We've combined two of America's favorite hobbies, bargain hunting and vacationing, to identify some fabulous destinations. Following are ideas for two-for-one vacations: Go for the journey, come home with the deals.
Brimfield Antique and Collectibles Show
Shopping: This tri-annual show (May, July and September) is considered to be the largest outdoor antique show in the United States, with about 5,000 dealers throughout Brimfield's 21 show venues, or fields. It also has on-site shippers to transport all your goods, so don't worry about buying tons of antiques even if you live states away. This edition runs Tuesday through Sept. 7. brimfieldshow.com
Vacationing: Brimfield State Forest. It has more than 20 miles of roads and trails that are great for hiking, fishing and horseback riding. Stop by Dean Pond Recreation Area, in the western portion of Brimfield State Forest, where you will find a beach area and picnic tables. Info: tinyurl.com/brimfieldforest
Sleeping: Because this show is so popular, lodging could be an issue if you haven't booked nine to 12 months in advance. You can check availability of nearby hotels directly on Brimfield's website. Info: brimfield.com
Fisher's Quality Furniture
Location: Ronks, Pa.
Shopping: This is the quintessential Amish farm experience. There is a farm and a workshop area, which is half showroom and half workroom. Ask if you can go into the workroom to see the furniture being made, suggested Joel Cliff, spokesman for the Lancaster County-Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Because Fisher's sells directly to consumers at a 50 percent markup rather than to retailers, who then would mark up the cost more, it's a good price for the quality of the furniture, Cliff said. Info: 717-656-4423, fishersqualityfurniture.com
Vacationing: Abe's Buggy Rides. Take a tour of the Amish farmland on an Amish family buggy. You'll stop by a picnic area where you can pet some animals and shop for Amish crafts. Info: 717-392-1794, abesbuggyrides.com
Sleeping: Frogtown Acres bed-and-breakfast is a home built around 1810 in the heart of the Amish farmland. The B&B has four guest rooms with modern comforts such as Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and private baths. Rooms start at $79 per night. Info: 888-649-2333, frogtownacres.com
Location: Farmville, Va.
Shopping: Feel free to wander 900,000 square feet of furniture and rugs. “We deal in volume and move volume quickly,” said sales associate Hollie Hogan. Greenfront specializes in handmade (and a few machine-made) Oriental rugs, which are imported from India, Pakistan and Turkey, and visitors come from all over the United States to shop. Info: 434-392-5943, greenfront.com
Vacationing: Check out the Appomattox Court House, 30 minutes away. That's where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865. This signaled the end of the Southern states' attempt to create a separate nation. The McLean House, where Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, is furnished with a mixture of original furniture and reproductions, so the structure looks like it did at the end of the Civil War. The house is the reason many people come, but there are 1,700 acres of parkland that make for great hiking. Info: nps.gov/apco/index.htm
Sleeping: Hampton Inn in Farmville. It's ideally located, has a pool and has plenty of easy parking. Breakfast is included. Rooms start at about $130 per night. hamptoninn3.hilton.com
Highway 127 Corridor Sale
Location: From Addison, Mich., to Gadsden, Ala.
Shopping: This 690-mile sale, also known as the World's Longest Yard Sale, takes place annually, starting on the first Thursday in August. Next year it will be Aug. 6-9. It spans U.S. Highway 127 in six states, including Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. You can find just about anything if you look hard enough. Info: 127yardsale.com
Vacationing: Because this spans so many states, there are many possibilities. In Covington, Ky., visit MainStrasse Village, which is a faux German village that has restored 19th-century German stores, homes and restaurants.
Sleeping: If you're staying in Covington, try the Courtyard (Marriott) Cincinnati Covington. There's free Wi-Fi, and it's just across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati. Rooms start at about $159 per night. Info: marriott.com
San Jose Flea Market
Location: San Jose, Calif.
Shopping: There are 40 acres of exhibitors, vendors, restaurants and snack bars, plus another 60 acres of parking, said Rich Alvari, marketing manager for the flea market. During peak years it draws more than 4 million people to see everything from comic books to jewelry to furniture to arts and crafts to tools. Spend the entire day shopping, eating and enjoying the live music, which tends to lean toward mariachi bands. It's open year-round from Wednesdays through Sundays. Info: sjfm.com
Vacationing: The Tech Museum of Innovation. This supercool place is one museum that you really can't find elsewhere. It's a 132,000-square-foot Silicon Valley landmark all about technological evolution. Info: thetech.org
Sleeping: La Quinta Inn & Suites San Jose Airport. It's got free breakfast, it's clean, and it's close to the airport. Rooms start at about $210 per night. 800-753-3757, lq.com
Bargain-hunting vacations: Combine shopping with a great getaway
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