EDINBURGH, Ind. — For many holiday shoppers, a trip to Edinburgh typically means a trip to the outlet mall, but less than a one minute drive up US-31 is Exit 76 Antique Mall (located at 12595 N. Executive Drive).
When it comes to finding truly unique gifts this holiday season—from a massive shop of wonders that even Santa Claus himself would be envious of—Exit 76 is one place you'll certainly want to stop and explore.
It’s a locally owned business where you’re sure to find truly unique items while saving big. However, this isn’t your average antique mall because Exit 76 has the distinction of being an official state of Indiana attraction, thanks to their over 110,000 verified visitors each year.
“We are the biggest antique mall in the Midwest in one building, one level that we know of,” said owner Denise Pence. “If we don’t have anything that someone is interested in, I would be very surprised."
With 72,000 square feet, 600 booths, 360 merchants and over 5 million items under one roof, there’s really something for everyone.
But first, you’ve got to find it.
Fortunately, this place is incredibly organized.
"We have an amazing General Manager, named Joyce. She’s been with us for 16 years and she has a phenomenal red vest team,” Pence explained. "People that are happy to come to work every day, that are either antiquers, hobbyists, or just want to be somewhere where every day it’s different.”
You’ll also find phones throughout the mall for customers to call for assistance with inventory, as well as maps to help make navigating the massive facility easier.
“We have a browsing list on the back [of the map] so when you forget—because you will—where you saw that one particular item that you want to go back to, you can write it down,” she said.
Some of the most sought-after items here include authentic sports memorabilia, coins, vinyl, video games and consoles— from the newer Xbox to the old Atari, as well as children’s toys like Legos and Barbies, trading cards, vintage purses, clothing and accessories, nostalgic holiday décor and ornaments, Longaberger baskets, Fiestaware in every color, décor and lots and lots of jewelry.
“We have a diamond tester for us to use for [our customers],” Pence said. “We sell tons of estate jewelry and we’ve had wonderful, wonderful stories.”
One such story involved a soldier from Camp Atterbury choosing a $42 engagement ring that ended up being worth much more.
“The description was a question mark… I said, ‘That looks awfully nice. Let me check that,” Pence recalled. “I tested it and $42 later, it was a real diamond.”
There are endless stories just like that: from unassuming customers who enjoy a pleasant surprise like the soldier, to their regular customers who are quite educated when it comes to treasure hunting for valuable items and flipping those into their own resale profit.
“A gentleman came in and bought a painting…it was your typical Indiana chew Mail Pouch tobacco barn scene,” Pence explained. “He went out to his car and brought in a book and said, 'I paid $20 for this painting and I’m going to spend about $1,000 to have it cleaned… then I’ll sell it between $10,000-$12,000 even $15,000 maybe.”
"And I said, 'How do you know that?' and he said 'I’m an art dealer from Nashville, Tennessee. I come to malls a couple times a year.'"
Pence has also observed an influx in the popularity for interior designers to go come to places like this first before shopping at other commercial home goods retailers
“Decorators that will come in with their clients and look for things for that Brown County Cabin or for that lake home or maybe for that fancy house up in northern Indiana,” Pence said. “Bigger city decorators will come in here too because the prices are competitive.”
Not only are prices competitive to begin with, you’ll also see various sale signs throughout the Mall, where vendors have added extra markdowns from 20%, 30%, even 50%-- with the best deals for those who pay in cash. If you don’t have cash on you, Exit 76 Antique Mall has their own indoor ATM located at the front of the facility. Plus, you can save even more on their customer appreciation weekends.
Pence says the overarching theme here has always been “Reuse, recycle, re-purpose.” So, even the most unlikely items can become the perfect gifts.
“For instance, we’ve got something that was an oxygen tank before, it’s now a lamp,” she said. “So if someone worked maybe for an oxygen company or something like that and you need a unique gift, we have it here.”
Although she doesn’t sell any of her own items here (which is also rare in the world of antique malls), being the owner of Exit 76 Antique Mall certainly has its perks when it comes to her own love of shopping and gifting for her loved ones.
“With three daughters and a son, I’m constantly picking up stuff,” she said. “I just bought one of my daughters a set of wine glasses. I paid $22 dollars for 6 wine glasses [that] were made in France and there was no doubt that I couldn’t have paid the postage from France for these wine glasses and they were absolutely awesome!”
According to Pence, there are always hidden treasures here for those who are willing to look. But she and her staff shared some very valuable advice, particularly for first time shoppers: If you find something you love, snag it while you have the chance.
“I’ve seen this happen a lot where someone is walking down the aisle, they look at someone who’s holding something and all of a sudden, the person puts it down and the other person behind them picks it up,” she said.
Four Things You Need to Know About Exit 76 Antique Mall:
- Exit 76 Antique Mall is a locally-owned treasure in Edinburgh and a must-visit destination for shoppers from all over the region. The mall is open 7 days a week from 10 am-6 pm. They have a huge parking lot that allows them to welcome tour buses and large groups.
- Exit 76 Antique Mall has the distinction of being an official state of Indiana attraction. This single-story treasure-hunting oasis is massive-- 72,000 square feet, 600 booths, 360 merchants and over 5 million items under one roof—so you’re sure to find something to love. But if you’re searching for something in particular, you can add it to their wish list so vendors can go out and find it.
- You’ll be impressed by how organized and beautifully set up the mall is—especially considering the sheer volume of inventory. Their staff (called the "Red Vest Team") is always on hand to help customers, as well as have strollers and wheelchairs available. And when you’ve shopped ‘til you drop, you can take a break in their café-style seating area and refuel with snacks from their vending area.
- On top of their already competitive prices, you’ll notice various sale signs throughout the Mall, where vendors have added extra markdowns from 20%, 30%, even 50% off— with the best deals for those who pay in cash. If you don’t have cash on you, no worries! They have their own indoor ATM located at the front of the facility. Plus, you can save even more on their customer appreciation weekends.
For more information about Exit 76 Antique Mall, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook.
While in Edinburgh, check out these other popular local businesses and attractions located nearby: