Old Town Vancouver Shops


Funny story: I went shopping in Vancouver this week. Get that confused look off your face — I shop everywhere. Since I grew up on the Oregon Coast, sticking close to home was an option, but a very boring one indeed. So mom and I went to every antique and junk store, and thrift shop within 50 miles of our house. There was simply nothing else to do. We also hit every festival up and down the coast: Blackberry Festival, Huckleberry Festival, Cranberry Festival, Fun Festival (as opposed to the Not-Fun Festival; you’ve been there, too).

In Portland, though, there’s always something to do, so what was happening in Vancouver? An appointment. A non-sexy appointment with a Washington attorney at 2PM. Leaving her office meant sitting in traffic on successive bridges unless an outing presented itself. Also, I was meeting friends in North PDX in the evening, and I really hate to waste gas and time. Thanks to Google, two nearby antique stores appeared: AAA Antiques on 4th Plain and Old Glory Antique Mall in Old Town. Off I went to AAA, only to discover….that AAA Antiques no longer exists. Sure, it shows up on a Google search, but did I call first? When will I learn.


Without calling first (yep — slow learn), I then took off for Old Glory and truly lucked out: the store was open and staffed by nice people. They’ve got a HUGE collection of costume jewelry (see Pics 1 and 2), and plenty to look at and through. It’s a multi-vendor space, so it takes a bit of time.


P1030562More cool finds: an impressive selection of linens at several booths (see Pics 3 and 4). What would you do with old linens? Here’s a reminder.


P1030567Check out the creative lights made from salvage in Pics 5 and 6. Nifty stuff.

Guess what? There’s more than just Old Glory in Old Town. The downtown Vancouver area is small, about the size of Multnomah Village, and similarly stocked with stores. Leaving Old Glory, I went to check out what the other venues had to offer. The other businesses primarily fall in two categories: antique / vintage or restaurants / coffee / tea shops. I can live with that mix! I did not check out the restaurants, but the wine bar / Italian restaurant looked promising. The antique / vintage stores are generally old and dark, very cluttered, and they almost all smell really nice. There is some serious aromatherapy trending in Vancouver!

Not all the stores have a good selection or good prices. One vintage clothing store offered very worn clothes for high prices. But then there’s Shipyard Millie’s, with vintage kitsch and mid-century furniture. Plus the Facebook page shows pictures and lists prices — a nice feature. That makes for efficient shopping. Efficiency is a good thing: don’t make the trip if the inventory or the prices are not right for you. Don’t make the trip if the damn store you want to visit is closed (call first).

I was heading back to my car when I noticed the walking sticks, $10 each, at Main Street Trader. Their motto is All Wood…All Good! What else is there to say? Oh, there are so many responses to that, but here’s a G-rated one. At $10 a pop, these are a great, fantastic, incredible gift if a friend or relative would actually use it. My neighbor across the street used a walking stick like this for years around the yard in lieu of a cane. It helped him get out of chairs, balance when standing by the mailbox with a drink in his hand (why he needed the help balancing), and cross the street to lecture me about my shrubbery. Do you have someone in your life who could use similar assistance? Betcha do.

What do you think? I know! It’s time to go forth and shop. In Vancouver.