By David Holty – One of the most popular attractions for residents and guests here in Big Canoe is the proximity to dozens of excellent antique malls and markets. To be sure, there are plenty of antique markets south of us, in Woodstock or Canton… but today we are concentrating on the North Georgia antique stores a short drive away from the Big Canoe community.
Why do we find so many antique malls, antique stores and thrift shops in North Georgia? It’s not surprising, because this region has a rich Southern history, and shoppers prize the classic American and European treasures that can be found here.
The closest is less than ten minutes away, nestled in the Foothills Shopping Center at the corner of GA 53 and Steve Tate Highway [near the IGA store.] “Junkmama’s” has just opened and new vendors are setting up now. Stop by and introduce yourself to Tina; she’ll show you an impressive array of furniture, oil paintings, and other art objects. As a special treat, the loft upstairs is Gail Cody’s space, and she specializes in vintage clothing. Antique buffs will recognize this is a fast-growing specialty which is becoming more “main-stream” as people realize how attractive and becoming some of that “period” attire can be, even today!
The closest town to Big Canoe is Jasper, home to a half-dozen good antique outlets. Three of my favorites are Antiques and Treasures at 1227 E. Church St.; Mountainside Antique Mall at 1355 Old Philadelphia Rd.; and Burnt Mountain Trading Co. at 14 Mark Whitfield Dr. All three are big, sprawling spaces with dozens of individual vendors who specialize in a little bit of everything. My wife and I were invited to a “period” wedding last month, and Jane found a beautiful ladies’ hat at Antiques and Treasures. It is light beige, looks brand new, with a wide brim, ribbon, and a lovely net veil. It was perfect for that “turn of the 20th century” look! We love to collect Frankoma pottery, and we have found several pieces at Mountainside Antique Mall.
Good antiquing can also be found in two other nearby towns—Dawsonville and Dahlonega. Perhaps the best-known venues for antique shopping are two other towns a bit further away. Ellijay is about a half-hour drive, and Blue Ridge is another ten minutes further north. There are at least a dozen opportunities for antique shopping in the Ellijay area. Here are some of my favorites.
Misty Hollow Antiques is a fun place to shop. They are located just a block from the main square, at 34 North Main St. Start with a complementary cup of hot apple cider with their special mulling spices. The North Star Emporium is located right on the north side of the square. They have twenty vendors and a little bit of everything, including a confectionary and a deli! You might also try Outback Antiques and Collectables; they are at 58 River St. just a mile west of the square. You can find them on “Facebook.”
Blue Ridge, GA is another ten miles north, right off Highway 76. The famous Blue Ridge Railway begins at the downtown depot, and there are five high-quality antique shops right across the street on East Main St. Our favorite is Blue Ridge Antiques, at the corner of Depot Street and a half-block walk from the train station. Here you’ll find 10,000 square feet of antiques, collectables and gift items, and a very welcoming and knowledgeable staff. Just next door is the High Country Art and Antique Art Gallery; this has a very pleasant, quality atmosphere for shopping. One block further north on E. Main St. you’ll come to the Blue Ridge Mountain Mall; this too is a local favorite.