California Bear

Uncovering Treasures: The State’s Top 3 Flea Markets

Whether on a quest for a midcentury-style brass floor lamp, a set of modern outdoor dining chairs or one-of-a-kind vintage felt sports pennants, there’s nothing like a treasure hunt to find the perfect piece. Here’s a crop of the best flea markets from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. But, be forewarned—it might be difficult to walk away empty-handed. 

Rose Bowl Flea Market

For 56 years, the iconic market (held on the second Sunday of each month) has attracted high-profile interior designers, celebrities, and vintage collectors for a selection of wares from more than 2,500 vendors. Expect to see just about every type of object—divided into specific zones and categories to simplify the shopping experience—including vinyl records from The Beatles and Bee Gees; Turkish rugs; antique carousel horses; framed oil paintings; and vintage velvet capelets. Insider Tip: Get there when doors open at 5am. Some of the best finds happen bright and early. Tickets available online only. 

Alameda Point Antiques Faire

Known as the largest antiques show in Northern California, the event, located at the former Alameda Naval Station, showcases 800 exhibitors with items and oddities from rare Spanish coins and old-school combination locks to bedazzled cowboy boots and turn-of-the-century sewing machines. Insider Tip: Bring an extra layer or a jacket or sweater. Mornings can be foggy and chilly. 

Long Beach Antique Market

Handmade upholstered benches, old rotary phones, road signs, vintage sunglasses, and leather satchels are just a few finds at the mart held at the Long Beach Veterans Stadium. Featuring more than 800 exhibitors and sellers from across the country, the 42-year-old mart encompasses 20 acres with vendors including Vintage Chic LA with a selection of refurbished French-inspired dressers and vanities and Paper Jar featuring farmhouse-like goods such as wire bins and candlesticks and distressed wooden dining tables. Insider Tip: Come prepared with an extra bag or small, collapsible cart. You won’t regret it when transporting purchases to the car. 

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