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Treasure Hunting Across State Lines: My Florida Thrifting Adventure

By Rachel

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Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Rachel Granholm

Come along as we go treasure hunting across state lines: my Florida thrifting adventure!

Thrifting, by nature, is exciting. But thrifting in a different state from your own?! That’s another level of excitement…exhilarating and thrilling, if you will. Recently, while on vacation in Florida, I was able to visit a few antique shops and thrift stores. I found some amazing pieces of vintage decor to bring home and for really good deals. Let’s thrift and go treasure hunting across state lines: my Florida thrifting adventure!

This is the entrance to an antique store called ‘Market at Left Bank’ in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Uncovering Gems Beyond My Usual Thrift Haunts

You guys! I cannot begin to explain the thrill that comes with going thrifting or antiquing in a different state.

It’s a totally different kind of expectation and surprise. Because it’s a completely new location, you never know what’s going to be on the shelves. People might collect different things from what you see back home, just adding to the newness of it all.

a vintage French book styled on a shelfGoing into this out-of-state thrifting trip, I was still hoping to find the usual…milk glass, ironstone, maybe some small art pieces, or linens. However, I also was anticipating the possibility of finding something that I wasn’t expecting. Something fresh.

And boy, did I have a blast! I found those and much more.

I’m so excited to show you my Florida thrift haul today. I found some incredible vintage pieces of home decor! Join me as I share what I found, why I picked it up, and how much I paid as well as some simple tips for finding the goods in a different part of the country!

ocean waves in Florida

Thrifting Tourist: How to Shop at New-To-You Thrift Stores

When I thrift at home here in Minnesota, I have my regular routine and system of shopping the thrift stores. You probably do, too!

Initially, before I stepped foot into an out-of-town secondhand shop, I thought that I might be overwhelmed with the newness of it all. In my head I was going, “How am I going to find the stuff that I love?” and “What if I don’t find anything?”

an orange wildflower in Florida

Thankfully, from thrift shopping in St. Petersburg, Florida, I found that thrift stores, and antique shops for that matter, are set up much the same as they are at home.

Here are some simple tips that I found helpful when thrifting in a new state.

  • Ask the locals for any advice on where the best thrift stores are in town. They probably know of amazing, off-the-beaten-path shops that no one else does!
  • When you go into a new thrift store, assess the pricing. Check a few items to see what they are priced at. If you deem them too high, you can probably assume that the rest of the store is the same way. I did this in one shop and quickly made my way back to the car. Because, why waste your precious thrifting time in an over-priced store?!
  • Go into each secondhand or antique shop that you see. Even if it looks crummy or not good from the outside, it might be amazing on the inside. You just never know until you check. If you are short on time, at the very least peek in the window. If it looks promising, go in and take a spin. There could be a treasure lurking!
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  • Keep an open mind. I am always drawn to certain items, no matter where I am. But, keep your mind open to finding something that you never thought you would gravitate towards. Especially in a new state, there could be something so amazing that finds it’s way to you!
  • Yes, still have a budget. Even though I was on vacation and get tempted to throw my budget out the window, it’s still important to gauge what you are willing to spend. Ask yourself if the item is still worth the price before committing to it!

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Treasure Hunting Across State Lines: My Florida Thrifting Adventure

Now that you know some easy ways of navigating out-of-state secondhand shops, let’s get into my finds from the trip. I truly didn’t realize how many vintage pieces I had found until I was packing up my suitcase to come home!

Florida has some incredible thrift stores and vintage shops and definitely did not disappoint.

Secondhand Souvenirs: Unique Thrift Finds to Remember My Trip By

In my opinion, bringing home pretty pieces of vintage from a vacation is so much better than any other kitschy souvenir…am I right?!

So, without further ado, here’s my thrift haul from Florida!

Tall Milk Glass Vase

My uncles and I were driving back to the house one day when I saw a sign for the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. On a whim, and because I don’t pass up any thrift store, I turned into the parking lot.

I’m so glad I did because I found this amazing vintage milk glass vase for only $5.00 and in a pattern that I’ve never seen before!

vintage milk glass vase

This vase is huge, standing at 8.5 inches tall and very heavy. I blame this thing on making my luggage weigh 48.9 pounds on the way home 🙂

The vase is not marked but does have the ‘ring of fire‘, meaning I can be 100% sure that it is a real piece of milk glass and not a reproduction. To me, this is a classic piece of vintage glass from the 1950’s.

thrifted milk glass vase from Florida

The profile of the vase leans mid-century modern but I just adore the square pedestal base! It brings a very different look to my milk glass collection and I’m totally digging it.

Currently, for the rest of the Winter season, I have it displayed in my hutch alongside some ironstone, restaurant-ware, and green trees. Come Spring, I will fill this beauty with bright and happy floral stems!

milk glass vase with pedestal base

White Eyelet Linen

You know me…I can’t go thrifting without finding a linen that I just have to have. I pulled this lovely eyelet table runner out of a huge pile in an antique store called ‘Antique Marketplace’. And guess what?! It was only $2.00!

I use these eyelet linens all over my house. They add softness and character to shelves, dressers, tables, and nightstands. I folded this one in half and laid it across the wood shelf in my bathroom. So stinkin’ pretty!!

Thrifting Tip: Don’t be scared off by stains on vintage linens. Oxiclean does wonders for these old pieces of fabric! Simply soak the linen in a bucket of luke- warm water with a scoop of powdered Oxiclean for 24 hours. Hang it up to dry and then iron! Works for me every time.

vintage eyelet table runner

Vintage Toothpick Holder

THIS. YOU GUYS!!! I cannot believe this find.

While perusing a very pretty booth at the ‘Antique Marketplace’, my gaze honed in on this incredible toothpick holder.

First of all, it’s ironstone. Second, the floral transferware pattern is stunning. And third, it has a BRASS LID with a HINGE!! Look at that cute little knobby handle! I just can’t even.

vintage ironstone toothpick holder

Now, I did pay up for this piece at $12.00. But remember… I always recommend thinking about what a piece is worth to you.

I’ve never, in my years of thrifting and antiquing, found such a toothpick holder. I did some searching on Google and Etsy and wasn’t able to find anything remotely similar to it. So, my point is, the price I paid for it is high for how small this is. But, to me, it was totally worth it.

I think it’s a rare find and believe that it’s value is much more than what I paid.

vintage toothpick holder from antique store in Florida

Here is the mark on the bottom.

It’s clearly old and, at some point in it’s life, made it’s way to the states from England!

marking on ironstone toothpick holder

I literally can’t get over how pretty it is.

This little holder for toothpicks is the find of the entire trip!

transferware toothpick holder with brass lid

After getting it home ( and thank goodness it didn’t break en route!), I gave it a good cleaning and then filled it with toothpicks!

We were storing toothpicks in a drawer before. Having this toothpick holder is something I didn’t know I needed until I did…it’s so much easier to pull out a toothpick from this pretty holder than go digging around in a drawer!

So, as I stated above, keep an open mind to finding something that speaks to you. I did and look what I was rewarded with 🙂

vintage toothpick holder in kitchen

Mint Green Plate

The next three finds came from the same antique store called ‘Market at Left Bank’. My uncles said I would love this store and they weren’t wrong. If you are ever in the St. Petersburg area, you have to check this place out. It’s incredible!

Okay. Now. This plate. If you have ever seen this type of vintage plate before, let me know because I have never. And I’m completely obsessed with it!

It’s like the ironstone version of jadeite and is ever so stunning. Look at those scalloped edges! Again, at $5.00, I paid more than I would have at home for this small bread and butter plate. But, again, never seen it before!

vintage Greendawn bread and butter plate

The pattern is called ‘Greendawn’. I did a search on Etsy for more of these dishes and, from what I’m seeing, are pretty rare. There were a few pieces listed from this collection but that’s it!

If I would have known that I would have purchased more of the dishes that were at the store.

I’m obviously going to decorate with this pretty green plate for Spring…I think it will pair beautifully with my jadeite!

'Greendawn' marking on plate

Vintage French Book

High up on a ledge, and who knows how the heck I even saw this, was this fantastic antique book. The copyright year of it is 1913. Isn’t that incredible?!

The vivid blue color, along with the French graphics, are just gorgeous. Now, when I’m thrifting for vintage books at home, I usually won’t pay more than $5.00. But, this book spoke to me so the $8.00 price tag was totally worth it.

thrifted blue book with French writing

What makes this book super unique is all of the hand-written French script on the insides of both the front and back covers. There are also some addresses written in pen from France and New York.

I have no idea what any of it says but it clearly meant a lot to someone. They really loved and appreciated this book and now I get to enjoy it’s beauty. This is the incredible cycle of vintage pieces!

writing in antique French book

Vintage books are one of my very favorite decor items to decorate with all year round.

They add depth, dimension, and color to any space. Books also make the perfect filler for those hard-to-reach areas in your home like high up shelving or bookshelves.

To style the French book, I added it to a row of vintage books on my credenza. These books are all hues of green and blue, so it fits in perfectly!

antique French book

Ironstone Tureen

The last item I found at the ‘Market at Left Bank’ is this fantastic ironstone tureen!

I don’t come across many tureen’s that are within my budget but I got lucky with this one. It was in the sale section for only $20!

I think the squatty profile of this one is just adorable.

vintage ironstone tureen

The oval-shaped lid with the curved handles is incredibly lovely. And, there aren’t any chips or cracks on the thing…it’s miraculous, really, because these old pieces are extremely fragile.

This another find that I was very nervous about putting in my luggage but it made it home in one piece!

vintage thrifted ironstone tureen with lid

I found the most perfect spot for it too… front and center in my hutch.

This is another one of those timeless decor pieces that can be decorated and styled no matter the season. Here, you will see it with dark green accents and trees for Winter. But, come March, I can mix it in with my Spring florals for a whole new look!

vintage ironstone tureen styled into a hutch

Vintage Transferware Plate

We are onto the last find of the trip!

This vintage plate was found at the CASA Thrift Boutique near downtown St. Pete. Now, I did purchase a pair of these pretty floral plates donned with scalloped edges. The majestic colors on the flowers reminds me of a watercolor painting!

Unfortunately, one of them didn’t make the trip home and broke into a bajillion pieces in my luggage. I was so sad! But, they were not expensive coming in at $3.00 per plate, so there’s that.

If any of you ever find another one of these plates for cheap, let me know and I’ll pay you for it!

vintage thrifted floral transferware plate

I’ve come across these plates at antique stores before but they have been priced too high.

It’s the ‘Staffordshire Bouquet’ pattern and is just the most perfect plate to use for Spring decorating!

marking on thrifted ironstone plate

Look how pretty that mint green plate pairs with the floral pattern.

If you can’t tell, I’m so ready for Spring and I’m itching to start switching out my decor. Give me all the flowers, please! 

two thrifted vintage plates

Closing Tidbits on Treasure Hunting Across State Lines: My Florida Thrifting Adventure

With that, my Florida thrift haul is complete. I hope this post on treasure hunting across state lines: my Florida thrifting adventure encourages you to get out there and thrift, even when you are somewhere completely new!

Take a spouse, friend, or relative, grab a coffee, and head out on an exciting thrift shopping excursion. Because, truly, thrifting in a different state opens your eyes to how people live in that part of the world. And who knows? You may just come across the best vintage find of your life! Happy thrifting!

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Leave me a comment! Do you like to thrift or antique shop in different states? I love hearing from you!

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Treasure Hunting Across State Lines: My Florida Thrifting Adventure

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the writer and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I encourage you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more.

Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail. You will receive a free digital download as a thank you!

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More Thrifting Posts to Enjoy

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Bathroom Decor with Thrifted Finds

a vintage transferware vase with faux Cedar stems for Winter
Thrifted Decor for Winter

a vintage Ironstone creamer with green flowers
Thrift Finds for Spring

17 Comments. Leave new

  • Elaine in Toronto
    February 15, 2024 7:59 am

    Hi Rachel, I so enjoyed your post about the wonderful thrift items you found in Florida – every one a treasure. I, too, love thrifting, antique shops, consignment stores, garage sales, Etsy, eBay, well you get the picture. Your beautiful little tooth pick holder might be a wee mustard pot. The indent in the lid is for a spoon. I’m familiar with mustard pots because my sister has a huge collection of them. I think it’s great you have repurposed it as it is a perfect toothpick holder. I would never have thought to use it in that way. I love your blog and have passed it on to two friends who go garage saling every Saturday from May to October. Looking forward to your next post. Hugs, Elaine

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 15, 2024 8:41 am

      Hello, Elaine!!
      Thank you SO much for being here!!
      That’s such awesome info about my toothpick holder…the reason I said that’s what it was is because that’s what the tag at the antique store said so..I guess I just went with that but now that you say that, it makes total sense!!
      Thanks so much for passing my blog along…that means more to me than you know.
      I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and, again, thanks so much for being here. Hope Toronto is warm…we got 6 inches of snow here in Minnesota overnight!

  • MaryJo Materazo
    February 15, 2024 10:21 am

    Wow Rachel! You found some great stuff. I always love to thrift on the road. That toothpick holder is amazing. It’s the little details in life that matter most sometimes. XO- MJ

    PS. I can’t believe you packed all that stuff in your suitcase. I would have been so nervous and had the hugest carry on with my treasures. 🤣

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 15, 2024 10:24 am

      Thank you!! Right?! I didn’t have a choice really…unless I wanted to ship things home…luckily there was only one thing that broke 🙂

  • Hi Rachel: Antiquing in Florida is so different from the midwest. That’s what is so fun about it. I thought your plate might be Spode but I think it’s Johnson Bros Staffordshire Bouquet Brown. At least that’s what a quick search yielded. I collect dishes too and have seen this pattern many times. That will be a fun one for you to look for. Replacements has it but of course not at thrift store prices.

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 15, 2024 11:01 am

      Hi, Shelley!
      Yes..you are 100% correct. It’s VERY different! It will be the thing I’m keeping my eye out for, that’s for sure! Thanks for coming by today…I appreciate it!

  • What great finds you found. I love them all but especially the tooth pick holder. So beautiful! Love your site as well.

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 15, 2024 2:07 pm

      Hi, Ally!
      Thanks so much!! Isn’t that so wonderful?! Makes me happy! I’m so happy to have you here!!

  • Janice Switzer
    February 15, 2024 9:50 pm

    Rachel – Your toothpick holder might be a Vintage Sandland Ware Hanely England – it’s beautiful.
    Sorry to hear one of your plates did not make it home, but your tureen is awesome. Thank you for sharing your finds.

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 16, 2024 9:18 am

      Hi, Janice!
      Thanks so much!! I love when others get as excited about old things as I do 🙂 I appreciate you being here! Enjoy the day!

  • Hi Rachel, my every day dishes are Johnson Brothers. They’re called Millstream.
    I absolutely love them! I’ve had my dishes for 20+ years and they wear well.

  • Hey Rachel! Looks like you had great luck thrifting in Florida! I’m sorry to hear one of the plates didn’t make it back in one piece! I love all of your finds but that tureen is amazing! We will be spending a couple of days in St Pete in March and I should add thrifting to my to-do list! Thanks for sharing your experiance!

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 19, 2024 9:09 am

      Yes..it was so much fun! You will enjoy St. Pete so much…it’s just gorgeous. Check out that Left Bank store…I know you would love it!

  • You found so many amazing things, Rachel. I am so excited for you! I adore all the pieces you brought home, they’re really special. And I love that whenever you look at them you’ll look back fondly on your trip too. I do the same thing and it never gets old. It feels like capturing a moment in time! Big hugs, CoCo

    • Rachel Granholm
      February 21, 2024 10:11 am

      Thank you! Yes…I love all of them! They were so much fun to find and it was super cool exploring different thrift and antique shops!!

  • Hi Rachel, next time you’re in Florida, reached out to me. Our 8 year old company does a lot to bring awareness of our huge and beautiful resale and thrift community in southwest Florida.
    Here is our current commercial:

  • […] is estimated to reach $2.9 billion by 2026? This may come as no surprise to the avid collector or thrifter, who knows the timeless appeal of these delicate […]


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Hello I’m Rachel.

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