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Historical Antique Capital of Florida – Arcadia, Florida

Arcadia is the Antique Capital of Florida

From Tampa, Florida as you travel I-75 south to Bradenton you will find Rt. 70 as the second exit. Head west for 30 minutes to DESOTO COUNTY. This is cattle country, but situated in the middle of the county is the city of Arcadia.

In the 1800s, Arcadia was the center of an area that now includes DeSoto, Charlotte, and Highlands counties. When broken into these counties, Arcadia’s center of activity and population diminished.

Antiques are Arcadia - Antique Capital of Florida
Antiques are everywhere in Arcadia. Both sides of the downtown district.

Now the town of Arcadia has established itself as the antique capital of Florida. This declaration brings people from around Florida to search for that special item for their antique collection. It is pretty clear Arcadia has the best antique stores in Florida.

It should be noted that another Florida town claims some significant fame for antiques. Micanopy, named for an Indian chief, also supports a few antique shops in the town center. We have been to both, but Arcadia seems to have many more options.

This Town is from Another Era and Quite Satisfied!

Many of the antique shops and restaurants are located in historic buildings from a century ago. You can spend a day or more just antiquing! If you like 19th-century architecture there is plenty of that.

Arcadia rodeo - antique capital of Florida
The annual rodeo at the Desoto County fairgrounds is indicative of Arcadia’s history as a cow town.

We have seen claims from many small towns about being the largest, the best, the most, etc., but Arcadia lives up to the hype about being the antique capital of Florida.

Military antiques, agricultural antiques, iconic antiques, artwork antiques, and just about any other combination of old relics. can be found.  Visit the Historic Downtown Arcadia Antique District. This area, located in the heart of downtown, is home to over 20 antique shops and malls, offering a wide variety of antiques, vintage items, and collectibles. Visitors can find everything from vintage clothing and jewelry to furniture and home decor.

Another popular antique destination in Arcadia is the DeSoto Antique Mall, located on US Highway 17. This large mall features over 100 dealers and offers a wide variety of antiques, collectibles, and vintage items. The mall is open seven days a week and is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

In addition to the Arcadia antique shops and malls, the town also offers several annual events that highlight the town’s antique heritage. The Annual Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo is held each year in February and features a variety of cowboy-themed activities and events, including a rodeo and a cowboy parade. The annual Antique Fair and Flea Market, held in the fall, is another popular event that features a wide variety of antiques, vintage items, and collectibles.

What is old junk to some is a valuable find for that decorator or collector. There is an amazing collection in Arcadia, the antique capital of Florida.

Arcadia Opera House - antique capital of FloridaArcadia is the Antique Capital of Florida and Much More!

Arcadia is also home to numerous historic sites, including the Arcadia Opera House, built in 1907, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The DeSoto County Historical Society Museum, located downtown, offers a recollection of the area’s rich history and features artifacts and exhibits that highlight the past.

The town is also home to several parks and recreational areas, including the Desoto County Fairgrounds, which hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. Oak Street Park, located in the heart of downtown, features a playground, picnic area, and walking trail. 

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Arcadia is also known for its vibrant arts scene, with several art galleries and studios located throughout the town. The Arcadia Arts Council hosts a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the year. 

Arcadia is a town that represents old Florida. Desoto County is and was the heart of cattle country. As you travel in and around Arcadia you see the vast open farms. Cattle graze in the flatlands as they did a couple decades ago. You still see a few cowboys tending their duties.

The area also gives you a visual picture of Florida well removed from the tourist-laden glitz of Orlando, Miami, and Tampa.

Arcadia is about an hour’s drive from Tampa, Florida. About an hour day trip from Orlando, Florida. and about two hours from the Villages. Is Arcadia worth a day trip from Tampa? We think the antique capital of Florida, Arcadia, is well with the visit. If you are an antique buff, Arcadia is a must-visit!

Things To Do in Arcadia Florida

What Kind of Florida Antiques are in Arcadia?

Arcadia, Florida, offers a diverse range of antiques for collectors and enthusiasts. Arcadia is known for the best antique stores in Florida. 
Some popular categories of antiques found in Arcadia include:
  • Vintage Furniture: Arcadia is known for its collection of vintage furniture pieces ranging from mid-century modern to Victorian styles. You can find antique tables, chairs, dressers, and cabinets that add character to any home.arcadia antique shops old TV
  • Collectible Glassware: Antique glassware such as Depression glass, carnival glass, and milk glass are commonly found in Arcadia’s antique shops. These pieces often feature intricate designs and vibrant colors, making them prized possessions for collectors.
  • Porcelain and Pottery: Arcadia is home to a variety of porcelain and pottery pieces from different periods and regions. You can find antique porcelain figurines, dinnerware sets, and pottery vases that showcase craftsmanship from bygone eras.
  • Vintage Clothing and Accessories: Antique clothing, hats, handbags, and jewelry are also popular finds in Arcadia’s antique stores. These items offer a glimpse into fashion trends of the past and can be excellent additions to any vintage-inspired wardrobe.
  • Artwork and Decorative Items: Arcadia’s antique shops often feature a selection of paintings, prints, sculptures, and decorative items from various periods and styles. Whether you’re interested in folk art, oil paintings, or antique mirrors, you’re likely to find something that catches your eye.
  • Tools and Farm Equipment: Given Arcadia’s agricultural history, antique tools and farm equipment are also common finds. These items offer a glimpse into the region’s farming heritage and can be great additions to collections or as decorative pieces for rustic-themed spaces.best antique towns in Florida
  • Vintage Toys and Games: Arcadia’s antique stores often carry a selection of vintage toys and games from different eras. Whether you’re a collector or looking for nostalgic items from your childhood, you can find everything from tin toys to board games in Arcadia.
These are just a few examples of the types of antiques you might find in Arcadia, Florida. The town’s rich history and vibrant antique scene make it a treasure trove for collectors and antique enthusiasts alike.

Conclusion on Arcadia and the Best Antique Stores in Florida

Florida Travel Blog spends many weeks each year travel the cities and towns in Florida. We can easily say that we have never been in a better town in Florida for finding genuine Florida antiques.

Take a day trip in Florida soon to this wonderful little town. Oh yes, on the way home the Ellenton Outlet Mall is just off I-75 in Bradenton, Florida!

Micanopy – Another Antique Laden Town in Florida

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