Is it any surprise that a city as vast and stylish as LA has no shortage of flea markets — enough to fill every weekend of every month? The diverse offerings will entice both bargain shoppers and vintage collectors alike, and we've compiled a list of the best (plus our personal favorite!).
Rose Bowl The big daddy of all LA flea markets, Rose Bowl in Pasadena features over 2,500 vendors selling everything from antiques and collectibles to furniture and crafts. There is nothing you can't find here, including a few celebrity sightings. The vintage clothing selection is especially impressive, and it's near impossible to see the whole show in a day unless you're a power walker. Tip: Know what you need before you go, and bring a granny cart. Second Sunday of every month, 9 am to 3 pm (early bird 5 am to 9 am), $8 admission.
Pasadena City College For a less overwhelming alternative to the Rose Bowl, this smaller flea market (held inside a multi-story parking garage with some spillover outside) hosts 450 vendors, and proceeds benefit student scholarships and student activities. PCC is well known for its vintage record selection — you'll find over 70 vendors specializing in records alone, ranging from big bands to modern rock. Tip: The shaded shopping areas are a welcome respite from the city's blazing summertime heat. First Sunday of every month, 7 am to 3 pm, free admission.
Long Beach Antique Market Though it's often overshadowed by the more famous Rose Bowl, this flea market is a hidden treasure and personally, we feel it's the best flea market in all of LA. Many vendors at Rose Bowl bring their wares here the following weekend, so if you're not up for battling the crowds up north, Long Beach (with its 800 vendors) is a much more manageable shopping experience — not to mention the vendors are more likely to give you a deal here. Vintage furniture and knickknacks are where this market shines. Tip: Come early if you're looking for something specific. Third Sunday of every month, 6:30 am to 2 pm (early bird 5:30 am to 6:30 am), $6 admission.
Melrose Trading Post Held in the Fairfax High School parking lot rain or shine (with proceeds benefiting its students), this market hosts only 250 vendors but makes for a fun afternoon of shopping with live jazz, good food, and people watching. Not a bad way to spend your Sunday. Goods range from vintage and collectible to artsy and eclectic. Tip: Come between 1 and 4 pm for live music by The Paul Diblasi Trio, but come much earlier if you want any kind of parking. Every Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm, $3 admission.
Santa Monica Airport Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market Whether you're looking for shabby chic or mid-century modern, chances are you can furnish your entire house in one day here. Besides furniture and decor, there's also a large selection of estate jewelry, vintage and couture fashion, exotic plants, and garden accessories. Tip: You'll find more vendors at the fourth Sunday events, when the show has a special early bird admission from 6 am to 8 am (for $2 more). First and fourth Sunday of every month, 8 am to 3 pm, $5 admission.
Downtown Flea A newcomer to the scene, Downtown Flea just launched in July 2013 but has a promising start so far. Promoted as not just a flea market but also a block party, it offers the quintessential LA shopping experience, complete with live bands, DJs, and food trucks taking over four open-air lots in the Historic Core. The market's 250 vendors include antiques dealers as well as independent Etsy-type crafters. Tip: Keep an eye on the Downtown Flea site for more news as they develop their event. Fourth Sunday of every month, 10 am to 4 pm, $5 admission.
(Image: Downtown Flea)