By Whitney Butler
For shoppers who enjoy antiques, oddities and the hunt for great bargains, Gainesville is a paradise. From Americana and vintage Victorian to flea-market steals, fresh produce and local crafts, you’ll find what you’re looking for—as well as some unexpected gems—while shopping the antique stores and flea markets of Alachua County.
Hit the country road and check out these hot spots for treasures and bargains on your next visit to Gainesville.
Waldo Farmer’s and Flea Market
For more than 35 years, the communities of Alachua County have come to Waldo Farmer’s and Flea Market to sell and purchase just about everything under the Florida sun. Originally the love child of Al and Anne Killian, today the open market and antique mall is owned and operated by their daughter, who has since added to the property that continues to attract more than 30,000 patrons each weekend.
If you’re looking for fun at bargain prices, Waldo’s old-fashioned flea market, open every Saturday and Sunday, is the place to go. Everything from fresh produce and old farm equipment to puppies and rabbits can be found in the outdoor area, where nearly 900 vendors open shop throughout the year. Inside the large antique mall, shoppers will find antique jewelry, fine dishware, knick-knacks, local crafts and more.
For treasures not lost to antiquity, the best place to shop is Micanopy, one of Florida’s oldest settlements.
Once a village trading post, Micanopy enjoyed a renaissance in the mid-20th century as residents of Gainesville and other surrounding cities sought leisure among the intimate setting dotted with giant oak trees. Today, many historic buildings have been repurposed as shops, where unique treasures lie waiting to be discovered.
Cholokka Boulevard is the main street where visitors will find excellent oddity shops and antique stores—some specialize in instruments or books, while others offer a great variety of period pieces and local art.
The Shop is a local favorite, with eccentric personality around every corner and personally curated collectibles ranging from vintage and contemporary home furnishings to folk art, seasonal décor and specialty decorator fare.
Antique City Mall is a great spot to shop for bargains. With more than 25,000 square feet of retail space, it’s hard to know what to expect, but there’s certainly something for everyone.
In addition to great shopping, visitors to Micanopy can explore more of the area’s history at the Micanopy Historical Society Museum located in the Thrasher Warehouse, which was used for storing agricultural equipment and once served by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.
For a mélange of old and new, High Springs offers shoppers a mix of artisan goods and antique shopping with other surprising twists.
Downtown High Springs is a colorful destination for antique shoppers and treasure hunters. Here you’ll find fine jewelry, home décor and furnishings as well as fresh flowers and gifts.
The Antique Center of High Springs is a large antique emporium filled with vintage and period pieces that are representative of the area and its history.
Peppered throughout High Springs, historic homes have been converted into small antique stores where shoppers can enjoy decorated rooms filled with antiques and vintage pieces. Heartstrings on Main Street is one example, and has a delightful assortment of Vera Bradley, Yankee Candle, home décor and gift items.
Union Street Farmers Market
Open every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Union Street Farmers Market is another great place to score a bargain. And there’s a lot more to enjoy at this outdoor market than just fresh fruits and vegetables. Shoppers can enjoy live musical performances by local talent and survey vendors selling all kinds of products like natural bath and body products, craft jewelry, baked goods and more.
Rain or shine, this farmers’ market features 60 vendors selling locally sourced products directly to the public at great prices.