Locating Antique Toy Trains
Toy trains frequently become family heirlooms, past down from one generation to the next. This is an especially fine tradition because the nature of toy trains is such that each generation can add something to the toy train, whether it is something for the train, like a new car, or something for the layout like new landscaping and objects. Toy trains are something the family can build on and on.
There are numerous of ways you can go about looking for an antique toy train. Some people comb estate sales and yard sales. While some amazing deals are found here it is not the easiest way to find an antique toy train. It can be extremely difficult to verify the age and condition of the train before the estate sale begins. It is not always likely to determine if the train is in fine working order until after you have finished bidding on it.
It is common to find a nice antique train set at an antique shop. Even if the store does not have the antique toy train that you are interested in it does not hurt to talk to the proprietor. They might be able to discover the train you are searching for. Leave your contact information with them, and give them an idea of what you are exactly what you are looking for. Some very old toy train collectors search the flea markets. While some collectors do stumble upon the rare train set, most of the trains that show up at the flea markets are in really rough condition.
The Internet is an extremely useful instrument for locating and purchasing antique toy trains. There are many of toy train dealers who have websites that list the types, and kinds, and prices of toy trains that they have available for purchase. Many of these same dealers also have toy train stores listed on EBay stores. Buying trains through dealers that concentrate in toy trains is a great way to ensure that the toy train will arrive in exactly the condition that was promised. Dealers that are members of the Train Collectors Association (TCA) have a status of taking pride in the toy trains they sell.
Locating Antique Toy Trains
Winter Weekend Getaway to Antique Stores
"Over the hills and through the woods, to antique stores we go" will be the heading of your road trip planner this winter as you search for treasures in warm antique stores! Once the Holidays are safely behind us, what lies ahead are approximately 18 weekends where you'll be warmer indoors than outdoors. But that doesn't mean you're restricted to staring at the walls of your own home. On the contrary, this is a great time to check out other interior walls and save some money to boot. Hotels routinely offer off-season rates. Restaurants, especially those in popular summer destination-zones, offer winter specials. Stores also offer deep discounts on inventory that didn't sell over the holidays.
Add some zip to your road trip planner by creating an antique hunting weekend getaway by choosing towns and cities known for their antiques and collectibles. Visit some of the best towns to find those treasures that excite you, from antique jewelry and country collectibles to handmade quilts.
Take a peek below at the following antique spots, from "tucked in the corner" gems to extensive antique malls (arranged alphabetically by state).
*San Diego, California - Known more for expansive beaches and summer fun, San Diego has its share of history, including Antique Row. Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, this spot offers a variety of vintage gems in several specialty shops like jewelry, hats, clothing, and rare records and soundtracks.
*Savannah, Georgia - Savannah's has a charm built on the city's respect for its past and well worth your road trip planning. Nowhere is this more evident that in the many small neighborhoods, which often seem more like pictures from a storybook. The Old South permeates throughout and you're sure to find antiques with interesting stories behind them.
*Mount Dora, Florida - Enjoy staying at an award winning B & B and spend some time exploring the Amish Cupboard & Country Stuff, which has a wide selection of antiques and collectibles in an Amish-themed store.
*St. Louis, Missouri - For an interesting theme change, try Cherokee Street Antiques Row. This is an old neighborhood shopping district that's become known for its antique shops. It attracts people looking for antiques of all kinds, from books to furniture to jewelry and certainly what is best termed as "one man's junk is another man's treasure". This district includes 5 blocks of shops, open daily (though some close on Mondays).
*Hartwood Gardens in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania - There are actually six Allegheny County Parks, but the Hartwood includes a magnificent 16th century-style Tudor mansion filled with original English and American antiques. Check out this link for the awesome photos.
*Quechee Gorge Village in Vermont - This village features a country store, an antique mall, craft center, toy and train museum, and a diner. This makes for a particularly easy road trip to plan and one that gives you the bonus of driving in a section of Vermont known for its scenic beauty and Quechee Lakes, a private community located on the border of Vermont and New Hampshire.
*Fredericksburg, Virgina - A 40-block national historic district embraces the city's downtown area and contains more than 350 buildings dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Filling your road trip planner will be easy here as you'll find plenty of shops in this historic town.
So, let Winter throw its temper tantrums; any road trip planner knows she can still have an indoor adventure sifting through the goods found in antique stores.
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