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

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

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Cara Gibbs
Jul 8, 2016
A Serious Shopper at Brimfield
(Image credit: Tara Bellucci)

Summer is all about hopping in the car and rolling toward an adventure. It just so happens that it’s also the perfect time of year to uncover diamonds in the rough and forgotten treasures. For all you summer road warriors looking for vintage finds and artisanal home wares, here’s a snapshot of some of the not-to-miss flea markets on the Eastern seaboard. Happy hunting!

Brimfield Antique Show

  • Where: Brimfield, Massachusetts
  • When to visit: Do not miss the show July 12-17 and September 6-11. It won't come around again until next May!
  • Why it's worth the stop: This is not your ordinary vintage fair. This is the Olympics of flea markets. The granddaddy, so to speak. This quaint and sleepy little town may seem like an unexpected host for this behemoth show, but, to the contrary, its big, wide-open fields serve as the perfect canvas for the 5,000-plus vendors carting in anything and everything you can imagine. Plan to get there early (we're talking sunrise early), and wear super comfy shoes as you will be walking for miles from vendor to vendor. Negotiations are welcomed (and expected). And, most importantly, do not leave without scarfing down one of Faddy's Donuts—trust us on this!
  • For more of our Brimfield advice: 8 Pro Tips for Shopping Brimfield

Brooklyn Flea Market

  • Where: Fort Greene, DUMBO and Prospect Park, New York
  • When to visit: Saturdays, 10 am to 5 pm in Fort Greene; Sundays 10 am to 5 pm in DUMBO; Sundays 11 am to 6 pm at Grand Army Plaza
  • Why it's worth the stop: Revered as one of the city's must-not-miss attractions, this flea market is responsible for debuting some seriously major talent. With over 100 vendors featuring everything from original design pieces to a curated selection of vintage clothing and jewelry and amazing artisanal food, discovery hangs around each tent. Do not miss the following vendors: Carpenter Hill (salvage and handmade pieces), Little Gardens (antiques and other fun stuff), NYCitySlab (really beautiful natural wood pieces), Superfussy (vintage clothing), and Liz Emirzian (art and illustrations). Also, swing by the Good Batch for the best ice cream sandwich.

The Peddler Flea Market

  • Where: Buffalo, New York
  • When to visit: Saturdays, 8:30 am to 4 pm
  • Why it's worth the stop: Buffalo may be famous for its harsh winters, but its antiques and vintage flea markets are nothing to snooze over. Specifically The Peddler, located on West Ferry Street at the Commons, this expansive show is teeming with super cool retro finds and vintage treasures. Don't skip over the vintage jewelry here—people have been known to walk away with amazing costume pieces and one-of-a-kind baubles.

Vintage Street Market

  • Where: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • When to visit: July 10, August 14, September 11, 10 am to 4 pm
  • Why it's worth the stop: This monthly vintage show is one of the most beloved events to take over downtown Grand Rapids. Known for its array of amazing artwork and übercool variety of vintage, this antique flea market is definitely worth a peek. Don't miss the following vendors: Good Soul Vintage (great retro fashions), Cutterville Antiques (cool assortment of mid-century finds) and Bailey and James Boutique (all sorts of vintage home decor and locally-made goods.)

The Treasure Mart

  • Where: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • When to visit: Monday through Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm
  • Why it's worth the stop: Nestled on Detroit Street in downtown, this indoor market has a proceeding reputation for accepting the best of the best when it comes to products, consignments and vendors. Unlike many of the roaming flea markets, this one is stationary, housed in a historic turn-of-the-century building that used to serve as a steam-powered planing mill. Just like many of pieces it houses for sale, the building is rich with historical references.

Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market

  • Where: Shipshewana, Indiana
  • When to visit: Tuesdays and Wednesday, 8 am to 5 pm (May through October)
  • Why it's worth the stop: This is a true Midwest experience! Coupled with all the usual fun and finds of a great flea market, there's also an auction component here in Shipshewana and don't be surprised to see livestock as one of the main trades at the show. If you're in the area Saturday, August 6, don't miss out on the antique market. It's the largest in the state. You'll discover vintage and antique pieces, collectibles, furniture, glassware, novelty items, jewelry and beyond.

Georgetown Flea

  • Where: Washington, D.C.
  • When to visit: Sundays, 8 am to 4 pm
  • Why it's worth the stop: Affectionately referred to as G-Town Flea, this market makes its way back to the streets of D.C. after having been bumped to Arlington, Virginia, for the past few years. Drawing a wide range of unique artisans (and total characters!), esteemed collectibles and antique dealers, this show defines Sundays in the nation's capital. Be on the look out for beautiful silver, vintage books and stained glass accents.

Keller's Flea Market

  • Where: Savannah, Georgia
  • When to visit: Saturdays and Sundays, 8 am to 6 pm
  • Why it's worth the stop: This rustic market is chock-full of interesting finds and every visit requires some super sleuth action, but it's totally worth it. Specializing in Western goods, you can also capture some really neat instruments like vintage banjos and hard-to-find guitars. Hmm…that could make for some interesting art/sculpture displays.

Miami Flea

  • Where: Miami, Florida
  • When to visit: As their schedule is sporadic, keep your eye on their Instagram for announcements.
  • Why it's worth the stop: As if there aren't enough fun things to do in this city, we're adding another to your list: The Miami Flea. Aimed to support and bring awareness to the art of sustainable living and the beauty of the handmade, Miami Flea is buzzing with cool artists and makers all looking to capture attention with their creative works. Be sure to stop by these vendors: StonedandCharming (amazing handmade jewelry), Foxtail Terrariums (think of plants as sculpture and art), and Curandera Remedies (seriously good all-natural, organic products) And, don't even get us started on the food scene—make sure you go hungry!

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