Depending on what you’re looking for, the greater Orlando area may hold some hidden treasures for the antique hound. Don’t expect much in the way of fancy European antiques, but if your interest runs to American vernacular furniture of the twentieth century, you may be in luck. There are even some pieces dating to the nineteenth century to be found.
What you will find in abundance is stuff — Depression-era glass, weaponry, old toys (including some nifty Disney memorabilia), Art Deco and Art Moderne bric-a-brac, old orange crate labels, Highwayman art, the list goes on and on. If rummaging through aisle after aisle of assorted stuff in search of hidden gems is your idea of a great time, you will find plenty to keep you occupied.
There are a number of antiquing hotspots in the area. The toniest is Antique Row in Orlando, a collection of fourteen shops that runs for several blocks along Orange Avenue, just north of Lake Ivanhoe (Exit 84 or 85 on I-4). A standout here is Flo’s Antique Accents (407-895-1800) for mahogany furniture of the early twentieth century. Farther afield, a number of historic downtown areas in nearby towns offer concentrations of antique stores. To the south lie Kissimmee, where Lanier’s (407-933-5679) is the most prominent merchant, and St. Cloud, whose downtown is a sort of time capsule of mid-twentieth century working class Americana. To the north lies the picturesque and more upscale village of Mt. Dora. Here, you will find an antique mall in the downtown area and just outside town, on Highway 441, the sprawling Renniger’s Antique Fair (352-383-8393), featuring over 300 dealers.
As you explore, be sure to pick up a free copy of The Antique Shoppe, a monthly newspaper that will point you to other antiquing destinations within easy driving distance of Orlando. It also contains valuable information on antique shows, auctions, flea markets, and collectors’ clubs. The web site is www.antiqueshoppefl.com.
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