North Central & Central Florida
by Susan Custis
This issue of VF magazine finds us sandwiched between the ‘dog days of summer’ and the arrival of Fall. The kids have been to camp. The family’s vacation was great. The tourists are heading back home (…as well as the relatives who come every year to enjoy our Florida fun). The snowbirds will be arriving soon. The backpacks are readied for school. This limbo between ‘been there’, and ‘not there yet’ is the perfect time to once again clean out the faithful ‘woodie’ and plot the route for some great vintage finds. Also, the guest room could probably use a ‘touch up’…what a great excuse to shop!!!
This time, we smooth out the map for North Central and Central Florida where shopping for vintage abounds. The selection is varied, and the prices are irresistible. Since the shops in these areas are spread a bit farther apart, the trick is to carefully plan your trips…yes, trips. Check Vintage Finds Magazine for days and times the shops are open since hours of operation vary. Then head out for some great shopping fun.
We start in Mt. Dora where all roads lead to Renninger’s. The extravaganza of all things vintage, antiques, and flea market finds, this place truly has something for shoppers of all ages, every taste, and any budget. Wander the Flea Market, then shop the over 180 booths of the Antiques Center and Consignment Area for the exceptional assortment of fine furniture, lighting, jewelry, collectibles, and home décor. Watch for their fabulous summer yard sales and other events. Hint: wear comfortable shoes and pack a lunch because there are literally acres to explore.
There’s a lot to see at Renninger’s, and it can be overwhelming. But, a ‘must see’ is Vintage Junkie, which is located on the Street of Shops just outside the antique center. Here we find ‘old’, ‘new’, and ‘unexpected’ treasures from travels specially hand-picked, quality items from around the globe in an absolutely charming setting. The owner is a retired flight attendant with a love of travel and ‘junking’. She has traveled the world. Her discerning eye brings some incredibly unique and otherwise not readily found vintage and antique treasures into her shop. French enamelware, sterling watch fobs, and European grain sacks from across the pond are a few of the specialty items found here.
From Mt. Dora, take a 10 minute ride down CR Old 441 to Tavares to Through the Years Vintage Market. This delightful shop exudes charm and history, both through the treasures offered for sale and the distinctive history of the location. A former B&B, then Greyhound Bus Station, the family owned and run shop offers a gorgeous array of antiques and vintage. Mid-century modern décor and furniture is a specialty. Check out the Tiki room and collectibles. You can’t miss the vast offering of vintage Christmas items, many in original packaging. You don’t want to miss the exquisite selection of vintage fashion jewelry. Watch for their 3 upcoming Fall and holiday events.
Now, head on to Main Street Antiques in historic downtown Leesburg. Not a mall and not a shop, they pride themselves as a ‘unique antique boutique’. They are home to over 30 professional dealers, artists, and crafters who specialize in upscale furniture, arts, and collectibles. They are unique in their offering a large selection of gorgeous orchids and a very large selection of used books, from children’s books to romance novels. Check out their classes and monthly events on Facebook.
If you love one-stop-shopping, head to the Wildwood Antique Malls in Eustis and Wildwood. At the Eustis location, explore the over 28,000 square feet of vintage and antiques. At Wildwood, you’ll find over 120 experienced antique dealers showcased over a generous 20,000 square feet of displays. Both malls are conveniently located and are open 7 days a week with great hours from 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sunday)!!! They also offer a robust online search for that ‘needle in a haystack’ piece you are looking for. Wildwood Antique Malls take pride in being a different type of antique mall. Their offerings include rare, high-end antiques and collectibles. Their extensive online antique inventory includes furniture, home décor, kitchen, lighting, jewelry, clothing, outdoor, art, collectibles, and gifts.
For the ultimate in charm, creativity, and vintage, be sure to seek out Mossy Oaks Antique Mall in Bellevue. Known for their selection of primitives, country, and farmhouse, over 40 vendors offer some of the finest in antique and vintage furniture and accessories. Check out their growing offering of grandmillenial decor. All are complemented by locally sourced crafts from handcrafted candles to whimsical wood and barn doors. Whether linens or model trains, here you’ll find something for everyone.
Back in the wagon, we hit the road and travel through Central Florida headed to Geneva in search of The Old Red Barn Antiques. Located on a working farm, the kids will love the goats and chickens. A stop here is for much more than shopping the large selection of rustic farmhouse, French Country, and shabby chic décor. Check out the general store for jams and jellies. (Don’t forget the alligator jerky.) Check out the large selection of garden items and plants. Don’t miss the unique items in the metal shop. Shop the farmers’ market on the 3rd Saturday of each month and look for their many special events. Ask for the farm fresh eggs at the checkout counter.
On we go to Altamonte Springs to Wirewood Market. Here over 50 vendors showcase a beautiful array of quality vintage and antiques. So much to choose from, we found everything from architectural salvage pieces to furniture, lighting, books, wall art, textiles, clothing, nautical, garden, pottery/ceramics/kitchenware, and so much more. Each booth was carefully appointed and a delight to explore. The staff is extremely welcoming, friendly, and most willing to help you find that special treasure.
In North Central and Central Florida, the selections are fabulous and the prices are great. From eclectic to shabby chic to mid-century modern to bohemian, there is something for every decorating style. From large furniture to the smallest collectible, there is so much from which to choose. With vintage and antique offerings mostly ‘one of a kind’ and with the exploding popularity of vintage shopping, be cautious of an “I’ll think about it” approach. If you wait, it will likely be gone!!!
Hit the Vintage Road - Thank you to our roving reporter, Susan Custis for hitting the road and sharing these fabulous shops. Be sure to stop by Susan’s shop Vintage Fusion, located at 7720 N. Wickham Rd., #107 Suntree, Fl. Boardwalk at Suntree Plaza, between Cotton Candy Kids Hair Salon and Dynasty Nails. Look for the purple bench! Stay tuned for our Oct-Nov issue to see where THE VINTAGE ROAD leads us!
Hi I'm Kathy, owner of Vintage Finds Magazine. I hope you enjoy these vintage shops and markets.