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Antiquing in San Diego


Antiquing has seen a much needed revival over the past year. The recession left many antique and *curio shops in the dust, closing doors that stood open for decades previous. Stores that proudly carried items from the depression era were seeing their own faltering economies make examples out of them in that one of the first things to go in challenging financial times are the luxuries. Collectors began selling off their treasures as opposed to adding to their collections resulting in a relentless buyer's market. 

There have been small upward bounds in the industry but the biggest reason for the aforementioned revival has been the inception of everything antique into our day to day reality programming. The Antique Roadshow has long been a guilty TV pleasure for many but new programs such as Auction Hunters, Auction Kings, American Pickers, Storage Wars and the massively popular Pawn Stars has attracted an even younger audience. All of a sudden it's cool to check the newspapers for Sunday afternoon yard sales in hopes of flipping a five dollar purchase into a fortune. Grandparents all over the country are getting far more frequent visits from the kids and grandkids whom after 30 minutes of small talk over coffee, tea and biscuits are found rummaging through their basements and attics, digging through trunks of old knick knacks and armoires, inspecting each for dates, serial numbers, and inscriptions that may indicate value. Antiquing is no longer only for pretentious monocle wearing aristocrats that consider Pottery Barn blasphemous. It has become a hipster historian hobby, creating vintage virtuosos and art of the deal thrill seekers, all who also now find Pottery Barn blasphemous. 

This trend becomes immediately evident after an afternoon spent browsing San Diego's Antique District on Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach. T-shirt and skinny jean clad individuals one would customarily see hunched over a laptop at Starbucks in addition to young couples and families with tots in hand now made up the entourage peeking through the creaking bell chiming doors of shops that once waxed geriatric. More conservative patrons were still found in the higher end stores marked by Victorian and Mid Century Art Deco decor but the places that see the highest customer traffic include those that carry vintage tin Coco Cola signs that appear purposefully and perfectly rusted as well as instruments, movie memorabilia, old toys, Shwinns, ship wheels, and strange artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th century.  If all of the above appeals to your senses or sounds like something you can get into we have provided a brief synopsis of the Ocean Beach Antique District in San Diego for you to treasure hunt in or perhaps attempt to unload that ornate vase from your unwitting Grandmother's basement. Shame on you.


* Curio (wikipedia definition) - A strange and interesting object that invokes curiosity.


Ocean Beach Antique District

Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach (San Diego), CA


There's no better destination than the Ocean Beach Antique District, within a few minutes proximity to downtown San Deigo and other popular points of interest. However, there is no need to plan any other activities for the day as the sheer size of the district will keep fans of antiques and curios enthralled for hours. Newport Avenue is the place to be, with literally hundreds of antique dealers crammed perfectly into a few blocks for collectors, interior decorators, pickers, and casual shoppers to salivate over. The scenery is also exquisite beyond the quaint shops, with the Ocean Beach Pier within walking distance.


For those looking for a little luxury, Vignettes (4828 Newport Avenue) is a glamorous French and Italian themed store. Newport Avenue Antiques (4836 Newport Avenue) has a little more something for everyone with a large and eclectic selection that includes Chabby Chic to Folk Art and everything in between. The Ocean Beach Antique Mall (4926 Newport Avenue) is packed with an assorted selection including vintage accessories for both the home and body (gold, silver, and costume jewelry) in addition to sports collectibles for those that may find Victorian goods a little too antiquated for their tastes. Finally, the Newport Avenue Antique Center and Coffee House (4864 Newport Avenue) is a real treat, with a slight Asian decor influence in addition to some fun 50's memorablia and, as the name states, a gourmet coffee house, creating the perfect setting to browse, shop and grab an espresso on the way out and towards the nearby Pacific horizon to watch the sunset and reflect on all of your fabulous finds of the day.