Located along Route 4, the old highway that connects the seaport city of Portsmouth to the capital city of Concord, New Hampshire‘s Antique Alley is a must-visit for both collectors and dealers. It is the oldest antique shopping district in all of New England and really took off as such in the 1970s. However, there have been scattered antiques shops along Route 4 since the early 1900s, so is truly a historical location as well as an antiquing destination!
The store that started it all on New Hampshire’s Antique Alley in the 70s was Parker-French Antiques, though back then it was a simple, seasonal ice-cream store, with a few antiques displayed on tables alongside the main attraction. However, over time the antiques proved much more popular than the frozen treats and fellow dealers asked if they could set up tables to sell their own antiques. Now, Antique Alley brings together more than 500 antique dealers and collectors from across the U.S. and overseas to the heart of New England for a great shopping experience.
Along New Hampshire’s Antique Alley are a few antique malls, where many independent traders set up stalls under the same roof. Austin’s Antiques is one such mall, with 50 different antique dealers specializing in furniture but also displaying an array of smaller, intriguing antiques.
The Betty House is an incredible building in its own right, built in the 1800s with many different parts to explore, with each part now displaying many wonderful antique items to match the heritage of the building! R.S. Butler’s Trading Company has been operating for ten years and currently has a two-story barn offering 3600 square feet of antique merchandise. It is an awesome selection of stores, which definitely needs more than a day to fully explore.
New Hampshire’s Antique Alley’s claim to fame is the quality, value, and variety of its collectibles, which has made the shopping center a year-round event. Among the antiques, visitors can find stoneware, pottery, painted country and formal antique furniture, garden ornaments and architectural salvage, fine china and glassware, postcards, bottles, early advertising items, vintage record albums, sports memorabilia, butter churns, textiles, kitchen, and country store collectibles and so much more!