It’s no secret that Maine is rich with opportunities to hunt for treasure in antique stores, junk shops and flea markets.
But what happens when you venture off of Route 1 – where dozens of antique shops mingle with restaurants and other touristy stops – and head for the hills?
Lots, it turns out.
The lakes and mountain regions of western Maine, known for their stunning views and outdoor recreation, also feature more than 30 antique stores.
Many antique shops in the area – which includes Windham, Oxford, Bridgton and Cornish – are made up of booths from sellers who stock their shelves with everything from vintage cameras to antique tools. Of course, there’s always a smattering of New England sports collectibles and books waiting to be found.
Don’t know where to start? Use this guide as a launching point and create your own daylong antiquing adventure.
The long gray building that houses The Willows indoor flea market has been around for decades, but has been transformed under the ownership of Ray and Lucie Bisson. During the past year, they updated the building and brought in dozens of new vendors who sell antiques and vintage items, collectibles and repurposed and handcrafted items. A third floor of booths is now open. A small cafe will open soon where customers can grab a coffee and snack to fortify them during their trip.
Lucie Bisson says they have plans to host barbecues and live music outside the market this summer. Be sure to keep your eye on The Willows’ Facebook page, which is updated regularly with photos of available items.
345 S. Main St., Mechanic Falls, 345-7047. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, year-round, facebook.com/thewillowsfleamarket
The second you walk through the door of Undercover Flea Market, you know you’ll have plenty to look at. Billing itself as the largest indoor flea market in the area, Undercover features 135 vendors with booths full of all types of vintage and antique items.
Antiques not your thing? Undercover also has a large book section that could keep even the biggest bookworms busy for hours. All paperbacks – and believe me, there are plenty – are $1.
The mix of items at Undercover is impressive. There are booths stocked with some newer items, but plenty that feature appealing displays of vintage dishes, antique glass, sports memorabilia and antique bottles.
960 Main St., Oxford, 539-4149. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, year-round.
Pa’s Antique Attic is more than just a multi-dealer antique shop: it’s connected to a gun store and pawn shop (the entire business is known at Pa’s Tradin Company). It really does have something for just about everyone. The antique store may look small from the outside, but inside shoppers find several large rooms with booths overflowing with a wide variety of items, from furniture to taxidermy to vintage toys. The individual dealers in the group shop seem to take extra care to create displays that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. The adjacent pawn shop offers plenty for the non-antiquer in your family to explore.
1192 Main St., Oxford, 462-4554. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, year-round.