Bay West Antiques (221 Grandview Pkwy., 231-947-3211), Traverse City’s first antique mall, is the perfect place to begin a day of sifting through treasures of the past. Browse the booths, swapping stories with the friendly, chatty staff. Don’t worry about how you’ll get that mahogany-trimmed settee home—Bay West offers shipping and delivery.
Wilson Antiques (123 S. Union Street, 231-946-4177) is a four-floor wonder with nearly 50 dealers and 20,000 square feet. Ladies, hang on to your husbands here: antique knives, sports gear and fishing and hunting collectibles make this mall a perfect place for men to wander off. There’s no want for vintage clothing, fine china and furniture, either, and don’t forget to check out the mezzanine levels between floors. Themed displays draw passersby into easy-to-navigate booths.
After four floors of antiquing you’ll be ready for something smaller, so head out to the country antique shops on Old Mission Peninsula. At Cherry Acre Antiques (12396 Peninsula Dr., 231-223-4813) housed in the old ice house on a 132-acre cherry farm, chat with owner Julie Edmondson while you browse her collection of old advertising signs, vintage postcards and other antiques. Stop by the self-serve farm stand at the end of the drive for just-picked seasonal fruit and Cherry Acre’s specialty cherry juice.
Find a similar setting down the lane at Walt’s Barn Antiques (2513 Nelson Rd., 231-223-4123), where a wooden barn makes room for one of everything within its unpainted wood-plank walls. This shop specializes in vintage clothing, buttons and postcards, but a smaller workshop barn just up the drive reveals Walt’s personal favorite collections: antique slot machines and vintage gas pumps.
QUICK BITE: A cozy supper awaits on the peninsula at Old Mission Tavern. Swing by on Thursday for homemade peirogi, or on Sunday for the popular chicken and prime rib dinner, and then take a turn through the adjacent Bella Galleria to see artwork by local artists. (17015 Center Rd., 231-223-7280, oldmissiontavern.com)