Will Brake for Flea Markets: The Best Spots to Stop & Shop, Central Time Zone Edition

Will Brake for Flea Markets: The Best Spots to Stop & Shop, Central Time Zone Edition

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Cara Gibbs
Jul 6, 2016
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Plotting out that much-overdue road trip through the Midwest this summer? We’ve got a killer route for you! Set your watch to Central time and check out these one-of-a-kind flea markets.

Chicago Antique Market at Randolph Street Market

  • Where: Chicago, Illinois
  • When to visit: July 30-31, 10 am to 5 pm / August 27-28, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Why it’s worth the stop: Chi-Town kills it when it comes to the cool, eclectic flea market scene. Case in point: The Randolph Street Market, which hosts over 200 vendors all offering some seriously out-of-the-box finds. Everything from old-world luggage and intriguing global finds to vintage clothing trucks and midcentury treasures. Here’s a few must-visit vendors: The Luxe Wagon (the coolest vintage clothes), Bare Knuckle Workshop (reclaimed magic here!), and Maven Collection (rugs, pillows and blankets to die for). This market does not disappoint! Insider tip: There are “early buying hours” on Saturdays, so get there at 8 am for the best picks.

What Cheer Flea Market

  • Where: What Cheer, Iowa
  • When to visit: August 5-7, doors open at 7 am
  • Why it's worth the stop: This flea market in What Cheer, Iowa (such a great town name, huh?) pops up 3 times a year beginning in May. The lot of offerings is aimed toward collectors, so you're likely to find hordes of glassware, stamps, coins, baseball cards, old tools, antiques and novelty items. It's a $2 admission fee on Friday and Saturday, but free on Sunday. If you're a hardcore fleaer, they even offer an "early bird" day the Thursday prior to the market opening for $5.

Nashville Flea Market

  • Where: Nashville, Tennessee
  • When to visit: Last Sunday of the month; up next: July 22-24, August 26-28 and September 23-25, Fridays 8 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 7 am to 6 pm, Sundays 7 am to 4 pm
  • Why it's worth the stop: The Nashville Flea might easily be considered one of the top flea markets in the country. In operation since 1969, it's grown to nearly 2,000 booths per show from 1,200 vendors that come from all different states. You're likely to find anything and everything with so many choices. Each weekend it's open has a theme: July is Americana Cool, August is Old School Rules and September is Fall Fest.

Greenwood Flea Market

  • Where: Greenwood, Louisiana
  • When to visit: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Why it’s worth the stop: The historic Greenwood Flea Market, just west of Shreveport, must be doing something right, as it’s been around nearly 4 decades. A good assortment of random novelties and surprisingly valuable collectibles will be found amongst your usual flea market “junk.” Vendors spread out indoors and out, and though prices throughout are pretty reasonable, the indoor booths tend to have higher price points. If you can stand the swampy Louisiana weather, you’ll score some bargains! Don’t forget to haggle. Be on the lookout for gorgeous vintage baubles and unusual antique dishware.

Austin Flea

  • Where: Austin, Texas
  • When to visit: July 17, 10 am to 4 pm
  • Why it’s worth the stop: In true Texan style, this Austin-based flea market does not disappoint—offering delicious food, cool music and, of course, unexpected flea market finds. Modeled after the Brooklyn Flea, this show also features lots of up-and-coming artists and designers (no surprise there since Texas’ capital city is known for its trendsetting, of-the-moment vibes). Some flea market showstoppers include Slow North (candles made from plants), jewelry designers Ferro and Fawn and ridiculously cool designer Kim Lewis (you know her from "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition").

→In a different part of the country? Check out our guides to all time zones:

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