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Vintage Shopping

vintage vases

The South Palm Canyon Shopping District

The Palm Springs’ vintage shopping advantage is truly endless. Looking for vintage Pucci? Top-drawer mid-century furnishings? Estate jewelry? Collectibles from Disney characters to ’56 Corvettes? You’ll find them all – I know from experience – in the South Palm Canyon Shopping District.

The loads of top consignment, resale and thrift boutiques located on and around South Palm Canyon Drive, makes this side of town a veritable paradise of retail adventure. Be it finding vintage Dior sunglasses – as I did – Eames patio furniture or rare comic books.

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall

One of my first stops is Mitchells Palm Springs . It’s the go-to for women’s and men’s vintage designer clothing. Owner Mitchel Karp specializes in glamor apparel, handbags and sunglasses from Chanel, Pucci, Dior and other top designers from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. “My vibe is totally Studio 54. It’s all about sexy and creating the look,” Karp told me.

Nearby, M Designer Vintage and More is a hotbed for vintage designer scarves, and clothing – particularly denim and leather. Plus handbags, sunglasses and accessories.

The thrill of the hunt delivers vintage and contemporary goodies at Revivals, a local-favorite thrift shop benefiting the Desert AIDS Project. I’ve scored a Judith Leiber coin purse, and a mid-century ceramic black panther TV light here. Be sure to peruse the really cool costume jewelry. Shoes, clothes, home furnishings, vintage ceramics, dinnerware, lighting, pictures. You name it, it’s here.

Sunny Dunes Vintage District    

Continuing along South Palm Canyon Drive to East Sunny Dunes Road, this shopping enclave features amazing finds in nearly a dozen diverse shops.

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall

Continuing along South Palm Canyon Drive to East Sunny Dunes Road, this shopping enclave features amazing finds in nearly a dozen diverse shops.

The Sunny Dunes Antique Mall is “6,000 square feet of retail happiness,” manager Allie Evans explained. More than 40 independently owned shops overflow with goodies from mid-century to contemporary. If you’re into comic books, this is ground-zero, with the largest selection of vintage comic books in the Coachella Valley. Also vintage records, home décor, costume jewelry and collectables. I bought a fabulous mid-century cardboard cutout of Disney’s Bambi and Thumper characters, and a large Steiff toy poodle.

Next door, AAA Palm Stars  specializes in a unique mix of Native American and other cultures’ artifacts, and ‘60s celebrity 8X10 glossies. Owner Michael McGarry told me, “I have everything from Tong Dynasty to Lucille Ball.” He’s curated for museums and features museum quality Native American art – including vintage baskets from famous Indian trading posts. Thanks to his connection with a mid-century photographer-to-the-stars, he’s got a great collection of celebrity black-and-whites. I scored a Jimi Hendrix 8X10.

Bazaar Delar, one of the first shops to open in the Sunny Dunes district, not only sells vintage items, it’s housed in a mid-century complex by noted mid-century architect Howard Lapham. Collectible eye candy ranges from a carnival popcorn maker to a ‘50s Norelco lady’s shaver, along with home décor and furniture. All surrounded by brightly colored contemporary paintings by owner Julio De La Concha.

The Antiques Galleries of Palm Springs features a curated collection from old gas pumps and macrame to ship’s wheel, Magnavox stereo console and ’60s clown paintings – remember them? Plus an ever changing inventory of vintage furniture, clothing, sculpture and glassware.

Sandy Dunes Antiques

The Little Shop of Treasures is a not-so-little store filled with vintage clothing, Weiss and rhinestone jewelry, and antique and collectable furniture and décor. I loved the 1930s milk glass, cut crystal vases and figurines.

Don’t miss Rocky’s Pawn Shop. I’ve eyed lovely vintage jewelry, among the musical instruments and other intriguing items.

As long as you’re dressing the part, why not get the wheels to match. At One Eleven Vintage Cars you can choose among classics like a ’57 Chevy and ’57 Porsche, rare 1930 Ford Roadster, ‘52 Jaguar and ’69 Mercedes Benz.

East Palm Canyon

Leaving the Sunny Dunes Vintage District, continue along South Palm Canyon to The Estate Sale Co.  Opened more than 27 years ago, this block-long complex boasts one of the desert’s largest collections of fine vintage and contemporary furnishings. Walking through room after room, where to look first? Original paintings, unique art, fine china and crystal, chandeliers, huge bedroom, living and dining room sets – even fine diamond and emerald estate jewelry — and this is just inside. Outside, there’s vintage pool furniture, outdoor art, fountains, everything needed for a mid-century garden.

Lastly, The Estate Sale is conveniently opposite The Parker Palm Springs hotel – the perfect spot for a happy hour toast to your vintage shopping spree

Sunny Dunes Antique Mall

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