2013 Flea Market Guide: Coast to Coast

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Vintage collectors and bargain hunters rejoice! The arrival of Spring also means the beginning of flea market season. In anticipation of this exciting event, I've rounded up a list of some of the country's best flea markets. 

California - Bay Area

  • Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire This flea market takes place in Alameda (near Oakland) on the first Sunday of each month. A serious shopper's market with over 800 outdoor dealers and a $15 admission fee, it's a favorite of designers and flea market addicts.

  • Alemany Flea Market Located at 100 Alemany Boulevard, this flea market is much smaller than Alameda, but it's convenient if you're staying in SF and don't want to cross the Bay. It's open on Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm, and it's a relaxed environment with local vendors.

  • San Jose Flea Market This market has been around since 1960 and sees a wide array of vendors, from organic vegetables to stereo equipment. Open every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

  • San Pablo Flea Market Located in Emeryville, California (North Oakland) this flea market is open daily. It's a smaller, family-owned market where you can find fixer-upper furniture at reasonable prices.

  • Downtown Santa Cruz Antique Street Faire Every second Sunday (weather permitting), Downtown Santa Cruz hosts an antique fair from 9am to 4pm, where vendors offer an eclectic blend of antiques and vintage furniture, books, and ceramics.

California - Los Angeles and SoCal

  • Pasadena City College Flea Market Held on the first Sunday of every month from 8am to 3pm, this flea market is a big one, with over 500 vendors. Admission is free, and you'll find lots of old-school antiques and collectibles. Proceeds from the market benefit the College.

  • Long Beach Antiques and Collectibles Held every 3rd Sunday of the month at Long Beach Vets Stadium, this is a large market with over 800 dealers. Hours are 5:30am to 3pm and there's an early admission fee of $10 to visit during the first hour, $5 if you visit after 6:30am.

  • Rose Bowl Flea Market This is a GIANT market with over 2,500 vendors. Located at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, it markets itself as "the shopping place of the stars." It's open one Sunday each month from 9am to 3pm (check the schedule for dates).

Connecticut

  • Elephant’s Trunk County Flea Market Located in New Milford, Connecticut, this is the largest outdoor flea market in New England. It's open every Sunday from April through November. There's a $20 fee for early admission at 5:45am and a $2 admission fee after 7am.

Florida

  • Dayton Flea & Farmers Market Located in Daytona Beach, this market features over 600 vendors every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Open from 9am - 5pm.

Illinois

  • Chicago Antique Market There's a larger outdoor market in the summer on Saturdays and Sundays, and a smaller indoor market in the winter. The prices are on the high side, but furniture is of good quality and you'll find lots of lovely mid-c pieces.

  • Kane County Flea Market From March through December, this market outside of Chicago opens one Saturday and Sunder per month (check the schedule for specific dates). Admission is $5, and you'll find a good selection of reasonably priced furniture.

  • Sandwich Antiques Market Located 60 miles west of Chicago, this market  features quality exhibitors held at the park-like Sandwich Fair Grounds. Held once a month between May and October. 

Indiana

  • Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8am to 5pm, May through October, this is the Midwest's largest outdoor flea market. Located in the heart of Amish country, it features lots of handmade furniture and local farm stands. There's also a regular market that's open most days of the week.

Massachusetts

  • Grafton Flea Market This indoor/outdoor flea market (located in the Boston metro area) has hundreds of vendors. It's open on Sundays from 6am to 4 pm, Aparil through December. In the summer, the market is larger and has more vendors.

  • Brimfield Antique Show This flea market is held three times each year, and it's HUGE with over 6,000 vendors. (Check the schedulehere.) It's been in operation for over 50 years, and you'll find a lot of "antiques roadshow" style shoppers at this market.

  • Wellfleet Flea Market Starting in May, this weekend market sets up in the Wellfleet Cinemas parking lot with over 200 vendors. 

New York

  • Brooklyn Flea On Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm, the outdoor Brooklyn Flea Market pops up in Fort Greene. (They also have a smaller Sunday market at One Hanson.) The New York Times calls it "One of the great urban experiences in New York."

  • GreenFlea This is "the biggest flea market in New York City," located on the Upper West Side on Columbus at 77th. The Sunday market is open 10am to 5:30pm, November through March, and 10am to 6pm, April through October.

  • Stormville Antique & Flea Market Held monthly from April to November, this market at the Stormville Airport sees over 600 vendors from more than eight states. 

North Carolina

  • Raleigh Flea Market This flea market is open in the Raleigh area every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm, except in October when it's closed to make room for the big State Fair. It markets itself as the "largest selection of antiques, jewelry and furniture in North Carolina."

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsy Flea Market This is Philadelphia's largest indoor flea market, open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 6pm. There are over 300 vendors, and prices range from $50 to $100. From what we can tell, there are lots of vendors with smaller items and less big furnishings.

  • Fairmount Flea Market There are about 175 vendors at this outdoor market, the largest summer flea in Philadelphia. It takes place near the Bache-Martin School. For a schedule, check out thePhila Flea Market directory online.

Tennessee

  • Nashville Flea Market This mega flea market hosts dealers from over 30 states. Located at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, it's open year-round (except for December) on the fourth weekend of each month. Admission is free; check the schedule for further details.

Texas

  • Canton Flea Market This market, also known as "First Monday Trade Days" is located within driving distance of Dallas. It's been in operation for more than a century, and it's one of the world's largest outdoor flea markets. It takes place Thursday - Sunday before the first Monday of every month.

Washington, DC

  • Georgetown Flea Market Vendors at the Georgetown Flea Market come out every Sunday from 8am-4pm all year long. Come early for the best picks and late for good deals, when sellers are often willing to cut prices rather than reload unclaimed items.

  • Eastern Market Every Sunday (weather permitting) from 10 am to 5 pm, DC's Eastern Market hosts around 100 vendors selling artwork, crafts, antiques, and collectibles. The Eastern Market is also known for its farmers market, which is open year-round daily.

Did I leave out your favorite area flea market? Add your market in the comments to help keep this list growing.

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(Image: Brooklyn Flea Profile)

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