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  • Writer's pictureLisa Codianne Fowler

Best U.S. Travel Destinations for Historic Treasure

Did you know? Newark, New Jersey is the NUMBER ONE in the U.S. for treasure hunts! Seriously. And two cities each in Florida and California, are among the top ten.

Riverwalk in Newark

U.S. destinations for historic treasures

Swordis, a leading authority for historical sword enthusiasts, has analyzed research on America's cultural tapestry. The research looked specifically at the top 50 U.S. cities visited by overseas travelers according to the International Trade Administration and determined which 10 cities offer antique-savvy jetsetters and collectors the most success in meeting their treasure hunting needs.


Data accessed the number of antique stores, flea markets, appraisers, auction houses and history museums that can be found in each city, while merging data considerations on accommodation, dining costs and transport accessibility. 

These ranking points enabled Newark, New Jersey to come out on top as the number one city for historical exploration.

New Jersey, Florida, California, Missouri, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington DC all made the top ten list of locations to visit for those looking to explore antique gems and historical significance, with each location home to a vibrant array of antique stores and flea markets.

The top ten U.S. cities to visit when focusing on their cultural heritage and treasure hunting prospects include:

1. Newark, New Jersey

2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

3. San Francisco, California

4. St Louis, Missouri

5. Santa Ana, California

6. Buffalo, New York

7. Naples, Florida

8. Baltimore, Maryland

9. Washington DC

10. Minneapolis, Minnesota

New Jersey comes out on top

Newark stands as the foremost choice for treasure hunting enthusiasts, with its notable concentration of historical assets. The city features an impressive 34 antique stores and 3 flea markets per square mile, along with a strong community of appraisers and auction houses. This promises a unique experience for collectors and history buffs. With its founding in 1666, Newark's 358-year history underscores its cultural depth, offering visitors an opportunity to explore its past. The Newark Museum of Art showcases the city's historical relevance. Its extensive collections span art, science, and history, including a notable assortment of weapons like swords and armors from different periods.

Top locations to visit

State-wise, California and Florida both feature twice, with cities including Fort Lauderdale and Naples and California’s San Francisco and Santa Ana all making the top ten rankings.


The top three cities helping collectors increase the likelihood of picking up a vintage item thanks to their high frequency of antique stores includes Newark at number one with 883 total stores, Santa Ana in second place and Fort Lauderdale.


Flea markets also offer an exciting opportunity to hunt down a hidden gem and Newark once again tops the list with 69 total flea markets across the city, followed by Santa Ana and Fort Lauderdale which both have one market available to explore for every square mile of the city.

Newark also remains top of the list for auction houses, and is home to an impressive 217 auction houses compared to Santa Ana and Fort Lauderdale. Following closely is a second Florida city, Naples, which has 2 auction houses.

Mixing up the rankings, the number of appraisers per state (ISA members) is won by Washington DC with (16 members), Buffalo and Newark meet with (15 members) followed closely by Fort Lauderdale with (11 members).


For vacationers looking to take part in a historical retreat, the nation's capital hosts a wealth of iconic landmarks with Washington DC leading the top 10 list for museums (35), followed by Baltimore (21) and both San Francisco and St Louis sharing third place being home to 18 museums each.

Vali Munteanu, Founder and CEO at Swordis, said: “Historic treasures and rare antiques can be found throughout the United States in all shapes and sizes, whether that be in a bustling city or a hidden gem found in a small antique shop. This study highlights these popular travel destinations and showcases the increased odds each city offers in finding such artefacts due to their likelihood of having a higher density of hidden treasures. Tourists, avid collectors and keen historians now have a comprehensive list they can focus on ahead of their next vacation.”

The Swordis campaign aims to empower travelers with the knowledge and resources needed to embark on enriching historical adventures across the United States.


To find more information or to access the full research on all 50 cities, please visit:

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