Much like an afternoon at the beach or a baseball game, a trip to the flea market in the US is a surefire sign that summer is upon us. Summer is undeniably the best season to shop for vintage curiosities and secondhand treasures, as flea markets, highway yard sales, and antique shows pop-up all around the United States. We’ve tapped into our flea market expertise to put together a list of the best US summer flea markets you absolutely should visit this season.
For antiquers, thrifters, and curious shoppers alike, summer flea markets across the US emanate an exciting atmosphere that other seasons just don’t seem to provide. Many organizers in the USA host one-off jumbo flea market events in summer, which means that there is often a wider selection of vendors flocking to fairgrounds across the US, selling collectibles, rarities, and show-stopping antiques.
From flea market classics like the Brimfield Antique Show, boasting top-tier antiques, to behemoths like the 127 Yard Sale and other famous highway yard sales which provides the perfect occasion for an antiquing road trip through rural America, these 10 amazing spots can’t be beaten in terms of their variety of merchandise, beautiful settings, and rich history.
Get your agendas ready – this is our list of the best summer flea markets in the United States:
Nashville Flea Market (Nashville, TN)
With over 1,700 booths (half indoors / half outdoors) and 1,200 dealers from 30 states, the Nashville Flea Market has more to show than what the average person can see in one day. No wonder why it is dubbed by many ones of the biggest flea markets in the U.S.!
The Nashville Flea Market showcases a lot of amazing stuff, and particularly antiques (about 80% older items and 20% newer items): from bric-a-brac to antiques, refurbished & vintage furniture, dollar items, wholesale stuff, crafts, jewelry, vintage clothes – you name it, the stalls at the Nashville Flea Market probably have it.
127 Corridor Sale (from Addison, MI to Gadsden, AL)
Dubbed the world’s longest yard sale, the 127 Corridor Sale stretches over 690 miles of scenic rural highway from Addison (MI) to Gadsden (AL), where thousands of individuals fill their front yards with items uncovered in their attics and closets. That is why, oftentimes, it is referred to as the 127-yard sale. This huge event is the ultimate US summer flea market that all vintage enthusiasts should definitely put on their bucket list.
Over a four-day weekend every 1st Thursday of August, a wide variety of vendors set up shop roadside, hawking an unimaginable variety of secondhand and vintage items, including weathered iron bed frames, boxes of fishing lures, crocheted table linens, and garden statuary. To make the most out of your experience at the 127-yard sale, keep in mind that you will have to pick and choose your focus.
127-yard sale is the perfect occasion for a road trip through rural America, and a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear incredible stories related to the individuals and the items they sell, and talk to people you may have never met otherwise.
First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms (Kansas City, MO)
Having been used for agricultural, freight and industrial purposes more than a hundred years ago, the warehouses in the West Bottoms nowadays play host to the First Friday Festival Weekends. This flea market happens on the first weekend of each month (Friday to Sunday) and is considered a mecca for shoppers and bargain hunters, as it is crammed with of one-of-a-kind antique and vintage merchandise.
The sheer amount of antique and vintage stores at First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms is outstanding. Not only is West Bottoms home to 22 warehouses in a six-block area with approximately 600 vendors, but also to over 20 independent fashion retailers, cafés, food trucks, art galleries and restaurants.
Attracting both locals and tourists – First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms is regularly ranked one of the best antique show in Missouri – this destination should be on the to-do list of all antique enthusiasts traveling to Kansas City in summer.
Because of its stringent vendor rules (all items for sale must be at least twenty years old), and the scarcity of quality antiques shows in the Bay Area, the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire attracts a regular crowd of serious collectors and high-end antique dealers looking for some one-of-a-kind pieces to accentuate their individual home decor. Unique furniture is the norm, along with shoes, jewelry, wall sconces, and a long list of antique odds and ends.
Brimfield Antique Show is one of the largest outdoor flea markets in the US. Each year, the show welcomes over 1 million visitors who come to shop for five days straight. Brimfield Antique show offers a peerless selection of affordable New England collectibles and maritime items.
Indeed, with over 5,000 vendors spread over 20 fields on both sides of the main road running through Brimfield, five days ain’t too much to give Brimfield an in-depth look and shop for the likes of weather vanes, decoys, Nantucket baskets, brass lamps and ships’ wheels.
What is more, the summer season is known to be best for scoring a bargain: The July and September markets are generally slower in terms of visitors and may yield better deals than the crowded May outing, which serves as the region’s antiquing-season opener.
Inspired by the perfect setting of the Walworth County Fairground, as well as the area’s obvious appreciation for antiques and second-hand goods, Elkhorn Antique Flea Market is a well-attended event that takes place only four times a year.
Elkhorn Antique Flea Market hosts around 500 dealers selling a great and wide range of antiques and second-hand items, ranging from used furniture and vintage toys, to industrial & rustic decor, and everything else in between. Merchandise includes old farming equipment, glassware, pottery, 1950s appliances, retro advertising, vintage linen and you may also find some antique chandeliers and Art Nouveau.
The crowd attending the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market is as varied as the items for sale. Vendors selling at Elkhorn Antique Flea Market range from seasoned professionals to those that have literally just cleared out their attic. In these times of online shopping, one of the refreshing things about visiting the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market is the joy of picking things up, having a proper browse, and getting to speak face to face with stallholders and other antique enthusiasts.
During the height of summer, the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days set up along the banks of the Zumbro River for a wonderful second-hand and antique market, with enough food and entertainment to qualify as more of a festival.
Established back in 1972, this renowned flea market and antique show regularly identify as one of the best six antique shows in the US to attend each year. The Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days host around 1,000 vendors and the variety of items on sale is nothing short of fascinating.
There is everything ranging from antique furniture to handmade handbags, glassware, toys, taxidermy, silverware, bronze, lighting, cast iron, antique automobiles, vintage linen, vintage clothing, decorations, vintage signs, handicraft stalls, and everything else visitors can think of. As with most flea markets, haggling is welcomed and encouraged as a conversation starter.
From April to October, Scott Antique Market Washington Court Households a bi-monthly antique show which hosts over 600 booths filled with merchandises you would normally find in antique shops: Furniture from early American oak to paper Americana, heirloom-quality oil paintings, French home décor, jewelry, silverware, upholstered furniture, vintage toys, antique watches, kitchenware, antique tools, and vintage clothing.
Scott Antique Market started back in the 1990s as a one-person event and has grown into one of the country’s largest monthly indoor antique show featuring three active locations: Atlanta (GA), Columbus (OH), and Washington Court House (OH).
Not as large as Scott Antique Market Atlanta – the country’s largest indoor antique show with over 3,300 booths filled with fine antiques and collectibles – Scott Antique Market Washington Court House is nonetheless a Summer highlight because it only takes place 3 times a year.
Sparks Kansas Antiques and Collectables Flea Market (Sparks, KS)
Twice a year the quiet little town of Sparks in Kansas positively bursts to life as over 75,000 visitors flock to attend the Sparks Kansas Antiques and Collectables Flea Market, a phenomenon that simply must be seen to be believed.
Sparks Kansas Antiques and Collectables Flea Market has been in operations since 1982 and the event has grown year on year. In fact, it is still gaining popularity and is becoming the event that second-hand lovers and antique hunters across the country make sure they attend each year. Sparks Kansas Antiques and Collectables Flea Market hosts upwards of 500 booths – 450 of these being dedicated to antiques – it is no wonder that antique and vintage lovers show up in sparks each time without fail.
There are little shoppers won’t find at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, whether it’s new, antiques, vintage or just old: vintage clothes & jewelry, antique furniture, ceramics and glassware, arts & crafts, fabric, antiques and collectibles, vintage photography, prints and paintings, music, and every imaginable type of merchandise are all to be found there.
With our tool Fleamapket, you can view over 200 of the best flea markets in the USA on a map! Not only did we include all the US flea markets that made it into our ranking of the 10 US Flea Markets You Absolutely Should Visit This Summer, but we also added some of America’s most acclaimed antique fairs to the mix. Click on the image below to access our map feature for free: