Pensacola, Florida, should ideally be the antique capital of America. After all, no other town in America is more of an antique. While you may read that St. Augustine on the opposite coast of the peninsula is America’s Oldest City, the reality is that Pensacola was the first European settlement. Only one of the hurricanes that hit the area hard every once in a while kept this antique settlement from being America’s oldest city. But the city was rebuilt after St. Augustine was founded and now, several hundred years later, Pensacola not only has that city beat, but every other city in Florida. Because among the antique stores worth browsing through here is the Florida’s largest antique mall.
Miles Antique Mall
5109 Bayou Blvd.
Pensacola, FL 32503
Miles Antique proudly bills itself as Florida’s Largest Antique Mall. And mall it is. (The immediately preceding tenant of the space was a Spirit of Halloween superstore!) Spread across 65,000 square feet of space can be found hundreds of vendors selling their wares. This is the kind of antique store that you see featured on those decorating shows where people buy something for a low price, fancy it up and then sell it for double. Of course, with an acre and a half to browse through, Miles Antique is also a great place to find exactly what you want to keep for you own. One of the really nice things about Florida’s Largest Antique Mall is that the relics from the past found inside are replicated by some customer service relics increasingly hard to find, especially among antique stores : options for layaway and delivery services. With the vendor count as of spring 2014 somewhere around 400, the variety of antiques inside covers the gamut from furniture to books, clothing to advertising signs, jewelry to handmade nautical décor. Miles Antique Mall is open seven days a week, accepts credit cards and provides complimentary snacks and beverages. The only downside is limited parking space, but just behind the store is the mammoth parking lot of a cineplex so if you can’t find a spot, you can always opt for a short walk. And if you can’t find something you like at Miles Antique Mall, you can see Cordova Mall from its parking lot.
Dixie’s Antiques and Collectibles
10100 Pensacola Blvd.
Pensacola, FL 32534
I drive past Dixie’s Antiques and Collectibles several times a week and never fail to slow down to take a look at new bit of antique and collectible fun they have featured outside their doors. Inside you will find silverware, crystal and glass situated next to solid wood furniture. Not far down the road from Dixie’s Antique and Collectibles is what used to be the old Monsanto plant. You could say that Dixie’s Antiques and Collectibles is a phoenix rising from the ashes of economic collapse. When massive layoffs took place at the leading employer in Cantonment, some were inspired by desperation to reinvent themselves. Lucky for antique hunters and buyers of collectibles, one of those reinventions took the form of this old-school purveyor of the art of selling memories. If you are over 50, you will come across something inside Dixie’s that you haven’t seen in years or even decades.
3733 W Navy Blvd
Pensacola , FL 32507
Many people come to Pensacola to visit relatives in the military at the Naval Air Station or to stop by the National Naval Aviation Museum out there. About ten minutes from the Naval Air Station you will find the Taco House, the best Mexican restaurant in town. What better way to walk off a delicious and deliciously affordable lunch of Tex-Mex than a two-minute drive down to Oooodles Antiques ? Oooodles, as you might expect from the name, is a bit funkier than Dixie’s. In addition to antique store staples like furniture, china plates, silver tableware and an abundance of nautical collectibles, Oooodles Antiques also serves up some offbeat clothing, unusual ceramic and pottery and even rare first edition books. Another plus for Oodles: it has that indefinable aromatic quality best described as “antique store smell” that the others lack. So if the scent of timelessness is one of the things you love best about going antique shopping, then you do be sure to stop by Oooodles Antiques. It’s on the commercially traveled side of town, so parking should not be a problem.