2045 Dixie Hwy., Waterford Twp.; 248-338-3220; dixilandfleamkt.com
At the border of Waterford and Pontiac you’ll find two flea markets in one at Dixieland. In the warmer months you’ll find the parking lot full of vendors dressed in sunhats and overalls. They’re selling their wares out their truck beds and on tarps laid out on the ground — a mix of used chainsaws, old baseball cards, and other household items. But every so often in the mix you’ll find a gem — a vintage record, a stylish old necklace, or a vintage beer sign that will fit in your garage just right. This is the appeal of the outdoor lot — the dig for the hidden treasures and the conversations you’ll have with the vendors and fellow bargain hunters along the way. Move inside and you’re treated to some of the finer antiques (and air conditioning). Here you’ll find a jeweler, knife and sword shop, an erotic adult shop, a vintage Playboy magazine booth, and great vinyl record store, to name a few. The beauty of Dixieland is that you never know what you’ll find — go in with an open mind and a few dollars in your wallet (yes, cash) and you’ll never know what treasures you’ll walk away with. —Anthony Spak
901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-0622; kingsbooksdetroit.com
While big box bookstores shutter by the numbers and mom-and-pop operations struggle to compete with Amazon and, well, the fact that most people these days seem to digest information in 140 characters or less, one iconic Detroit establishment is king — John K. King Used & Rare Books, that is.
If you're headed downtown on the freeway, it's hard to miss this literary giant. Since 1965, John K. King has become a labyrinthian treasure trove that houses a collection of 1 million books in more than 900 subjects. Upon entry, visitors are greeted with a map detailing the contents of each of the four stories. While you may go in with a list of must-find titles, the more seasoned bookworms will tell you that titles will find you.
More than the collection itself though, what John K. King offers is an experience. From the coveted old-book mustiness, and the charming handmade cardboard aisle descriptions and illustrations, to the walkie-talkie equipped staff who are ready to assist you in even the most impossible of searches, when you visit John K. King you are bound to leave with something special. —Jerilyn Jordan