Are Thrift Stores a New Tourist Attraction?

By Elizabeth Vance

Visiting resale and vintage shops on vacation has become a trend. So much so, that the “thrift store road trip” is the new girlfriend getaway!

Wherever I travel I’m always going to be on the lookout for an awesome place to thrift. Think about it: You’re probably going to do some shopping while you’re out of town anyway. Why settle for shopping only at brand-name stores or expensive boutiques? Why not explore some of the local thrift stores or consignment shops, too? You’re connecting with people who live in the community. It’s a much truer and more authentic shopping experience, and it is an effective way to get to know the locals.

Just a short drive from Atlanta and Athens, Thomson, Ga., is a great place to make a quick Thrift Store Road Trip! Antique lovers will get a thrill hunting for their next purchase at one of the many thrift stores in the area. Stroll the tree-lined sidewalks of the historic downtown, and you will find several places within walking distance.

  • Located on the corner of Journal and Greenway streets, Journal on the Green Antiques & Arts offers more than 10,000 square feet of antique treasures and artistry.
  • Around the corner in Knox Shopping Center, Laura Lane’s Home Décor and Gifts is a shopping destination for dressing your home or the go-to place when it comes to picking up a gift for someone special.
  • While you are there, don’t miss getting your paws on some spicy cheese straws locally made by McDuffie County’s Chinaberry Foods.
  • Take turns dipping into one treasure trove after another; if you like plundering through junk, fumbling through antiques, stumbling through treasures, and having fun, then you will love Aunt Tique and Uncle Junk’s store on First Avenue behind McDuffie Museum.
  • Then scoot over to The Saturday Market – Antiques and Uniques on Augusta Highway to ramble through quirky, eclectic, vintage, unique and antique items.
  • If that’s not enough, a short drive from downtown, Sunset Auctions House hosts twice-a-month auctions that draw crowds from near and far.

After all that shopping, you may need to take a break and refuel, so why not grab a bite at a downtown eatery? Try Fernanda’s Grille and Pizzeria for a New York slice. Sit in the courtyard – an ideal alcove for eating with a view of downtown. Or, grab a hand-pattied burger at Hogie Joe’s Sports Grill. If you are in the mood for soul food, no one does it better than Ivery’s Restaurant!
While in downtown, pay a visit to McDuffie Museum housed inside a former bank. See artifacts like the original tombstone of blues legend Blind Willie McTell. Visit the gift shop for a souvenir like a DVD documentary about the musician. In the museum’s theater, a converted bank vault, watch a 15-minute clip about McDuffie County’s famed Belle Meade Hunt. The museum also showcases the work of renowned folk artist Jake McCord and houses the old front porch of Mr. McCord’s home.

You can also catch a flick at the Thomson Twin Cinema, still showing first-run movies and 3-D shows.

There’s so much more to see and do in Thomson, so please visit our website at for more information.