Named by Money magazine as a 2010 Best Places to Live, McKinney, Texas is located just 30 miles north of Dallas. McKinney’s historic downtown district bursts at the seams with unique stores and is the ideal day trip for collectors and bargain hunters alike. Looking for Roy Rogers comics? How about Fenton glassware? Or are you looking for country music vinyl records? Go on a modern day treasure hunt with high end boutiques intermixed with the fabulously cluttered juntique stores.
Antique Company Mall (213 Virginia Street) hosts dozens of independent dealers selling everything from beanie babies to antique high chairs. China and glassware abound with a few dealers selling the truly unique. Nostalgic Breeze offers electric, vintage fans from the 1930’s to 1960’s. General Electric, Emerson and Westinghouse fans are all available. Better yet, Nostalgic Breeze can restore or repair the fan you found in Grandma’s basement. In the back of the mall, you’ll find signed contemporary books from Betty Ford to John Grisham for sale. Other dealers specialize in Abingdon pottery, enamel teapots and one dealer has a large collection of sprinkler nozzles and antique faucet handles. Bargain hunters will love the mall with many dealers offering newer items (circa 1950’s to today) at tag sale prices.
Next door at Homepieces (203-A Virginia) shop owner Vicki Woods offers a selection of primitive finished furniture and architectural pieces. She has a fantastic selection of beveled mirrors, the type you’d expect to find over the mantle of a stately old home. The shop is small, so if you don’t find what you are looking for, ask. Ms Woods will happily seek out items for customers during her buying trips.
One street south, shops and restaurants line Louisiana Street. A visit to Antique House (212 E Louisiana Street) is like stepping into a Victorian English parlor. Silver plate tea sets, old oak sideboards, Straffordshire dogs and Blue Willow china fill the shop. The store specializes in estate jewelry and has nice selection of glassware and china. Unlike many of the surrounding malls, many of Antique House’s offerings meet my criteria for an antique, a collectible item over 100 years old. While you definitely will find some wonderful English antiques, this is not a shop for bargain hunters.
Across the street, you’ll find Heirlooms (219 E Louisiana). The mini antique mall houses an eclectic mix of collectibles. Affordable, the store has an interesting mix of glassware, china, and design items – some old and some of newer vintage. You will not find antiques at Plum Creek Primitives (200 E Louisiana), but it is worth the visit just to smell the aroma of Mom’s home cooked apple pie as you enter the shop. The store offers a fun selection of folk art, country wares and reproduction furniture. The constantly changing inventory and seasonal motifs keep things fresh and interesting If your decorating style is early American or Country, Plum Creek Primitives is a must for your McKinney visit.
Finally, for a unique shop, stop at Smitten (118 E Louisiana). This store advertises its repurposing of found objects. You’ll find old bird cages housing paintings and antique books hang on walls as you would hang a painting. Paper crafting is alive here. Old sheet music, modern crepe paper and old items are combined to form new decorative pieces. For the creative, The Studio at Smitten hosts classes on creating these transformations.
Shopped out yet? Recharge with a chicken salad sandwich and homemade pie at The Pantry (214 E Louisiana). This homey restaurant has been at its historic location for over 25 years and is open for lunch only. If you want breakfast for lunch, check out Spoons Café (100 E Louisiana). Spoons Café serves breakfast all day and also has a selection of sandwiches and salads.
Before heading home, stop by Landon Winery (101 N Kentucky) to sample wines and enjoy a cheese platter. For those with a sweet tooth, visit Mom and PopCorn (215 E Louisiana) for a sugary trip through memory lane. This candy store specializes in unusual and nostalgic candy. You’ll find everything from Mary Janes to jelly bellies. Their selection of saltwater taffy is unrivaled.
Historic downtown McKinney provides a kaleidoscope of shopping and dining experiences certain to satisfy the most diverse interests. You may even come home with a treasure.