Flea Market: Top 20 Flea Markets in the US (2017 Update)

Brimfield Antique Show - Brimfield, MASSACHUSETTS

The Brimfield flea market takes place during six consecutive days each in mid-May, July, and September. A local auctioneer, Gordon Reid, started the Brimfield outdoor market, now the country’s largest, on a somewhat humbler stage back in 1959: his own backyard. Nowadays, Brimfield Antique show is one of the best flea markets in the country.

Nowadays, more than 1 million visitors flock to Brimfield Antique Show every year to shop the peerless selection of affordable New England collectibles (weather vanes, decoys, and Nantucket baskets) and maritime accouterments (brass lamps and ships’ wheels).

The way Brimfield Antique Show works is pretty unique: The flea market spreads over more than 20 fields on both sides of the main road running through Brimfield. Each field hosts thousands of vendors (there are usually more than 5,000 flea market dealers at Brimfield flea market) and has its own opening day. On those opening days, most fields charge a preview fee. So if you want to be one of the first to check out the merchandise then you should be there on the opening day and pay the fee. But this doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see and buy without paying the preview fee. A schedule of when which field opens is available on site.

Three of the best fields at the Brimfield Antique Show are Dealers’ Choice, known for its quality rustic furniture; Heart-O-The Mart, favored for hobnail glassware and intact grain sacks; and J&J Auction Acres, flush with high-end items like colonial cherrywood chests and convex mirrors.

Now, if you’re wondering how much time you need to visit the show, be aware that three days ain’t too much to give Brimfield flea market an in-depth look. From a logistics point of view, keep in mind that Brimfield has close to no hotels. So be prepared to book a hotel a few kilometers away from the flea market and drive there with a rental car. Since there is only one street to drive through Brimfield you might experience traffic jams at certain times. Parking is available on fields and around churches and usually costs about 10 $ per day.

Once you’ve found a good bargain at the Brimfield Antique Show, and if you don’t want to bother carrying it around with you during the rest of your trip, you can take advantage of a shipping service available on site. However, be aware that some seasoned flea market shoppers have found the cost to ship to Europe too high. Read our article about How to Get Your Flea Market Finds Home.

Brimfield is a true foodie flea market destination – even the food sold there has a regional bent. After a long day spent rummaging through hundreds of booths, try the generously sized $10 lobster rolls, the fresh-popped kettle corn, and indulge yourself with the Pilgrim Sandwich: a supersoft roll layered with roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo. Until 2017, ‘B.T.’s Smokehouse’ was the place to go for a real treat – but unfortunately not this year. They make genuine ‘Pulled Pork’ sandwiches, that were an absolute delight. No wonder why there were always long lines of people wanting to taste them.

Best shot at a bargain: The slower July and September markets may yield better deals than the crowded May outing, which serves as the region’s antiquing-season opener. So bring a hat, sunscreen and enough to drink. It can get hot and dusty, particularly later in the season!

Many thanks to Marc L. for helping us improve this review with his own experience of the Brimfield flea market.    

Where: Brimfield Town Hall, 23 Main Street, Brimfield MA 01010 (show on Fleamapket)
When: During six consecutive days each in mid-May, July, and September. Next show dates.
Read: Listing of Brimfield Antique Show on our interactive map
Website: www.brimfield.com / www.brimfieldapp.com

35 comments

  1. Roundtop Texas Antique Week is Insane! WARNING – Once you go, you will always go!
    Raleigh Flea Market – Awesome place to find great bargains!
    Cheers,
    Flea Market Junkies on FB

  2. watkins

    The fact that you don’t have English town flea market in nj listed and then in the same listing put up Brooklyn flea amongst all the overrated high priced crap in nyc. Discredits this entire list…

    • Michael

      To my opinion, the English Town flea market has been on a downward spiral for some time now and this time, it seems it has hit bottom. This is the saddest flea market I’ve ever seen. If you’re going for clothes, tools, CD’s, DVD’s, questionable toothpaste, shampoo or food goods, sock vendors, cheap/knock off sweatshirts, work boots, women’s accessories, etc then you’ve found the spot. There are also multiple booths selling drugstore discards: damaged cosmetics, over the counter meds & personal hygiene items in broken boxes. If you are a seeker of actual antiques, then this is NOT the place for you.

      If this place was better organized and they put a limit on the types/numbers of vendors selling new crap, it might become a 3 star experience. At this point, it looks like someone owns a big piece of land and is letting anyone with money and a folding table throw down. If it is $13 a table, and there are easily a thousand tables at the Englishtown Flea (not to mention the sad stores inside of the many buildings), we are basically looking at someone’s poorly managed cash cow. This place needs management, organization and someone that cares about the experience of the attendee.

      • Tish Gutjahr

        I agree. I grew up in NJ and went there at least one Saturday a month (mom/daughter thing) and it was losing it’s appeal back in the 80’s.

      • Debra

        I’ve not been there, but it sounds just like a few that I have now stopped going to for that exact reason. Just as you discribed here in Texas, the same thing has happened. I have no complex of nationality, but the flea markets are full of hispanic vendors, they are the ones who are mainly bring in that type of product. And the owners of the Markets are allowing it to happen. Thats not what a Flea Market has ever been about selling. You’d think you were in an outdoor market down in Mexico.

    • Hi sg, thanks for stopping by and asking! As a matter of facts, you’re absolutely right to wonder how we came up with such a listing. To tell the truth, it was quite hard to decide which flea market should make it to this listing, and which not. Top 10 fleas were pretty easy to pick as they naturally make sense (Brimfield, Round Top, Rose Bowl, Springfield…). The following ten where those which required a more thorough investigation, since, as you write it, it’s (almost) “all a matter of opinion”. So we did our own research, and decided to pick flea markets which seem to make a consensus among other flea market enthusiasts.And this is how this listing was born! But as it is the case with any kind of ranking, it is bound to evolve with time :)
      Are there any flea markets you wished would have been featured in this listing?

  3. KFS

    No idea how you could possibly miss Roger’s Community Auction & Flea Market. It is the oldest, largest in the tri-state area, and was voted “Best Flea Market in Ohio” by Ohio Magazine. RogersOhio.com They have over 1600 vendor spaces and up to 50,000 visitors on a peak Friday.

      • Tish Gutjahr

        No..sorry…I just know an internet friend I’ve had for over 15 years, and elderly lady who goes in a 5th wheel with her husband every year and they have a wonderful time. I retire in 3 years and my husband and I plan on going on an extended road trip. Kind of like a combined flea market search and “Diners, Driveins, and Dives” tour of the country! Good finds, good food, and good people! :)

        • Tish, this sounds like an AMAZING trip! Well, rest assured that if you’re looking for a place to share your adventure, we’d be more than happy to feature it on fleamarketinsiders.com so our community of flea markets/antiques/vintage enthusiasts could enjoy from your experience :) We wish you good luck with your lovely endeavor!

  4. dorkus_maximus

    Where’s the Elephant’s Trunk? I’ve been there and the Georgetown Flea Market and there’s no comparison. The DC one is nice; but it’s about 1/10th the size of the Elephant’s Trunk. It’s more comparable to the Brooklyn Flea Market.

  5. GeorgetownFlea

    Hello Ashley!

    I’m really excited to see Georgetown Flea Market in DC on the list here, but the address and contact information you’ve listed is for one in KY. The one in DC is at 1819 35th St NW Washington, DC, phone: (202) 775-3532. Great write-up!

    • The Georgetown flea market is a real institution in the US, among flea market enthusiasts! So there’s no way we wouldn’t have featured it among our ranking of the best flea markets in the US :) Sorry for the mistake with the address and telephone number; everything is back in order now.

  6. Topanga Vintage Market is called one of SoCal’s Top 5 Fleas, which is no easy task in a town with Rose Bowl, Melrose and Long Beach, not to mention the great Pasadena City College show. We are all vintage and antiques, with over 180+ sellers plus select local artisans, music and food trucks. Always the 4th Sunday of the month. We are celebrating our 4th Anniversary this April, 2016. Junk on!

  7. Andrew Ames

    I think the Best Flea Market anywhere is the one that you know about and isn’t on this list. That’s what I have close to my house. I live in a somewhat rural area, and the stuff I see at that flea market has amazed me for over 25 years. And the pricing? OMG The place I go to is known as a buyers market, not a sellers market at all. But, the regular sellers are there to sell and man, do they sell cheap! These sellers go to ALL of the local auctions and then drag that stuff, weekly, to the flea market. Half the time they don’t even know what they have, they don’t do the research, they just want to make SOME MONEY on what they’ve bought. I know of one fellow who’s been doing nothing else but buying at this flea market and selling on e-bay. NOTHING. He makes enough to live on…comfortably. He knows ALL of the regular vendors very well, and they know him. The vendors will set aside specific items for him, because they know if they have something of value, this man will pay what they’re asking, if he thinks that he can make a substantial profit on that item.

    I live within driving distance to several very good flea markets, each and every one has enough vendors that a good antiques dealer can make a large enough profit on the keep their store FULL, with very good quality items.

    So, I reiterate – the best flea market is the one that you know about, and isn’t on this list.

  8. How could you NOT have the Elephants Trunk Country Flea Market(New Milford, CT) on your TOP List?!?!?!?! Why do you think “Flea-Market Flip” films their ‘Picking/Re-purposing’ section there? High % of Antique & Vintage Dealers 500+ every Sunday weather permitting outside!!!

  9. Alice

    I saw Austin Country Flea, Austin, TX on the list, but didn’t see Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie, TX on the list. It’s one of the largest and oldest to shop in TX. They’re still there. I left TX in 2005, and checked them out, and they say people still sell everything. I’m moving back to TX, and can’t wait to visit them both. Although YELP! responses are not good for Austin Country Flea.

    • Hi Eric,

      That’s a very good point. Our rankings of the 20 Best Flea Markets in the US is actually dynamic. This means it tends to evolve over time based on different factors such as the renown of each venue, the rarity of the event (once a year vs weekly), the quality of merchandises sold (majority of antiques), the number of merchants/size of the event.

      Since we couldn’t change every time the pagination of our article to reflect this change, we decided recently to reflect these changes in the list below – flea markets are ranked by order of importance & quality.

      #1. Texas Antique Weekend – Fayetteville to Carmine, TX (twice a year, > 2,000 vendors)
      #2. Brimfield Antique Show – Brimfield, MA (thrice a year, 5,000 vendors)
      #3. Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market – Springfield, OH (monthly, 2,500 vendors)
      #4. 127 Corridor Sale – Cumberland Plateau, TN (once a year, > 30,000 vendors)
      #5. First Monday Trade Days – Canton, TX (monthly, 6,000 vendors)
      #6. Rose Bowl Flea Market – Pasadena, CA (monthly, 2,500 vendors)
      #7. Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market – Shipshewana, IN (weekly, 900 vendors)
      #8. Nashville Fairgrounds Flea Market – Nashville, TN (monthly, 1,200 vendors)
      #9. Raleigh Flea Market – Raleigh, NC (weekly, 1,000 vendors)
      #10. Alameda Points Antique Faire – Alameda, CA (monthly, 800 vendors)
      #11. Kane County Flea Market – St Charles, IL (monthly, 1,000 vendors)
      #12. Scott Antique Market – Atlanta, GA (monthly, 3,300 vendors)
      #13. Hartville Marketplace & Flea Market – Hartville, OH (daily, 800 vendors)
      #14. Rogers Flea Market – Rogers, OH (weekly, 1,600 vendors)
      #15. Long Beach Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market – Long Beach, CA (monthly, 800 vendors)
      #16. Lakewood Antiques Market – Cumming, GA (monthly, 500 vendors)
      #17. Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market – Miami, FL (monthly, 125 vendors)
      #18. Golden Nugget Antique Market – Lambertville, NJ (weekly, 140 vendors)
      #19. Renninger’s – Mount Dora, FL (weekly, 1,000 vendors)
      #20. Hells Kitchen Flea Market – New York City, NY (weekly, 150 vendors)

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