Do you feel giddy running your fingers along a crackling book cover – bringing it up to your nose to take in its historic smell? Does the style of vintage glass make you weak in the knees? Do you and your girlfriends love spending the day rifling through shelves of discarded treasures in search of that one piece that speaks to you? If so, you might want to plan your next antiquing trip to Ypsilanti, Michigan. There you’ll find an abundance of historic artifacts creates, making it a perfect setting for a full day or weekend of taking it all in. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry – our Retro TravelingMom will show you exactly where to go.
Ypsilanti, Michigan – An Antique-lovers Paradise
If you share my enthusiasm for all things retro, you might understand the frustration I feel in being able to find enough vintage themed places within the same zip code to make a specific trip out of it. These types of places often tend to be spread out over several different cities. This makes an antique themed travel excursion hard to come by. However, on my recent trip to the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan, I found enough antique stores, museums, and even nearby places to dine that I was able to create a complete itinerary for a weekend full of antique loving fun!
Where to Shop
The first thing to consider when creating an antiquing inspired trip is deciding where to shop. I never really know what I am looking to buy. So I like to visit several different styles of antique stores. I simply love to take my time wandering the aisles of vintage treasures until something stands out and speaks to me. You might know exactly what you want to look for when you head out. I’ve listed a quick reference of what you’re most likely to find at each of the locations below.
Muse Atelier was the first stop I made on my antique trail and also one of my favorite stops. Inside the large converted barn is a plethora of vintage dresses, scarves, jackets, jewelry items, and trinkets. Overall, this place screams vintage glam! If you’re looking to show off your vintage style, they also have an in-house studio where you can get some professional photos taken. One thing that stood out about this location was their abundance of plus sized vintage clothing. That’s hard to come by in the second-hand shopping world.
This next location will be super easy to find because it is literally located adjacent to the same parking lot as Muse. While these two locations are extremely close in location, the offerings in each couldn’t be further apart. Those looking for antique furniture, home decor, or retro art would find their place at Schmidts. As I wandered this store, I was able to completely remodel my entire home in my head. Unfortunately, my wallet never agrees with me!
If you are looking to remodel a home and are on the hunt for vintage doors, knobs, lighting fixtures, and accent pieces than Materials Unlimited should definitely be added to your must-see list. This rustic, “hunt for what you want” style location really pushed me to flex my creativity muscles. Since everything is pieced out, you should come here if you really shop to create a one of a kind item.
Salt City Antiques and Collectibles
The next stop on my self-guided antique trail took me into the heart of Ypsilanti. It not only gave me an opportunity for even more shopping but it gave me a chance to wander the eclectic downtown streets and branch out to other types of stores and locations. While Salt City Antiques and Collectibles is smaller than the ones listed before, it had a lot of brightly colored antiques that fit perfectly into my style. This stop is great for its location downtown and smaller knickknack style offerings.
Where to Step Foot into History
I was delighted to find that Ypsilanti also offered me so much more to add to my vintage inspired weekend than just shopping! If you enjoy learning about history with visits to museums and historic locations than you might also enjoy these next stops. I know I did!
Ypsilanti Automotive History Museum
The Ypsilanti Automotive History Museum was one of the few Hudson dealers available. While it no longer sells Hudson parts, this automotive shop, turned museum, houses a nice selection of things vintage automotive related for enthusiasts to enjoy. There are cars, old signs, and even a few travel related items that are perfectly situated within the trunks of cars – encompassing that desire to voyage that some of us have willingly inherited.
Willow Run Bomber Plant & Yankee Air Museum
A special part of history resides in Ypsilanti Township with the Willow Run Bomber Plant – a location that created bomber planes for use during World War II with the help of real-life “Rosie the Riveters”. While this bomber plant location is still under construction with a large preservation effort, the nearby Yankee Air Museum offers a look into this world for the time being with real life flights in historic aircraft, artifacts on display, and staff available to answer any questions that you may have or offer their own stories of the era. The museum plans to move to the Willow Run Bomber plant in the near future.
Where to Dine
While Ypsilanti had quite a few lovely restaurants to dine in, I couldn’t help but head over to the neighboring city of Ann Arbor. There I stopped at the Fleetwood Diner which has been serving this area since 1947. The tin can exterior of this location paired perfectly with their breakfast and sandwich style offerings.
If you would like to keep the vintage travel weekend going even longer, we’ve got a full list of things to do in neighboring city Ann Arbor – many of which have their own retro appeal.