SEARCY, Ark. – Those in search of the unique, vintage, random and eclectic need to look no further than Searcy, Arkansas. With five very different local flea markets and antique shops in town, shoppers will surely find the perfect prize for their collection.

The Bee’s Knees

The first stop on your day of antiquing in Searcy should be at The Bee’s Knees. It’s a flea market on the east side of Searcy nestled on Alexis Drive. True to the vintage expression “bee’s knees” — a way to say “high quality” — owner Jodi Vehlies strives to offer an “upscale flea market” experience.

With over 50 vendors, The Bee’s Knees is well stocked with beautiful and trendy floral arrangements and decor. Here you’ll find antique furniture, wall-hangings, jewelry, toys, woodworking, and even t-shirts printed in central Arkansas. In addition, The Bee’s Knees houses a local wedding rental business as well as a small bakery.

The Bee’s Knees is a hidden gem of Searcy. It was voted “Best of the Best” by the Daily Citizen in 2019. It was also a ‘Top 5 Contender’ for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s Reader’s Choice Award for antiques and flea markets. The store is located a block off of the busy Race Street and one block to the west of Unity Health Center

Visit The Bee’s Knees on Facebook for more information.

The Bee's Knees offers great finds from local vendors set up in individual booths

Photo by: Al Fowler

Freeway Emporium

Another great place to start antiquing in Searcy is with a stop at the Freeway Emporium, the place that bears the slogan “Shopping Galore at Exit 44.” You’ll see the large warehouse on the east side of the freeway, and after you exit, follow the signs to Freeway Emporium and 2511 Eastline Road.

The Freeway Emporium is Searcy’s supersize flea market. He boasts a 25,000 square-foot building with more than 150 booths from vendors from all over central Arkansas. The merchandise is always changing, and there is consistently a wide variety. One can certainly find antiques here, but there is much, much more. With a quick run through the Emporium you’ll find antique furniture, old and new decor, houseware, cosmetics, toys, records, DVDs, comic collections, and even old coin collections.

Whether looking for props for a themed event or simply something to spruce up your home or office, the Freeway Emporium is a must-see. It was voted “Best of the Best” by the Daily Citizen in 2015 and 2018. Check out their Facebook page for a peak at what you’ll find when you arrive.

The Artistry: A Creative Artist Co-op

Located on S. Main, The Artistry welcomes customers of all ages to peruse the creations of local artists. From artwork, jewelry, decor, soaps, toys and antiques, The Artistry houses mini shops for over 60 artists. According to owner Kathi Raines, her business partners are teachers, retail clerks, hairdressers, and retired members of the community. She sees The Artistry as a way to bridge the gap between artists and customers, judging that the business side of art retail can be overwhelming.

In addition to the shops, Kathi schedules a wide variety of art classes in the learning center. They include courses in painting, pottery, metal stamping, ceramics, jewelry, and soap making. Each course is $20 per person, and supplies are included.

Visit their website at www.shoptheartistry.com for more information, including to sign-up for a class!

Photo by: Mat Faulkner

The Monk’s Habit

Tucked away near the center of Searcy is Ryan Gibbons’ The Monk’s Habit. Ryan’s hope for his store and his customers is that through the trading of antiques that people’s stories will be told, retold, and cherished. The building itself is in an 1890’s home, which looks and feels the part of an antique shop that brings people together.

The Monk’s Habit sells only antiques, no reproductions. That includes items that often have stories of their own, such as photographs, records, postcards, vintage clothes, books, and other antiques that, in Ryan’s words, “often have the mark of their previous owner and have already stood the test of time.”

You don’t want to miss The Monk’s Habit if you’re antiquing in Searcy but plan ahead before you come. The store is open only Saturdays from 10 am to 5:30 pm and Sundays 1:30 to 5:30 pm. Come out to 401 East Market Avenue to hear the stories of the beautiful 19th century home and the vintage merchandise! Visit them on Facebook for more information.

Ryan Gibbons has a great collection of unique finds perfect for any collector

Photo by: Ashel Parsons

Old Hippy: Antique and Vintage Mall

“Fun and anything old” is how Old Hippy can be described. It’s a cool place to explore antique furniture, decor, record albums, tools, and a wide variety and ever-changing stock of collectibles.

For 17 years and running, this antique and flea market truly takes you back in time as you explore booth after booth of antiques and vintage decor. Owners John and Nikki Davis are well-loved by their 22 vendors. In total, customers may peruse 50 booths as they shop.

You can find Old Hippy in the industrial area of Searcy on S. Benton Street. The store is easily accessible from Highway 67 for those just passing through. Visit their Facebook page for more information.