Find Unique Antiques from Snohomish to Chehalis
Sure, the modern world has made it easy for collectors of just about anything to go shopping for antiques and vintage items online. The sites to peruse are seemingly endless and if you’re in search of a very specific item — say a Barbie doll from 1962 — the proper search terms should quickly match you up with a vendor who has one or more of those items for sale online.
But there are plenty of reasons why antiquing in person is still a terrific way to go.
In a shop or an antique mall, you can examine pieces in person for quality and condition. You can take your purchases home the same day instead of waiting for a box to arrive in the mail.
And during a day dedicated to antiquing you can experience the thrill of the hunt as you move from case to case, stall to stall, or shop to shop in search of that special object. Or you may come face to face with a vintage treasure that you suddenly can’t live without.
Hitting the road to shop for antiques and vintage items offers yet another bonus: When it is time to take a break, you can explore restaurants, museums and parks in some charming Washington towns.
Luckily, there are hundreds of places to go antiquing in Washington along the state’s unofficial antique trail, which stretches more than 170 miles from Bellingham to Centralia, offering dozens of antique-rich towns and hundreds of vendors offering treasures for the serious and casual collector alike.
Bellingham draws antique hounds from both sides of the border.
In downtown Bellingham, Penny Lane Antique Mall and Aladdin’s Antiques and Records share a building, offering one-stop shopping on multiple floors. Forty dealers in Penny Lane offer everything from vintage clothing, furniture and art to kitchen wares, jewelry and more. Downstairs, Aladdin’s mixes antiques, with vinyl records dating back to the 1930s, vintage magazines, instruments and vintage toys.
Also downtown, the Bellingham Antique Mall is a wonderful place to search for records, home décor, comic books, kitchen goods and clothes. Within walking distance is Diamond Antiques, specializing in quality furniture and art; and Bellingham Coin Shop, home to antiques, collectibles and jewelry. And 5 miles north of town is Penny Pinchers Estate Clearance, with an 8,500-square-foot sales floor full of furniture, collectibles, furs, tools and lots more.
The city of Snohomish bills itself as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest.” And with hundreds of dealers in and around the town’s downtown antique district, the title is well-earned.
The multi-level Star Center Antique Mall, as well as Antique Warehouse and Antique Station are popular starting points. As are the secondhand shops along First Street. Keep an eye out for everything from vintage wall hangings and mid-century furniture to old signs, vintage tools and estate jewelry.
In nearby Maltby, less than a mile from the Maltby Cafe and its monster cinnamon rolls, you’ll find Maltby Antiques and Collectibles.
And in Edmonds, the Aurora Antique Pavilion hosts more than 175 unique dealers displaying an eclectic mix of antiques and collectibles.
Seattle and the Eastside
The Seattle Antiques Market on Seattle’s central waterfront (across from the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Great Wheel) has been around for more than 40 years, selling everything from vintage bikes and furniture to typewriters and vinyl.
Head down the stairs at the Fremont Vintage Mall to discover another treasure-trove of collectibles, with 40 dealers specializing in more eccentric finds like tarot decks and quirky clothing. And don’t miss Ballard Avenue’s vintage and consignment shops and the quirky items offered at the Ballyhoo Curiosity Shop.
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’re frequently asked, ‘Is all of this consignment?’ Because the accessories, decor, and art selection are like nothing you experience in a retail store,” said Ann Kenops, owner of Found Interiors in Kirkland. “It’s unique, collected and curated worldwide. For example, a unique piece that came in was a 1st place polo trophy — a silver champagne bucket — from The Prince of Wales, 1930’s.”
Tacoma and Puyallup
Downtown Tacoma’s Antique Row on and around Broadway is a great 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. Some 100 dealers share space at Victoria Sells Antiques, offering upscale antique furniture, home décor, estate jewelry and more. Another 85 vendors have booths at Puyallup’s 15,000 square foot 3rd Street Antiques, filled with treasures ranging from vintage art and toys to glassware, vinyl records and sports memorabilia.
A giant sustainable thrifting market, call Thriftapalooza takes place at the Tacoma Convention Center in the winter, and the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup hosts the Great Junk Hunt, the Antique, Vintage & Design Expo and other events throughout the year.
Washington state’s capital has an antique district with a handful of established shops, including more than 70 dealers at the 10,000 square foot Courtyard Antiques & Home Decor. Lily’s What to Where Boutique is filled with vintage clothing and Pickers in Paradise is a fun collection of unusual finds.
Centralia and Chehalis
The Downtown Centralia Historic District is home to at least a dozen vintage shops, mostly clustered around “Antique Row,” north and south of Main Street. Plan to spend the day at multi-dealer shops such as Landlord’s Daughter Antiques, Tower Avenue Antiques and longtime favorite Centralia Square Antiques, in its new spot on Tower Avenue.
In Chehalis, the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds hosts a spring community garage sale in May, with more than 300 vendors.
Here are a few picks for antiquing and collecting beyond Washington state’s borders, into Oregon.
In Portland some of the best antique shops in the city are centered in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood just south of central city. The vintage Oaks Amusement Park is here, along with many antique shops clustered within a mile radius of each other, including American at Heart; Old Portland Hardware & Architectural, which spans 10,000 square feet of curated antiques and architectural salvage; Stars Antiques Mall and Unique Antique.
And Aurora, a quaint town just 22 miles south of Portland, is home to more than 15 vintage shops and is a great destination for salvaged goods and antiques. Happy hunting!
–Originally written by Maggy Lehmicke. Revised and updated by Harriet Baskas in December 2022.
–Top image is a display inside the Fremont Vintage Mall from Facebook.
The original version of this article appeared in the May/June 2020 edition of AAA Washington member magazine, Journey.