For so long, antiquing along the Jersey Shore has been my well-kept secret, or so I like to believe. Numerous shops, particularly a few large group ones, sell the contents of homes in the most densely populated state in the country, so you name it and it can be found. Being far from New York City has kept them more insulated than Westchester or Connecticut, where you might add hundreds to the prices and certainly Manhattan, where you would need to add an entire digit. More recently a few television shows on HGTV have highlighted some, resulting in greater traffic and its incumbent increased business. In this post, I am going to mention of few more of my favorites, knowing that it will be a double-edged sword. I want exposure for these great people and places, but worry that exposure will cause the supply of items to go down while the prices go up. But I honestly can’t resist singing their praises. So over the last few days I have been making my final visits in anticipation of my departure for Japan on Monday.

I started at the very north end of the “shore” in Red Bank, NJ. Along with numerous individual shops, there are two major antique centers, the Antique Center of Red Bank which has more than 100 dealers and the 40 dealer Monmouth Antique Shoppes across the street. Both are excellent, but for me the latter edges out the former in the way in which the dealers curate their stalls and the outstanding service the salespeople provide. Yesterday was no exception and we had a grand afternoon perusing everything from architectural remnants to fine linens.

Our haul included all the small decorative items below plus a wicker chair and amazing foldable Moroccan carved coffee table.

You can see the top of the table in this photo, with its lovely copper inlay, but it doesn’t begin to do it justice. I have always had a predilection for this style furniture and I hope its current uber-trendiness doesn’t spoil it for me. This one is actually for a project in Brooklyn, but I have a gorgeous brass tray table version as the coffee table in the beach house. Stumbling across these locally yields huge bargains as they really do get pricey as they move up the antiques food chain – just check out 1stdibs and you’ll see.

Directly across Front Street is the larger and better of the two buildings of the Antique Center of Red Bank. While definitely more of a mish-mash than the Monmouth Shoppes, it is a wonderful place to scour. Earlier purchases this summer include the gorgeous dresser I found at half price (plus even more discount for cash) for my bedroom.

I forgot to photograph yesterday’s treasures, but they included a small painted French bench with a kilim covered seat and a wicker plant stand. I had been hoping to check out a fabulous set of framed Vogue covers from around 1915 seen earlier this summer, but they had sold. No surprise there…

Heading south to Allenhurst, a small hamlet just north of Asbury Park, you come to my absolute favorite haunt, Shore Antique Center, run by lovely proprietors Chris and Rose. I haven’t walked out of there all summer without buying something for myself, whether big (think china cabinet) or small (think galvanized RR bucket) or something for someone else.

My girls had scored there too, including this mismatched pair of Maund prints we are calling their sister prints, each just the right color for their bedrooms.

Today was lucky for them too – a vintage straw hat for one daughter (just right for displaying on the hat racks bought the day before) and a hat box for the other (just right for organizing storage). I am sure those who know us personally can guess which one was which! Those items came from a shop within the larger center called “Time Was Antique Clothing” which happens to be the nicest vintage clothing shop I have visited in years. Nineteenth century wedding dresses, 1940s men’s bathing suits and 1970s platform boots all co-mingle in the artful displays.

Also still available at Shore Antiques Center are these fabulous green painted shutters. Try as I might, I can’t come up with a use for them. There are six of them…Somebody please buy them!

Heading 20 minutes further south, having passed the Antique Emporium of Asbury Park which I wrote about here the other day, brings you to Point Pleasant, another town chock full of antique and housewares dealers. My long time haunt Point Pleasant Antique Emporium is just off the main drag of town, although I have made finds like this and this at many of the other stores nearby. I honestly think I have been shopping there for 20 years! Unfortunately, this is the first year I have not had much luck in Point Pleasant, so other than the glass insulator photos taken earlier this summer, I don’t have photos to post. But I recommend it as highly as the others mentioned…

To simplify matters, here is a map showing the relationship of all the locations. With basic 10am-5pm opening times, it is impossible to visit these all in a day, even though the total distance from A to D is just 21 miles. But it would be well worth a long weekend visit…

Monmouth Antique Shoppes
217 West Front Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Antique Center of Red Bank
226 West Front Street
Red Bank NJ 07701

Shore Antique Center
413 Allen Avenue
Allenhurst, NJ 07711
(732) 531-4466

Antique Emporium of Asbury Park
646 Cookman Avenue
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
(732) 774-8230

Point Pleasant Antique Emporium
622 Trenton Avenue (At the corner of Bay Ave. and Trenton Ave.)
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 892-2222

A little postscript…As I was getting ready to publish this post a neighbor brought by the recent “The Best Of” issue of NJMonthly magazine. Listed for “Best Antiques” are Antique Center of Red Bank, followed by runners-up Point Pleasant Antique Emporium and Antique Emporium of Asbury Park. I guess they are not actually such a well-kept secret after all. The final runner-up was Kanibal Home in Jersey City which I have never heard of. Makes me want to check it out…