A tour through Isabella County's antique trail

The antique shops of Isabella County are ideally situated for a fun and rewarding antiquing day trip; and, the mid-Michigan countryside provides a rustic backdrop to the trip with a variety of seasonal displays.

Start your trip at the Antiques and Uniques Marketplace, located at 520 E. Wright Avenue in the village of Shepherd, Michigan.  The store is located just west of the US-127 exit. This multi-vendor venue is spacious, well-lit, and full of antique, vintage and collectible items.  The store also features hand-crafted items, primitives, and project materials for hobbyists.  Store owner Tammy Whitmer highlights the variety and number of coins available for sale.  The store is daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be contacted at (989) 828-5000.

To get to the next stop on the antique trail, continue to travel due west on Wright Avenue to Vintage Village Antiques, located at 302 W. Wright Ave. in downtown Shepherd. The store is located in a historic downtown building with plenty of natural light and high ceilings, creating a light, pleasant atmosphere for shopping. Vintage Village Antiques features antique furniture, tools, household items, vintage home décor, and linens.  Locally made candles and soaps are also available for sale. The store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be contacted at (989) 567-2240.

Traveling due west, Wright Avenue turns into Blanchard Road after leaving the Shepherd Village limits.  From there you travel 10 ½ miles to the country village of Winn, approximately a 15-minute drive.  Cedar Valley Antiques is located downtown at 2835 W. Blanchard Road and features early pattern glass.  For hours of operation, contact Cedar Valley Antiques at (989) 866-6155.

Next, head to Antiques on the Side in Mount Pleasant. To get there, you will stop at a country crossroad upon leaving Winn.  Turn north onto Winn Road and drive approximately 4 miles north to Millbrook Road.  The signs for the Sportsman’s Club will alert you, and turn back to the east.  Antiques On the Side is located at 1833 W. Millbrook Road.

The main store features antiques and collectibles, as well as repurposed and hand-made vintage style furniture. Additionally, the store sells their own line of hand-made ink pens. They are open most Fridays and Saturdays, but it is suggested that you call ahead at (989) 866-2527 to confirm or arrange to shop by appointment.

Also located on the site is Jenny Wren’s Country Store, which offers vintage garden items and architectural details.  The store has a third location, with vendor space in Eureka’s Kitchen in downtown Blanchard, which is the next destination.

Returning back to Blanchard Road, turn to the west.  The drive becomes quite scenic, with winding curves and hills, trees arching over the road, and the historic millpond area upon entering the village of Blanchard.  Eureka’s Kitchen and General Store is in the heart of downtown, at 333 Main St. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it is a quaint country cafe with vendor space. Antiques On the Side has their retail area here, as well as Best Friends Antiques, whose main store is located just to the west – the next stop on the tour.

This converted carriage house is the home of Best Friends Antiques.

Best Friends Antiques can be found behind a sweet picket fence at 239 Main St. Business owner Diane Clark says the shop has been in the same historic location for 24 years.

A converted carriage house provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of primitives, and country antique furniture and décor; however, the store specializes in wooden bowls and stoneware. If you’re looking for architectural accents or garden décor, their guest house is a must see!

The store is open from April through mid-December on Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are also available – just call (989) 561-2822.

One Last Dance can also be found in Blanchard – at 339 Main St. The store is located in a historic building that has had extensive restoration work, creating a light and airy rustic feeling while you shop.  A combination of boutique and antique, the store features quality, gently used furniture and vintage household decor.  For hours of operation or to make an appointment, call (989) 287-0519.

The total drive time on this trail of antiques clocks in at well under an hour for the round trip, leaving you with plenty of time to shop. Along the way, plan to stop for a bite to eat at one of several small restaurants and cafes.  There are Amish baked goods and farm fresh produce for sale at roadside stands and country markets.  The fall colors of wood and field make for an especially dramatic mini color-tour; but visit anytime!

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