Known as the ‘front porch of the Lowcountry,’ Walterboro has a main street lined with shops that will take you back in time.
Established in 1826, Walterboro is home to some of the most well-priced antiques in the South. The small-town Americana atmosphere boasts shop after shop with prices half the cost of what you’ll find in Charleston, and less than an hour away.
Four historical buildings constructed in 1927 house 21 vendors at this antiques mall. Curated sections range from vintage home decor to military memorabilia. If you’ve got your own collection, bring it by to get appraised by one of the vendors who specialize in coins and silver. “You can always find traditional Charleston pieces here, too,” says co-owner Linda Godwin, who runs the shop with two other retired residents who all share an affinity for unusual items. From old tools and vintage signs to turn-of-the-century kitchen items and crystal glassware, it’s hard not to lose track of time rummaging through each little shop.
This restored eight-room Victorian cottage feels like walking into a welcoming home packed with goods that tell the story of South Carolina. Peruse contemporary items made with traditional artisan techniques, such as indigo-dyed pieces, Gullah ceramics and sweetgrass baskets. Pop in for a live demonstration on one of these customs at the monthly Handmade Series, where artists demonstrate and converse about their work. The shop also features artwork for sale from more than 300 of the state’s juried artists, earning it the title of the ‘Official South Carolina Folk Art and Craft Center.’
Sift through records from the 1980s while lounging on brightly colored couches from the 1960s at this funky corner shop that loves all things retro. Old film cameras, Coca-Cola signs, classic bikes and FM radios are sprinkled throughout, and it’s a fun place to stop in, even if only to take a trip down memory lane.
More than just Southern antiques, Tillman’s Gallery specializes in early and authentic art from around the world. Expect African pieces from the Ivory Coast and oil paintings from Europe and Asia. For any item priced over $200, Tillman’s Gallery also offers payment plans with no interest. The owner is known for traveling to estate sales to find high-end pieces and reselling them at affordable prices, and if an item needs restoring, he probably knows someone for the job.
While you can’t take anything home from this spot, the Colleton Museum offers a spirited example of the South’s immaculate logging of history through antiques. The museum displays a jukebox from 1928, high-end garments belonging to women of the Victorian era, an 18th-century town car and a recreated scene of an old-time drugstore, complete with an oak wall crank telephone and iron register. All of this, which also includes displays that reflect on the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, the ACE Basin and plantation-era relics – has landed the museum on the National Register of Historic Places.
A hand-carved dollhouse, classic steam train set, wooden winter sled and wicker porch rocker are all one-of-a-kind items that have been found at this antique haven. The owners frequently post new pieces online, giving customers a chance to claim the goods before visiting the store. Different vendors display items from around the South, keeping the inventory fresh and ever-changing.