Flea Markets in LA

Flea Markets in the US: 6 must do flea markets from East Coast to West Coast

Last updated:

Traveling across the United States offers a unique opportunity for an adventurous exploration of some of the country’s most famous flea markets. From the bustling streets of the East Coast to the sun-kissed avenues of the West Coast, each flea market unfolds as a vibrant tapestry of history, culture, and hidden treasures. In this article, we delve into the heart of America’s most captivating bazaars, offering a glimpse into the diverse world of antiques, vintage finds, and handmade crafts.

For those who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the charm of nostalgia, or simply the joy of discovering something truly unique, flea markets offer an experience unlike any other. Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or looking for a local weekend adventure, these six standout markets are essential destinations for any flea lover. From rare antiques and retro fashions to handmade goods and quirky collectibles, each market has its own unique character and offerings.

From the California coast to the boroughs of Brooklyn, join us on a journey through these iconic markets, where past and present blend seamlessly to offer an array of treasures to suit every taste and style. Get ready to be inspired, amazed, and maybe even a little nostalgic as we discover the best flea markets the U.S. has to offer from coast to coast.

The Most Famous flea market: The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA

A celebrated icon in the California flea market scene, the Rose Bowl Flea Market attracts over 20,000 enthusiasts and more than 2,500 vendors each month. Located at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, just a stone’s throw from Los Angeles, this market is a colossal convergence of buyers and sellers that offers an unparalleled shopping experience.

Brimming with a diverse array of items, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is a haven for fashionistas, collectors and casual shoppers alike. Here you will find an extensive selection of shoes, clothing, furniture, jewelry, sunglasses, crafts, memorabilia, art, fabrics, bicycles, costumes and music – truly a treasure trove of merchandise for every taste and preference.

Whether you are looking for new, antique, vintage or just unique items, the Rose Bowl Flea Market has it all. The market offers a plethora of options to decorate your home, enhance your garden, add flair to your culinary endeavors, kick-start an art collection or revamp your wardrobe. It’s a place where the possibilities are endless and the variety of merchandise is vast (see our detailed list below for a glimpse of what you can find at the Rose Bowl Flea Market).

The Rose Bowl Flea Market is an adventure in itself, filled with unexpected finds and delightful surprises at every turn. Whether you’re looking to splurge on a day of fun and exploration or have a specific purchase in mind, this market is the perfect destination. For those on a budget, however, there are plenty of other flea markets to explore. But for a unique and vibrant flea market experience, the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena is undoubtedly a top choice.

Don’t miss your chance to read our special review of the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, Cal. More reviews to come in the upcoming weeks!

The Most Picturesque flea market: Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Fair, Alameda, CA

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 Fair draws a regular crowd of high-end antique dealers and serious vintage collectors. The show’s co-founder and organizer, Alan Michaan, even stresses that it shouldn’t be called a mere flea market.

But that shouldn’t scare off the casual shopper; there are still plenty of bargains to be made among its 800 booths of vintage stereos, 60s-mod dining room furniture, vintage style dresses, vintage furniture, vintage images, classic Barbie dolls, and of course, much more.

“You can find something for one dollar or one thousand dollars,” says Michaan, who also runs a nearby estate sale and auction in conjunction with the monthly show. The Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Fair is situated on a postcard-perfect stretch of the San Francisco Bay, on a former naval base’s landing strip.

The fair and estate sales take place the first Sunday of every month, rain or shine, even on holidays such as Easter, and the auction previews happen the following Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Most Fun flea market: Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Flea Market, Long Beach, CA

Right in the heart of Southern California’s patio-living culture (nearly smack-dab between Los Angeles and Orange County), the Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Flea Market (mentioned earlier) hosts a huge assortment of outdoor furniture, garden ceramics and statuary.

Lynn and Donald Moger have managed the show, which takes place once a month at Veterans’ Stadium, since 1982, and they also enforce a 20-year rule, so you know the bounty of Fiestaware and 50s-era Pyrex bowls aren’t recent reproductions.

Lynn is most proud of the creativity her flea market inspires, and she says that she’s seen “an old railroad cart purchased for use as a coffee table and vintage file cabinets converted into a bedroom dresser.” One of its best perks? “Real restrooms!”

The Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Flea Market takes place the third Sunday of every month, rain or shine. Because of its sunny beach side location and popular beer vendors, this antiques flea market has a decidedly street fair feel, and locals come by each week just to walk around and soak up the sea breeze. You can read here our full review of the Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Flea Market

The Coolest Newcomer: Brooklyn Flea, Brooklyn, NY

As the borough continues to rival and perhaps surpass Manhattan as a real estate hotbed and cultural epicenter, Brooklynites need a quality flea market of their own. After opening in 2008, the Brooklyn Flea has become the preeminent spot to score unique vintage furniture, vintage style clothing, décor, clothing, vintage products and handmade goods.

Last winter, the flea market expanded to include two weekly events: one is outdoors flea market in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, the other is inside a former Brooklyn bank built in the 1920s.

The historic landmark, known as One Hanson, has limestone and marble interiors, intricate mosaics and is a marvel in itself.

“This flea market has these beautiful, vast aisles you can get lost in. You might even forget where you are,” says Brooklyn Flea’s co-founder and organizer, Eric Demby. If you don’t walk away with the perfect art deco vanity, vintage clothing or vintage furniture, you will leave with a full stomach.

Food is a major focal point of the Brooklyn Flea, and you’ll find one of the best smattering of tacos, cupcakes, lobster rolls, cannoli and Asian-inspired hot dogs in the country.

Download now our New York City Flea Markets Travel Guide!

From museums and parks, to sightseeing tours and of course shopping, New York has a lot to offer. And whether you’re a visitor or a local in the Big Apple, craving for vintage clothes, antique knick-knacks and other hip accoutrements – all while on a budget – be advised that New York City’s flea markets are full of vintage and antique finds that would grace any home or wardrobe.

Our interactive travel guide features 20 pages of the best flea markets in Manhattan as well as more up-and-coming neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Williamsburg, to help you find everything from vintage furniture to nostalgic memorabilia, old books, accessories, clothing and retro decorative items. If you use a tablet (iOS/Android), you will enjoy from a more in-depth experience thanks to our integrated multimedia content.

The Biggest flea market: Texas Antique Weekend, from Fayetteville to Carmine, TX

Everything is bigger in Texas, and its premiere flea market is no exception. Texas Antique Weekend is a twice-yearly chain of shows that spans over 30 acres along Highway 237, at a midpoint between Houston and Austin.

In April and October of every year, vendors from all over the country meet at this flea market to showcase items like Majolica ceramics, mid-century holiday decorations, vintage furniture, small Victorian items, antique archaeology, antique bottles, ranch oak furniture and basically everything else in between.

Stan Williams, author of The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details (Clarkson Potter; 2009) puts Texas Antique Weekend at the top of his personal list and described it this way: “If you want big, expensive items, they’re there. If you want junk, it’s there. This flea market really has everything.”

Because of its massive size, diverse spread, and semi-annual schedule, there is no such thing as a casual visit to the Texas Antique Weekend and flea market. Whether you’re a devout or amateur thrifter, make a shopping holiday out of it. Check our full review of the Texas Antique Weekend.

Honorable Mention: Treasure Mart flea market, Ann Arbor, MI

Rather than wait until the region is sufficiently thawed-out to hold an outdoor flea market, the Ann Arbor-Detroit area is home to a year-round, three-story emporium of vintage goods. Technically not a flea market by design but thoroughly so in spirit, the Treasure Mart flea market contains 8,500 square feet of delightfully curated and highly organized mid-century home furnishings, vintage clothing, costume jewelry, vintage images, ceramics, dishware, and loads of small, inexpensive kitsch.

Housed in a historic building that was once a mid-19th century planing mill, the Treasure Mart flea market also has an outdoor area full of vintage patio furniture spanning a few decades. Read our review of the Treasure Mart, Ann Arbor for more details.

Other flea markets worth visiting & tips

Englishtown, NJ: The granddaddy of flea markets for decades. Visitors  come in from all over, not just neighboring states.

Brimfield Antique Show, MA: About 30 minutes East of Springfield, MA. The Brimfield Antique Show is one of the biggest flea markets in the US, hosting more than 5,000 vendors over 20 distinct locations and welcoming 1 million visitors each year. It is held three times a year in May, July and September. This years market will start on September 7 and run through the 12th. Should be 6,000+ vendors.

Scott Antique Market in Atlanta, GA: The second weekend of every month. You can buy just about anything you want there. It’s got a great mix of stuff, bargains and biggies!! And since you’re in Georgia, don’t miss your chance to stop by at the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market! With more than 500 dealers, the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market is a true behemoth in the state of Georgia.

Hillsville, VA: Every Labor Day weekend 500,000 people take over the entire town. Every field, parking lot and lawn is turned into a vendor spot.