Connecticut’s Antique Shops & Centers Last Updated 6/16
What better way to experience the past? Make Connecticut your premier antiquing destination. If the idea of spotting a tiger maple table in the corner of an antiques shop or finding an original, mint-condition 18th century Chinese Canton porcelain plate or stumbling upon a standout mid-century modern Lucite chair is thrilling to you, then you’ve come to the right place.
Connecticut Knows Antiques
Connecticut knows antiques; and has collections in varying styles, periods and price ranges to satisfy all lovers of antiques, from the most discerning to the more casual. And now it is easier than ever to locate Connecticut’s antiquing destinations. The Connecticut Antiques Trail will help you discover major geographic antiques locations, multiple-dealer antiques centers and individual shops. With a comprehensive online guide, your journey to antiquing bliss is all at your fingertips. How will you experience the past?
For a breathtaking visual treat, drive through Connecticut’s pastoral Litchfield Hills. It will be difficult to take your eyes off of the landscape as you travel along gravelly, back country roads against a backdrop of graceful hills and mountains. Plan your itinerary around antique shop destinations visits, and what could be better? Unless, perhaps it is having lunch at one of the many charming eateries, enjoying a glass of wine at one of the Litchfield area vineyards, or better yet, spending an entire weekend amid this mecca of antiquing.
The drive from Litchfield to Bantam to New Preston to Kent could easily fill a day, or several, as you visit the many special antiques shops along the route. Plan to spend time browsing the inventory at Jeffrey Tillou Antiques in Litchfield, from Continental and English furniture to American paintings to decorative arts and accessories. Relax in nearby Warren at the Hopkins Inn overlooking Lake Waramaug where you can enjoy a hearty dinner and a rejuvenating overnight stay. In the village of New Preston, Dawn Hill Antiques specializes in 18th and 19th century Swedish antiques. Pieces from the collection of unique Rococo and Gustavian period furniture and clocks in original painted surfaces are hand-selected in Sweden and brought back.
Nearby in Washington, take a moment to explore the shops and break for a farm-to-table lunch at the popular Community Table. After a full day of antiquing, walking and sightseeing, unwind at the picturesque Miranda Vineyard in Goshen, where you can learn about the property’s sustainable farming methods while enjoying the beauty and serenity of the winery.
As you approach picturesque Woodbury you will sense its refinement and elegance, including Main Street, which is lined with over 15 stately antiques shops. On display at Wayne Mattox Antiques are paintings, folk art and American and European furniture. At Madeline West Antiques, you can amble through five rooms decorated in American, European and Asian antique furniture and accessories. Since 1976, Martell & Suffin Antiques have been a source for 18th and 19th century English and Continental furniture and accessories. And, for the rug aficionado, there is Abrash Galleries Rugs & Antiquities, specializing in Persian, Turkish, Chinese and Indian rugs. When you are ready for lunch, Carole Peck’s Good News Café offers imaginative, handcrafted seasonal cooking.
As you pull off of Route 8 in Seymour, you’ll be delighted at the cluster of antiques shops and centers tucked into this revitalized mill town. In the four historic buildings of the Seymour Antiques Company, you will find more than 80 dealers and antiques and curated house displays. Then take a delightful detour for a cup of tea or coffee and tea sandwiches at Tea With Tracy in the historic antiques district.
Noted for its coastline and country settings, Mystic Country is not to be missed on your antiquing travels. Just off of Route 2 in the former farming and mill town of Colchester is the renowned Nathan Liverant and Son Antiques, family-owned, third-generation dealers in fine American art and antiques. Swing by Harry’s Place for some American roadside food, for a quick bite before continuing on your way. For a quaint overnight stay, the historic Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant located in Storrs, offers accommodations and dining in a restored 1730s home. Farther north, off of I-395 in Putnam is the Antiques Marketplace, one of Connecticut’s oldest antiques mega-malls.
Then, a short drive will take you to charming and historic Pomfret Center where you can stop in at the Vanilla Bean Café for baked goods, a sandwich or homemade soup before exploring the town’s shops and galleries. Head south in Mystic Country and discover the historic and quaint Stonington Borough where you will find Grand & Water Antiques, which offers “antiques with a modern twist” including estate items, furniture, silver, porcelain and decorative accessories. You will feel like a local on your walk down Water Street, passing by boutiques, antique shops and galleries until you reach the Old Lighthouse Museum, where you can learn all about the history of this celebrated 1840 landmark.
The energy and activity of Fairfield County will get you in the shopping spirit. Browse architectural salvage, antique and reproduction furniture, and unique furnishings for home and patio at United House Wrecking Co., located in Stamford. For a combination of antiques and design, plan a visit to the Antique & Artisan Gallery, also in Stamford, to see the offerings of more than 60 vendors in stylized-room vignettes. After you’ve worked up an appetite contemplating design possibilities, try Olio for casual fine dining or Barcelona Wine Bar for a Spanish tapas menu.
Travel north on I-95 to Stratford to Stratford Antique Center, with more than 200 antiques and collectibles dealers. After perusing this huge selection of antiques and collectibles, settle in at Biagio Osteria for classic and modern Italian specialties. Then double back on I-95 to the quaint, historic village of Southport and Runk Douglas Antiques, located in a 1890s blacksmith’s shop where you can eye a collection of English antiques and fine art, gifts and accessories. Nearby, the antique gallery L’Antiquaire in Westport’s historic district offers Continental period furniture, accessories and fine art. For a shopping fix, don’t miss Westport’s Main Street, where you can dine at the Tavern on Main for classic New England fare or the Blue Lemon for modern American cuisine.
Greater New Haven
Begin your tour of Connecticut’s quaint shoreline community in historic Guilford with a visit to Edwin C. Ahlberg Antiques, a family-owned antique business specializing in formal American and high-style country furniture. The Guilford Bistro’s menu combines traditional regional Italian recipes with a modern execution. Continue along the shoreline on Route 1 for a scenic drive to Madison, home to Hammonasset Beach State Park and breathtaking views of Long Island Sound. While on Route 1 in Madison, visit Kirtland H. Crump Antique Clocks, offering a selection of fine antique clocks. As you approach the Town Green, the Madison Historical Society will be on your left. Up ahead, the town’s center features boutique shopping and R.J. Julia Booksellers, an independent bookstore with a terrific selection of great reads and where autographed photos of celebrity guest speakers line the walls. Extend your stay in Madison at the Scranton Seahorse Inn, an 1833 Greek revival homestead located in the village of Madison.
Another short drive will take to you the village of Clinton to Old Beautiful, a shop of antique American furniture and accessories. Stop by Hey Day Antiques, also in Clinton, to see the collection of gold, silver, jewelry, artwork, rugs and more. And while you are in shopping mode, do not overlook Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, a cluster of more than 70 outlet stores. Complete your visit to Clinton at Chamard Vineyards, a 40-acre property with French-inspired wine selections, a tasting room and an inviting bistro.
River Valley/Greater Hartford
Your experience of charming Connecticut towns continues through Connecticut’s River Valley. Begin the journey at The Shops at Marlborough Barn with Barn Antiques offering a blend of antiques and collectibles. This multi-dealer store, home to more than 40 vendors, is an ideal place for some treasure hunting. After browsing all the amazing items at the Barn, head over to Sadler’s Ordinary for some amazing “comfort food.” Decorated with country antiques, it proudly continues the New England hospitality traditions. For an overnight retreat, travel north to the next town of Glastonbury. Located in the heart of Glastonbury’s historic district, the Connecticut River Valley Inn, a renovated 1740 bed and breakfast, offers four luxury suites along with a three-course gourmet breakfast.
Travel south on nearby Route 9 and you will find the charming Connecticut River town of Chester and Spiritus Mundi Antiques. There, you can search for country antiques, furniture and accessories, paintings, blue decorated stoneware and other Americana items. In the town’s central village, a leisurely stroll on Chester’s historic Main Street is a must. Stop by Simon’s Marketplace for a beverage and light bite. For farm-to-table cuisine, there’s River Tavern. In season (April through November), take the Chester/Hadlyme Ferry for a delightful ride across the Connecticut River. Once in Hadlyme, visit Black Whale Antiques featuring a mix of American, English and Continental furniture, a garden and gift shop, and art gallery.
There are antiques shops, treasures and special finds all over Connecticut, with plenty to do in between your “hunts.” How will you experience the past?