Antiques Capital of the World Adamstown, Pennsylvania
Adamstown, the self-proclaimed (but, say connoisseurs, accurately named) ‘Antiques Capital of the World’, is where a mile and a half of Route 272 hosts more than 1,000 dealers on any given Sunday, with assorted co-op and showcase shops open weekdays as well.
Nestled in the heart of scenic Pennsylvania Dutch Country, little Adamstown is making a big name for itself in the world of antiques. Dealers and collectors, as well as the uninitiated from all over the world have succumbed to the charms of Adamstown, which has become the premier year-round antiques destination in the Northeast. The easy access to Lancaster and Reading outlet centers, auto racing, micro brewery, fine lodging, dining, camping, Amish and Mennonite culture from Exit 286 off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike provides the traveler with a worry-free trip.
Top vendors include the Stoudt’s Black Angus Antiques Mall (with about 500 indoor and outdoor dealers) and Renninger’s Antique & Collectors Market (with about 375 dealers indoors and another 400 outside in spring, summer and autumn). Arrive with an agenda or take a more unstructured approach—either way, get there early: shoppers begin arriving around 5 a.m., trawling for bargains as the dealers unload their merchandise. Bring a torch!
For four solid days of uber-antiquing, go during one of Renninger’s weekend sales in April, June or September. At their secondary market in nearby Kutztown (which holds a weekly Saturday market), more than 1,200 dealers from across the nation set up camp from Thursday to Saturday. The next day, the Adamstown market holds ‘Special Sundays’ that often attract twice as many dealers as the regular weekly shows.
For extreme shopping, hit Kutztown on Thursday or Friday; decamp on Saturday for Shupp’s Grove (an old-time market near Antique Mile, with dealers’ tables set up under the trees from April to October); then be at Renninger’s Adamstown and Black Angus bright and early on Sunday.
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