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Photograph: Shutterstock/Cheryl Casey

These are the 10 best U.S. cities for historic treasure hunting

Pay for your trip with an awesome find!

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

Ready to get your Indiana Jones on? In recent years, travelers have enjoyed geocaching, digging at Oak Island or even searching for hidden glass spheres in Jekyll Island, Georgia. So, if you want to build your vacation around searching for historical treasures—either buried in the ground or unseen on the dusty back shelf of an antiques store, there are certain cities you should put on your list. The sword company Swordis has prepared a roundup of the best cities in the U.S. for historic treasures, and we’re going to start crossing these off year by year. Huzzah!

The company analyzed the top 50 cities visited by international visitors while considering factors that play into both treasure hunting and vacation appeal. That means counting how many antique shops, flea markets, and auction houses there are, as well as the city’s historical importance. Of course, public transit was assessed (gotta have a way to transport your shovel), as well as the cost of typical hotels and restaurants—and the potential for a treasure-hunting excursion. You can cheat by going on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but why not find your own path?

According to the list, Newark, New Jersey, is the top city with a plethora of historical assets—Swordis calls it a “historic playground.” There are 34 antique stores per square mile and an impressive history dating back to 1666. The Newark Museum of Art showcases the city’s story with collections that interpret it, and the cost of staying and dining is very affordable.

Second on the list is Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It has five antique stores per square mile and a fascinating maritime history. Visit the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and the Stranahan House to get a glimpse of these previous days.

The third is San Francisco, California. Its importance to the Gold Rush can be seen at the Embarcadero, where a financial district was built upon abandoned ships and landfill (and...hidden gold?). With 4.5 antique stores per square mile, you’ll have fun exploring. Chinatown offers a lot to historically minded visitors, as do Fisherman’s Wharf, the Asian Art Museum, the de Young, the Legion of Honor, and the museum associated with the San Francisco Historical Society. It’s also one of the cities believed to hold a hidden treasure box from the book The Secret—if you find it, you can exchange it for a precious gem with the author Byron Preiss’s estate.

The rest of the top 10 include:

4. Santa Ana, CA

5. St. Louis, MO

6. Buffalo, NY

7. Naples, FL

8. Baltimore, MD

9. Washington, DC

10. Minneapolis, MO

To read the full list and learn more, visit here.

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