5 Minute Read
Ladies and gentlemen, the holy land exists and it is in Iowa.
The town of Walnut, quietly situated in the bottom left corner of the Hawkeye State, has a population just shy of 800 and, from what I was able to tell, nearly every person there is in the business of flipping vintage goods.
Two weeks ago I was on day three of a cross-country road trip from Connecticut to Los Angeles. With only two suitcases and one dog in tow, I was itching to fill the remaining car space with antique middle-American cargo. I received a call from Lizzie telling me to wedge out some time to stop in Walnut right off of I-80.
“They call it Antique City,” she told me…and she wasn’t lying. That is literally what the government issued freeway signs say as you approach the exit.
Imagine the town from the 1998 Sandra Bullock romantic drama, Hope Floats, and you already know what Walnut looks like (and if you haven’t, I’ve provided plenty of pictures below). There are about four square blocks of brick roadway, each packed with antique stores on either side before it continues on into the grassy blankness of Iowa. In fact, aside from a gun store, a school, a post office, and a diner, antique stores were the only commerce the eye could see (to be fair I’m unsure on the amount of gun stores in Hope Floats).
This may not look like much, but I assure you the inside of these shops go back deeper than you’re imagining and every last millimeter is utilized to display the dustiest of forgotten goods.
Take a look at all that I found within the confines of this cute little town.