 miles from Snohomish to Centralia, offering dozens of antique-rich towns and thousands of vendors for collectors and hobby shoppers alike.
Drive through Maltby on Paradise Lake Road (across Bothell, Washington and Woodinville, Washington) and you’re likely to notice an array of collectibles, sculptures and neon signs. You might even spot the property’s proud owner, Ron “Nardo” Nardone, in his front yard next to a towering, polka-dotted chicken statue.
“I didn’t really want that chicken, but somehow I ended up with it,” he said.
Welcome to NardoLand.
Nardone has been picking antiques across the country for more than 60 years. His collection spans 14 acres and buildings he built for his many treasures, from ice cream scoops to Bothell High School’s old field goal posts and an estimated 5,000 license plates.
“I try to collect stuff people don’t want to collect,” Nardone said. “It’s always a good day when I find something.”
Nardone picked the right place to plant roots. Most of his discoveries are now in or around Maltby (garage sales and scrap yards are his favorite), and his friend Bob Gillum owns Maltby Antiques and Collectibles, which is almost close enough to smell The Maltby Café’s massive cinnamon rolls.
The nearby city of Snohomish has more than 300 antique dealers, earning its nickname as the Antique Capital of the Northwest. The Star Center Antique Mall, Antique Warehouse Inc. and Antique Station in Victoria Village are popular points, along with the secondhand shops along First Street. Keep an eye out for vintage wall hangings, mid-century furniture and estate jewelry.
Seattle and the Eastside
The Seattle Antiques Market on the waterfront has been around for more than 40 years, selling everything from vintage bikes to furniture, typewriters and vinyl. The Fremont Vintage Mall is another treasure-trove of collectibles, specializing in more eccentric finds like tarot decks and quirky clothing. Don’t miss Ballard Avenue’s vintage and consignment shops.
Save some time to explore the Eastside. Bothell visitors can rummage through stores full of consignment jewelry and eclectic home décor with pieces ranging from rustic ladders to vintage salon chairs. Kirkland has a small collection of shops that prioritize curated collections and salvaged pieces over kitschy clutter. It’s also a great spot to pick up pieces that may get overlooked in Seattle.
“We have a lot of regulars that come in weekly,” said Ann Kenops, owner of Found Interiors in Kirkland. From sacred Korean grandfather statues to copper urns that were supposedly once owned by Billy Wilder, she said you never know what you’ll find.
“We get at least a delivery a day,” Kenops said.
Tacoma and Puyallup
Downtown Tacoma’s Antique Row on and around Broadway is another destination for avid collectors. In addition to the city’s long-standing antique malls, there are several new consignment and vintage shops specializing in curated home décor and furnishings that deliver a slightly more elevated experience.
Puyallup also pulls its weight. Victoria Sells Antiques owner Sandy Hackbarth, who serves as co-president of the Puyallup Antique District Association, says at least one new shop opens each year. Puyallup’s 3rd Street Antiques offers up 15,000 square feet of vintage art, toys and sports memorabilia.
The Washington State Fair Events Center hosts one of the largest antique and collectible shows in the country. Organized by Christine Palmer & Associates, the show takes place twice a year (once in the winter and once in the fall) with about 400 booths of vintage items, from clocks to kitchenware and tribal art.
Washington state’s capital has an antique district with a handful of established shops, including more than 40 dealers at Courtyard Antiques and Home Decor. Thurston County has more than 15 antique shops with a range of specialties.
“With such a wide variety in the region, it’s fun to travel the backroads to seek out shops,” said Joyce Worrell, owner of The Iron Works Boutique in Tenino.
Centralia and Chehalis
These are two more of Nardone’s favorite Northwest cities for picking. The Centralia Antique District has at least a dozen vintage shops and more than 400 dealers. Antique Row on Tower Avenue is a good place to start, extending both to the north and south of Main Street. Centralia Square Antiques is a popular pick, offering costume jewelry, art-deco lamps, Native American basketry and more.
In Chehalis, the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds hosts not only a spring community garage sale in May, but also a fall harvest swap meet with a special focus on vintage vehicles. What better way to find some suitably stylish wheels to cruise the antique trail and bring all those treasures home?
Venturing Off the Trail
Here are a few picks for antiquing and collecting beyond Washington state’s borders:
- Fort Langley, British Columbia: There’s a small collection of antique stores in this historic village community. Napier’s Country Antiques in nearby Milner is worth the 10-minute detour.
- Aurora, Oregon: This quaint town just 22 miles south of Portland has more than 15 vintage shops and is great spot for salvaged goods and antiques.
- Boise and Nampa, Idaho: Just 20 miles apart, antique stops in these two cities range from kitschy vintage malls to thoughtful home décor retailers.
- Kalispell, Montana: About 25 miles southwest of Glacier National Park, this city has at least 10 vintage and consignment stores, including an antiques market with more than 40 dealers.
–Written by Maggy Lehmicke
–Top image courtesy of Nardoland
This story originally appeared in the May/June 2020 edition of the AAA Washington member magazine, Journey, and was updated in November 2021.