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New to You – Antiquing in the Smokies

shopper walking down street in downtown franklin nc

When it comes to antiquing in the Smokies, your experiences can range from curated show rooms to flea markets to giant warehouses that require treasure hunting through mountains of uncatalogued items.

The quaint town of Waynesville is home to several antique shops worth visiting. One of our favorites is Spenceberry Antiques. They offer a wide selection of upscale Mid-century treasures and primitive pieces. Due to its popularity, their stock is always refreshing. Prices are very reasonable for good quality items.

shopping in downtown waynesville
Downtown Waynesville

Also located in Waynesville, Cornerstone Mercantile on Depot Street is a 10,000-square-foot showroom featuring antique and vintage items mixed with modern furniture and artwork. You’ll also find seasonal items, perfect for home décor.

In Sylva, we love The Nichols House Antiques. They offer an eclectic supply of bronze statues, brass instruments, oil paintings, and cut glassware. They also have a nice selection of grandfather and mantle clocks. As you meander through, you may come across an unexpected pair of snowshoes or a vintage clawfoot tub.

At Buttermilk Farms and Antiques & Auction in Bryson City, you’ll explore booth after booth of everything under the sun. Self-described as “your quality source of antiques and unique collectibles,” their collectibles are stand-outs. The selection of Hot Wheels alone is like the childhood treasures of a dozen kids, and there are enough baskets to furnish an entire neighborhood of farmhouses. Are you looking for a vintage tv or commercial scales? You’ll find them here amongst the sea of every-style chair and light fixtures. With Halloween just around the corner, stock up on dozens of vintage pumpkins and decorations for all of the holidays.

woman shopping for records
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

If you prefer an orderly display of antiques and vintage items, look no further than the Black & White Market in Murphy. Their wares can be described as “a world of farmhouse charm” and “rustic,” but you will find so much more here.

They have organized their items by category, so it’s easy to find their antique wall décor, jewelry, home décor, kitchen, garden, and outdoor pieces. But they also carry a wide variety of modern items, such as decals, apparel, paper goods, candles, puzzles, bath products, and socks. You can shop online, and they will even gift wrap and ship items for you.

For a purely fun time digging through odds and ends, Decker’s Flea Markets in Murphy is a string of long, low ramshackle buildings tacked together without rhyme or reason. It’s a great place for cast iron frying pans, collectible toy cars, and figurines. Deckers is exactly the kind of place where digging in and shifting things around is going to unearth the most unlikely hidden treasures.

highlands antique store
Downtown Highlands

Antique shopping in the Highlands can be a study in paradoxes. At one end of the spectrum, you have Mirror Lake Antiques across from the iconic Old Edwards Inn. It’s a beautiful storefront of carefully curated antiques. Glass display cases showcase classic estate jewelry, and high-end antique furniture is carefully placed for optimum viewing. Most notably, they have an unparalleled collection of highly-sought-after Majorca pottery, the richly colored, heavyweight clay pottery that is coated with enamel, ornamented with paint, and finished with glaze.

Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum. With several outdoor yards of architectural salvage items, the hodgepodge of outbuildings and garages surrounding an enormous warehouse comprise Reclamations in Highlands. It would be shocking if even the owners knew everything onsite.

Explore room after room of old-timey signs, cash registers, picture frames, and milk jugs. Expect to find everything vintage, including little red wagons, Radio Flyer sleds, picture frames, patio sets, and a classic 1950s automobile. If it’s furniture you’re seeking, you will find at least one of every

imaginable piece here. Bed frames, chairs, settees, and even an antique bathroom vanity and sink are stuffed into every corner of numerous rooms. Tchotchkes, knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, figurines, and collectibles are strewn across every available surface, and not a spot of ceiling can be seen for all of the hanging light fixtures and decorations. Some things defy explanation, like the herds of little white metal goats hidden in nooks and crannies like quirky mascots, and the coop with live chickens in the yard. This is fun, wild, perplexing treasure-hunting at its madhouse best!