The Beach Times

Where to Go Antique Shopping on Cape Cod
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, August 20, 2018

While Cape Cod is widely known as a place to spend time in the outdoors, enjoy a good meal, and experience the quintessential New England way of life, there is another side to the Cape that you might not have considered. You likely know that Cape Cod has a great deal of history since it was one of the first places to be settled by Europeans following the arrival of the Pilgrims, and people have lived here ever since. Going hand-in-hand with this long-time inhabitation is a sizeable selection of historic goods, many of which are available for purchase in Cape Cod antique stores.

Walking into any antique shop on Cape Cod could give you access to antique furniture, nautical gear, jewelry, coins, military memorabilia, photos, toys, kitchen items and anything else you might want to find. And since there are so many shops on the Cape, if you don't see what you're looking for at one, just walk a few minutes to the next one. When vacationing on Cape Cod, you should know that the area has the highest concentration of antique shops in the northeastern United States, as nowhere else has more stores per square mile. In fact, the Old King's Highway between Sandwich and Orleans alone is home to over 50 antique shops, with many sitting in historic houses, making your search even more memorable.

For the sake of this article, we'll look at some of the well-known antique shops on each section of Cape Cod, so you'll know where to search on your next vacation. Keep in mind that no matter where your vacation rental is located, you'll only be a few minutes from an antique shop that is sure to have some great pieces of history that are worth exploring.


Upper Cape Antique Shops

As you enter Cape Cod over the Sagamore Bridge, you'll quickly come across Brian Cullity American Antiques and Ship & Shore, which specializes in nautical artifacts. Both venues are near the Cranberry Highway, which will later turn into Route 6A. Just a few blocks east is the Sandwich Auction House, which holds auctions two or three times a month on Wednesdays during the summer. If you're in search of a hidden gem, this auction is the place to go. As you head into the heart of Sandwich, you'll find a cluster of antique shops along the Old King's Highway. These shops include the Sandwich Antiques Center, Cat's Meow Antiques, Coco Plum Garden Antique, Historical Antiques & Coins, and Paul Madden Antiques. The great part about downtown Sandwich is that you can park your car and walk to explore the antique stores in the area.

If you choose to head south after entering Cape Cod, there is another cluster of antique stores in the heart of Falmouth. These shops include Jacqueline's Gifts & Antiques, Atlantic Dry Goods, and Antique Button Jewelry. Once again, you can find a parking spot nearby and walk to all of these shops, since most are right along Main Street.


Antiquing on the Mid Cape

On the Mid Cape, you can take two different antiquing routes, depending on where you're heading and what you're looking to find. Along Route 28, you'll come across Simply Vintage of Cape Cod in Centerville, before continuing into West Yarmouth, which is home to the Antiques Center of Yarmouth, which, with over 100 on-site dealers, is one of the largest antique stores on Cape Cod. Continuing along Route 28, you'll come across West Dennis Antiques, which sits in an 18-century building with period décor, and the Dennisport Main Street Antiques Center.

On Route 6A, an entirely different set of stores are there to be found, including the Antiques Center of Cape Cod, Antiques 608, and Gatherings By the Sea, all of which are located in Dennis. As you continue along the highway, there is East Dennis Antiques and Eldred's Auction, one of the East Coast’s top antique auction houses, along with a series of art galleries, if you want to change things up a little bit.


Lower Cape Antique Shopping

Right beside Dennis along Route 28 is Harwich, home to the Harwich Antique Center and Windsong Antiques. Windsong has an outstanding selection of ceramics and silverware, making it worth a visit if that's the type of thing you are looking to purchase. It is then a short drive to the Chatham area, where you'll come across Maps of Antiquity, home to a collection of antique maps. In Chatham's downtown area, shops like Kahn Fine Antiques, Chatham Village Antiques, and Demos Antiques are right on Main Street and within an easy walking distance of each other.

In downtown Brewster on Route 6A, you have Wisteria Antiques, Antiques By the Bay, and Wayne's Antiques, among others, all of which are within walking distance. The downtown Brewster area is one of the best antiquing locations on Cape Cod because you can park and explore numerous stores quickly. Wisteria Antiques is particularly notable because it feels more like a museum than a store, thanks to its location in a Victorian home with period furnishings and decor.


Buying Antiques on the Outer Cape

The Outer Cape, outside of Provincetown, doesn't have as much in the way of antique shops as the other sections, but you'll still find Diamond Antiques & Fine Art in Orleans, the Gristmill Antiques Gallery and Buddha Bobs in Eastham, and Farmhouse Antiques in Wellfleet.

When you get to Provincetown, you'll encounter another cluster of shops right along Commercial Street, including Time Tunnel Antiques, Scott Dinsmore Antiques, and Yesterday's Treasures, making the town well worth a visit. Everything within Provincetown is a short walk from each other, so you can spend the day walking Commercial Street and visiting the various shops.


Antiques on Cape Cod

Although dozens of shops are mentioned here, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the antique shopping available on the Cape, as there are dozens more to be found. Keep in mind that antique shops tend to set up near each other in the historic parts of each town, so take a wander to see what you can find. You’re sure to come across some very impressive artifacts when exploring the antique shops on Cape Cod. As a result, one piece of advice is to leave some space in your suitcase for packing your finds home with you.

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