When you’re not photographing waterfalls, skiing or experiencing the beauty of Mt. Hood or the Columbia River Gorge, it’s fun to hit the road and enjoy life in the many small towns here. Renowned for its antique shops housed in unique historic buildings that show off the character of rural life in days gone by, these places are great to pick up some Oregon memorabilia or secondhand luxuries. Almost all are open year-round, too, for a break on any road trip. Here are some of our favorites and other vintage experiences to enjoy on the trip.
Day 1: Antique Malls and Expert Advice Near Estacada
Make your starting point on Oregon Route 224 between Milwaukie and Estacada, where you’ll find the hamlet of Barton. Once a farm community, only a few old farm buildings and the Barton Feed Store barn — built in 1928 — remain. Step into a piece of this history: The barn has been re-created as the Barton Antique Mall. This family-run antique mall has nearly 40 booths of vendors who stock the 5,000-square-foot barn with an ever-changing inventory of treasures from wooden wagon wheels to teacups.
Wade Creek Vintage Marketplace is a few blocks from downtown Estacada’s mix of art galleries, brewpubs and food trucks. Tucked into several restored farm buildings on an acre of land, vendor shops like Fiddlehead Forest sell wrought-iron furnishings, porcelain, leather-bound books and furniture. At Junk Barn Boutique, browse farmhouse-chic decor like old jugs, quilts, cowboy hats and branding irons alongside unique, upcycled antique western furniture — as well as jars of preserves, local honey and fresh farm eggs.
If you’re interested in upping your vintage game, Junk Barn Boutique owner Lora Ballou shares some tips for success. Follow shops on social media for events and storewide sales, and bring cash in case a shop doesn’t accept credit cards. If you live nearby, build relationships with owners and vendors with frequent visits. That way they might let you know first when something you collect comes in.
While you’re in town: Estacada’s walkable downtown is filled with over 20 murals designed and painted by a collective of artists known as The Artback, with many representing historic scenes and themes from the area’s diverse communities.
Day 2: Vintage Glass and Historic Roads in Troutdale
At the entrance to Historic Downtown Troutdale, you’ll see a metal arch spanning the Historic Columbia Highway noting the town’s pride as the “Gateway to the Gorge.” The historic shopping district has small-town charm galore, with little boutiques, cafes and public art sculptures along the route. If French antiques are your passion, visit Self Indulgence Antiques and Interiors. The owners, a mother-and-daughter team, create opulent room settings in their showroom that feature crystal chandeliers, stemware, furniture and antique silver. Bev Frank Antiques is another great stop — check out the extensive collection of period glass and china, costume jewelry, Victoriana, chandeliers and furniture.
Day 3: Eclectic Finds and Vintage Cars in Hood River
Along the spectacular 50-mile stretch of Interstate 84 from Troutdale to Hood River, plumes of waterfalls cascade over basalt cliffs into the Columbia River. Spend some time in Hood River’s walkable downtown, with an eclectic mix of art galleries, restaurants, brewpubs, windsurfing outfitters and boutiques. If you love a good selection of boho clothing, like-new vintage decor and silver jewelry, Second Thought Resale Shop is a downtown favorite. For more thrift-shop finds, Goodwill on Oak Boutique is one of the retailer’s upscale shops, with plenty of vintage clothing, handbags, decor and housewares.
On the scenic Fruit Loop to the south, The Old Trunk is one of those “only in Oregon” places loved by both visitors and residents. Part antique store with funky-cool finds — including vinyl records — it’s also a seasonal fruit stand with fresh-cut flowers and a soda fountain. It’s open from April to November.
While you’re in town: The Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum has 350 restored aircraft, cars, motorcycles, military vehicles and tractors in the 3.5-acre hangar. Check the website for hands-on activities, too, like learning how to drive a Model-T or taking a biplane ride.
Day 4: Mid-Century Modern and Vintage Vinyl in The Dalles
East of Hood River, the downtown business core of The Dalles offers plenty of antique and vintage shops. Breezeway Boutique Antique Market groups decor and furniture by the period, making shopping easy. If your groove is midcentury modern, they have a roomful. Red Wagon Antiques is a collector’s dream of period lighting, dolls, glassware, furniture, trunks, metal toys and Oregon ephemera. Browse the stacks at Yesterday & Today Records, a crate-digger’s happy place for rare vinyl.
While you’re in town: Klindt’s Booksellers is the oldest bookstore in Oregon, opened in 1870. The “new” 1893 location has original glass bookcases, and some say the ghost of Edna, a previous owner, wanders around on the old wooden floors.