California has something to offer everyone. No matter where you are in the state, great beaches are never far away. If beaches are not your thing, skiing in the mountains is always an option.
There is fresh produce available year round, and other than the traffic, you are never far away from, well, just about anything.
California also has some of the best flea markets in the country, and just like everything else in California, you a never very far away from a great one.
Here are 15 of the best flea markets California has to offer. We start off with the ones in Northern California, you can jump to page 7 if you’d like to see those in Southern California.
1. Alameda Point Antique Fair – Alameda, CA
With over 800 vendors, the Alameda Pointe Antique Faire is touted as one of the largest fairs in the northern part of the state, and this fair surely does not disappoint.
There is something for everyone here.
There is a wide array of items including furniture, collectables, jewelry, clothing, and art just to name a few.
The fair is open the first Sunday of every month, and all items are required to be at least twenty years old, so you know you will score some vintage finds here.
2. Alemany Flea Market – San Francisco, CA
Located in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, fairgoers here will find treasures, but only if they are willing to dig for them.
The market is known for its junk, but also for the amazing deals people have scored.
This fair is smaller and more manageable than the larger fairs nearby, but don’t let that lead you to believe that this fair is not worth your time.
This fair runs every Sunday, and parking can be a nightmare, so come early.
And if you don’t find your treasure, at least you will meet some interesting people.
3. Berkeley Flea Market – Berkeley, CA
The Berkeley Flea Market is as eclectic as the city itself.
If you want to find items from around the globe, then this is the place.
This Saturday/Sunday market is a smaller with a laid-back atmosphere.
Don’t worry about getting there early because not every vendor is step up by 7 am.
The food selection is not the best, so eat before you go.
4. De Anza College Flea Market – San Jose, CA
Located in the Silicon Valley, this college flea market has been going strong for over 30 years, operating the first Saturday of every month.
There is a large variety of items, and like other fairs on school campuses, proceeds benefit students.
A variety of plants are for sale, along with churros that are not to be missed.
Watch where you park.
Parking for the market is $5 unless you make a mistake and park somewhere else on campus.
That ticket can run you upwards of $45. Yikes!
5. San Jose Flea Market – San Jose, CA
This family-friendly flea market has been around for 56 years.
In addition to the typical flea market items, there is a large farmers market, food court, and areas for children to play.
This flea market is open Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays from dawn until dusk.
Recently, they changed their fees to park and enter, and many long-time customers are less than impressed.
Recent reviews have been split on this place, but since they have been around for so long, they must be doing something right.
6. Treasure Island Flea Market – San Francisco, CA
One of the newer flea markets (founded in 2011), this market’s popularity has skyrocketed in the few years since it opened.
Since musicians and food trucks joined the vendors, this market is frequently called “The Festival by the Bay” and is open the last weekend of the month excluding December.
People rave as much about the food as they do the bargains, so this is a good all-around fair if you want to just enjoy the day.
7. Arts District Flea Market – Los Angeles, CA
If sunshine is not your thing (if it isn’t, you might want to rethink being in California) then the Arts District Flea Market is for you.
This indoor market boasts 15,000 square feet featuring local vendors and artists offering new and vintage items for sale Thursday through Sunday.
If you cannot find any items to suit your fancy, which is highly unlikely, then the beauty of the building itself is worth the trip.
8. Long Beach Outdoor Antique Market – Long Beach, CA
Located in the Veterans Stadium in Long Beach on the third Sunday of the month, this flea market touts itself as being “Chic and Cheap”. Fairgoers rate this fair as one of the best places to get vintage furniture.
It is not as spread out as the Rose Bowl market, which makes it more manageable for some, but there are still many cool treasures to be had.
Most visitors do not go home empty-handed.
9. Melrose Trading Post – Melrose, CA
Located on the campus of Fairfax High School, this fair offers one-of-a-kind art pieces, collectables, vintage clothing, antiques, and gifts.
At the fair, you will also hear the sounds of local musicians and poets and be amazed by dancers and theatrical performances from community members.
This fair is open every Sunday come rain or shine.
Since this fair supports initiatives at for teachers and students at the school (seven million dollars since opening in 1997) you can feel doubly good about your purchase.
10. Orange County Marketplace – Costa Mesa, CA
If themed entertainment weekends are your thing, especially if you are an Elvis fan or went to Woodstock, then this is your fair.
Open every Saturday and Sunday, except for during the Orange County Fair, this fair advertises “treasures and trash”. Parking is a breeze and the fair is well laid out.
Bring sunblock because there is not a ton of shade.
Make sure to sign up to be on their mailing list before you go to score free admission and other goodies.
11. Pasadena City College Flea Market – Pasadena, CA
If antiques or old records are your thing, then you should not miss the PCC Flea Market on the first Sunday of the month.
Many compare the variety of items at this this flea market to the Rose Bowl, only smaller and more manageable.
Parking is $2 and admittance is free, so you can’t beat the price.
And like the Melrose Fair, proceeds benefit the college, so spend freely.
12. Rose Bowl Flea Market – Pasadena, CA
What the Alameda Point Flea Market is to Northern California, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is to the south.
It is a favorite of celebrities and interior designers.
With 2500 vendors and over 20,000 buyers, this world famous fair is hard to top.
You name it, you’ll find it here somewhere.
There are 100s of vendors selling vintage clothing alone.
If you only hit a few fairs this year, this should be one of them.
Here is a tip: pay the extra fee and get in early.
This fair, held on the second Sunday of every month, always draws a huge crowd.
13. San Diego Vintage Flea Market – San Diego, CA
If all things Vintage describe your style, the San Diego Vintage flea market will not disappoint.
They are touted as having the biggest selection of vintage items anywhere.
This market is often on the list of the best things to do in San Diego, so don’t miss it when you are there.
Dates vary on this fair, so make sure to check their website, but they usually hold a fair once a month on the first or second Sunday.
14. Santa Monica Airport Outdoor Antique and Collectible Market – Santa Monica, CA
This pet-friendly market is tops among the locals.
There are some great finds in this smaller market, but not always great prices, so make sure to haggle.
There are a variety of items, from high end antiques to vintage clothing.
It was once described as the Etsy site come to life.
This fair runs twice a month on the first and fourth Sundays.
15. Vintage Market at Pierce College – Topanga, CA
Every fourth Sunday of the month, you will find another great vintage market near LA. The Vintage Market at Pierce College, otherwise known as The Topanga Market, offers a good variety of items, an organized layout, and stress free parking.
Food can be hit or miss because it is usually provided by one of the school’s organizations.
This market gets constantly decent reviews and is worth a visit.
As with any flea market, your opinion of them is usually determined by whether or not you found what you were looking for or you scored a great deal.
Rest assured that in California, there is a flea market out there to match every taste and desire.
Give one of these a try, or try them all.
You will undoubtedly walk away with a one-of-a-kind treasure, or at the very least, enjoy the day sampling the uniqueness that California has to offer.