Whenever someone asks me the best way to spend a day outside of DC, I always answer, “eating, drinking, and antiquing in Frederick, MD, hands down.”
I first discovered Frederick several years back when I did a weekend trip there, staying at 10 Clark Place Bed and Breakfast, exploring the local distilleries and breweries, and checking out the food scene.
Antiquing in Frederick, Maryland
But, the antiquing, oh, the antiquing. That’s the real reason to visit this charming historic town. Frederick’s downtown boasts over 200 shops and, among those, are more than a few vintage, consignment and antique shops. Whether your style is mid-century modern, neo-traditional, historic, or a little bit farmhouse, you’ll find it here.
Just an hour from DC, you’ll want to make an entire day of visiting Frederick. Don’t try to jam it into an afternoon. I speak from experience, I tried to do that a few weeks ago and almost walked away empty-handed because it was simply too much to take in.
So, go up in the morning, make a plan to grab lunch, and make sure you have plenty of time to leisurely explore this Maryland town. Now, let’s get to the recs…
Antique Spots in Downtown Frederick
Your first stop is, of course, downtown Frederick, where you’ll find a home goods shop on almost every street. Honestly, there are too many antique and thrift shops to list here and many of them don’t have websites but you’ll find a full directory on the Visit Frederick website. There are several small, curated, high-end shops on E. Patrick street, right across from Emporium Antiques (which we’ll cover in the next section!). Pop in these if you’re looking for something special but aren’t quite up for the hunt.
But, moving on to a few of my favorites…
- Vintage MC: I’ll be honest, I feel like mid-century has a bit of a negative connotation at this point. Too many Wayfair items have hawked the mid-century label. But Vintage MC has real mid-century pieces. Beautifully built, solid wood, quirky items that show the diversity of color and influence that shaped 50s-60s decor. Follow them on Instagram for a first peek at the items making their way into the shop.
- Rust: If your style is a bit more farmhouse, than you’ll want to make your way to Rust, where you’ll find chalk paint galore. They specialize in refinished items and, despite the farmhouse leanings, I found an incredible pair of mid-century nightstands in black last time I was in Frederick. I’ve been on the hunt for nightstands for literally two years and, as I walked past the window, I spotted what appeared to be a perfectly sized nightstand. Sure enough, they were the exact dimensions I needed and I bought them on the spot. $140 for the pair!
- Great Stuff by Paul: This massive space has so much stuff, as the name would imply. It’s not necessarily a place for digging because I wouldn’t call it overly packed, like it’s organized into clear sections, but it’s not “curated.” You have to use some imagination. Think, “here’s this cool wooden box, what can I do with it?” or “here’s a stack of chairs in need of a lot of love, how can I use them?” If you want a project, this is definitely your place.
- Bailey’s Treasures: You’ll find both refinished furniture and antiques that didn’t require refinishing in this smaller shop. I haven’t been in recently but it appears they’re sharing some of their inventory online now.
- Heritage Interiors: I’ve never purchased anything in Heritage Interiors but I always enjoy strolling through its curated art and furniture collection. It’s a small space but has the most gorgeous, traditional pieces.
- Cannon Hill Antiques: I’ve never been in here but it looks worth checking out!
Okay, so I’ve given you enough spots in downtown Frederick to certainly keep you busy for a few hours, but now it’s time to move on to the pièce de résistance…
THE Spot for Frederick Antiquing: Emporium Antiques
Emporium Antiques, y’all. This spot in downtown Frederick is so massive that it deserves its own section. 55,000 square feet in a 1912 warehouse according to its website.
I’ve found so many incredible items here, from the mid-century pair of mirrors in my living room to ornate antique frames to interesting objets. You can find an entire list of their dealers on their website but, basically, anything you want, no matter your style or era preference, you’ll find it here. There are dealers who specialize only in glassware, dish ware, pottery, flatware, folk art, European. antiques, American antiques, clocks, oil paintings, 18th century furniture, and more.
Some dealers are perfectly curated while others offer more of a hodge podge that requires a bit of digging. You’ll want to dedicate at least a few hours solely to Emporium Antiques, slowly making your way up the aisles. I could spend an hour in the dish ware alone (not that I need any…though, ugh, I’m looking at that photo of the lettuce ware and having so many regrets).
I mean, looking at these photos, the ART. Seriously, the art is incredible. This is the kind of place that makes me wish I had a storage unit to collect items I find that I don’t have room for. And, that’s what I’ll leave you with: if you go antiquing in Frederick, prepare to leave with more than a few items that you’re not quite