My Orlando Thrift and Antique Guide
Visiting local thrift stores was the norm for me growing up. When you are one of five children attending public school, with parents on a tight budget, brand new school clothes were a rare treat reserved for staple items like one good pair of jeans and a pair of shorts. Arizona jeans from JCPennys may not have excited you, but they certainly smelled like luxury to me.
The rest of my school wardrobe was a smattering of random logo’d t-shirts, weird mens shirts and plaid pants, and anything that piqued my interest while browsing the racks of Goodwill. What is now accepted as cool was something I got made fun of for, mainly because I was vocal and excited to share the tales of my bargain shopping.
There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you shop second-hand. In fact, now not only is it considered cool to create outfits from thrift treasures, but it’s a slap in the face to all the fast fashion brands out there who continue to add to our pollution issues and add to poor working conditions for so many people. Thrifting is good for your wallet and the planet.
Bring hand sanitizer!
Consider the outfit you wear while shopping. Some thrift shops don’t have dressing rooms, and most will not accept returns. Wear something snug like form-fitting tank tops, leggings, shorts, etc., so you can easily throw on clothes over the outfit you have on. There is no shame in using the aisle as your fitting room.
Inspect items carefully. All clothing should ideally be turned inside out for a full assessment. If you are looking at electronics, find a place to plug them in!
Scan the racks. Not everyone has the patience to dig piece by piece, so learn to scan the racks for color palettes and patterns that immediately grab your attention.
Google while you shop. Some items might be worth far more than what is on the price tag. If you see something that looks special or unique take a minute to research it online. I did this with retro plates I found at a Goodwill that caught my eye. I wanted them regardless of their worth, but after a quick online search, I learned they were worth $100 a plate and marked at $3.
Always have cash on you. Listed below I note if a store only accepts cash and it happens more often than you might realize. You don’t want to get stuck using an ATM inside a shop since those are usually not a secure place to swipe your card.
This space was once an antique/furniture shop years ago that I loved to frequent, but I’m happy that OMG Thrift has taken over the space. One of the best things about OMG! Thrift is its dedication to color coordination. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but it makes shopping more manageable if you have a particular color scheme you are hunting for or avoiding. OMG! gets why thrift shops are beneficial to our communities by keeping 20 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year. Unlike many thrift shops, they have a loyalty program which adds to what you are already saving. Neighborhood tip: Donut King is less than a mile away. Just sayin.
Address: 1442 FL-436 Suite 1028, Casselberry, FL 32707
Teen Challenge Super Thrift
This thrift store has ended up in my rotation not for clothes, but for furniture. I’m always keeping an eye on items that could be refurbished. They tend to have mostly larger pieces of furniture like couches, tables, hutches and the like, but by visiting on a regular basis you just mind find the perfect piece to bring back to life.
Address: 1490 S US 17-92, Longwood, FL 32750
Community Thrift - South Orange
We have two Community Thrift locations in Orlando, and this one is South of downtown and is always busy. I’ve never walked in and not seen a line wrapped around part of the store. Don’t let that detract you; there are treasures to be found here. I’ve found some decent clothes here, but I love looking through their housewares. I enjoy finding vintage treasures that I’ve seen go for so much more at local antique malls. Like an entire collection of pastel Fiestaware or sweet retro strawberry jars. Don’t miss the packaged goodies on top of the aisles. They put together bags of sets or sometimes bundle items like CD’s. I still have a soft spot for buying used CD’s, and these grab bags are amazing. Shop tip: Community thrift is CASH ONLY.
Address: 5456 Hansel Ave, Edgewood, FL 32809
Undoubtedly, Goodwill is the OG of thrift shops, and the place I spent the most dollars growing up. I have a few locations in regular rotation including Winter Park and Casselberry, but the Goodwill on Orange Blossom Trail is hands down my favorite. It’s gotten so much better over the past few years, and they even restructured the space so now there is a dedicated cash wrap with multiple cashiers. That may not sound like a big deal, but trust me, if you frequent this location, it's a wonderful improvement.
The last time I shopped there, all the cashiers keep woo-ing loudly so they must also be enjoying the new vibe. As Goodwill’s go, this one is pretty clean and well-organized. I’ve found lots of dresses and pants here, some vintage some newer with tags still on them. I highly recommend not getting overwhelmed at the size of this Goodwill and tackling each section slowly.
Address of this location: 7531 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809
Community Thrift - Edgewater
You may recognize this building off Edgewater Drive by it’s retro and peeling exterior paint job. Peeling or not, I hope they never repaint it. This location is similar to the South of downtown location. They have a dedicated vintage section which sometimes has great finds, or just clothing from other countries that they weren’t sure where else to place. Shopping notes: They are closed Sundays and are CASH ONLY.
Address: 6015 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32810
Marketplace at Rivertown - Deland
I dare not visit Deland without a trip to the Marketplace at Rivertown. This antique mall is three-stories and is packed from top to bottom with furniture, clothes, and home-wares. Not to mention every trinket your mother had in the house growing up that causes major "this use to be my playground" vibes.
On my last visit, I think I spent over an hour searching the levels for treasures. Also, the massive collection of old postcards by city and state held my attention for a while. I found some inspiring vintage cards from Orlando in the 50s and 60s I couldn’t pass up. City note: There is an excellent local Cuban place right around the corner from this place to refuel after you finish treasure hunting.
Address: 114 S Woodland Blvd, DeLand, FL 32720
Orange Tree is such a gem. I visit monthly, and it’s become a favorite destination for me, even if I end up not making a purchase. Something is calming about it, especially since I almost always shop solo with my ear pods in playing my selected soundtrack for the day. Once you start visiting it on the regular, you get familiar with the different vendor's spaces, and you begin to have favorite areas to check on repeatedly. Orange Tree is great for decorative items but also furniture. If you collect vinyl, don't miss the hidden room in the back right corner of the main hall. Shopping note: Don’t bring any large bags with you when you visit because all bags are to be left in lockers at the front of the shop. Don’t worry; you keep the key.
Address: 853 Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
The Lovely Boutique in Audubon Park has a little bit of everything. You can shop for local goods near the front like soaps and candles, or you can focus on vintage treasures. Vintage clothing is around every corner here, especially the large selection in the back left corner of the shop. I’m usually drawn to the curated home goods sections filled with tapestries, accent pieces, and cute artwork. You get a nice mix of old, new, and local here and that’s why it’s one of my favorite local shops. There is a lot of inspiration in the vendors carefully designed spaces. Neighborhood tip: Go to P is for Pie just a few shops down while you are here.
Address: 2906 Corrine Dr. Orlando, FL 32803
This is well out of city limits, but I had to include it. My friends Josie and Alex took me to this palace known as the Treasure Mart in Eustis. You could call it an antique mall, but I’d call it an indoor thrift market. It goes on forever, and you have to strategize a plan of attack to make sure you see everything. The perimeter has rooms where some vendors have their items in a more private setting, and then there is aisle after aisle in the center. It’s an experience, to say the least, but I doubt you’ll leave empty-handed. Some items are priced so low you can’t help but get at least one thing. I purchased a very stylish gold, modern magazine stand that was only $10. There may not be many reasons to go to Eustis, but if you are ever hanging out in Mt. Dora this is a destination I would give a whirl.
Address: 308 W Ardice Ave, Eustis, FL 32726
Certainly not every thrift shop or antique mall in the area made my list, but these are the ones that I either frequent or enjoyed myself enough to go again. This list does not include the many vintage shops we have in Orlando that are also wonderful and should be supported. Check some of those out here in a previous blog post.
All photos are property of Lemonhearted Creative.