Old World charm abounds throughout historic Arcadia.
About an hour and a half inland, the town of Arcadia could be the set for an old Hollywood Western. It features a carefully preserved downtown with buildings dating to the early 1900s, and a rodeo arena just outside of town. There’s a cattle auction at noon every Monday and Wednesday. In recent years, Arcadia has transformed itself from a cow town to an antiques haven, and the shops that line West Oak Street have everything from Old Florida rustic to Danish Midcentury modern. Buyers come here from across the state, and it makes an easy day trip from the Gulfshore.
WHERE TO SHOP
Antiques on Oak (33 West Oak Street, 863.494.2038) is an excellent place to start. Centrally located and with a vast selection, the shop offers knickknacks such as old buttons, tin oil cans, glass inkwells, antique postcards and rustic tools, plus larger items. An especially good recent find: a Formica table from the 1960s with matching chrome chairs. Don’t miss its collection of vintage ladies’ hats.
Cory’s Antiques (29 West Oak Street, 863.494.5959; corysantiquesarcadia.com) offers a range of vintage finds including vinyl records and wrought iron furniture. The shop is best known for its estate jewelry and fine art, so be on the lookout for quality turquoise and silver pieces and signed Highwaymen paintings.
Maddy’s Antiques (121 West Oak Street, 863.494.2500, maddysantiques.net) specializes in primitive, early American and high-end country antiques. This is the best stop for items such as old kerosene lamps, vintage typewriters and your grandmother’s kitchen gadgets. The shop also specializes in antique sports memorabilia.
The Arcadia Opera House (106 West Oak Street, 941.456.5602) is part museum, part art emporium and part antiques expo. Located inside the town’s old theater, the space dates back to 1906. Arcadia residents swear it’s haunted. Take a moment to read the placards on the wall for a bit of local history while browsing the rooms.
WHERE TO EAT
Mary Margaret’s Tea & Biscuit (10 South Polk Avenue, 863.494.0615, marymargaretsteaandbiscuit.com) is an excellent spot to rest and revive during an antiques expedition. Found in the historic Arcade Building, Mary Margaret’s is decorated like a Victorian parlor with flowered wallpaper, antique chandeliers and an old piano set against the back wall. The menu includes soups, salads and sandwiches, plus homemade scones served with fresh clotted cream. The mango scones with strawberry jam are not to be missed. Splurge on a pot of the shop’s signature tea—a delicate blend of white tea leaves, rose petals and citrus— before heading back out in search of more antiques.