THE BLOG

10 Best U.S. Flea Markets

02/11/2015 01:52 pm ET | Updated Apr 13, 2015
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Amidst the hodgepodge of rare goods and collectible gems that can be found at flea markets, those with a knack for haggling get to take their sport to Olympian levels. From fine antiques, vintage apparel, and rare collectibles, these 10 amazing flea markets give treasure hunters a chance to bargain among the best. Whether you're looking for antique auctions or rare jewelry, these flea markets are sure to satisfy your eclectic style at affordable prices.

By Zachary Laks

  • DAYTONA FLEA MARKET
    Photo Credit: Vic RussomannoDaytona Flea Market, an impressively scaled bargain-hunting haven. Open weekly, Friday through Sunday, this market by the sea hosts over 800 vendors within its 30-acre complex. Vendors hawk everything from sunglasses to souvenirs and memorabilia from the local legends of the Daytona International Speedway. Artisanal pickles, homemade jams, and local honey are among some of the market musts along with a vast offering of farm-fresh produce. Complete with a barber’s stall and tattoo parlor, the Daytona Flea Market encompasses the full spectrum of needs for all of its visitors. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Daytona Beach Travel Guide
  • SHIPSHEWANA FLEA MARKET
    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market Where: Shipshewana, Indiana Cost: Free admission; $3 parking Known as the largest in the Midwest, Shipshewana Flea Market is the main attraction of the small town of Shipshewana (population around 658) on the northern border of Indiana. Running seasonally outdoors, May through October on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, an eclectic array of goods attracts a regional crowd. Over 900 vendors sell both new and used items, though antique goods are the hot sellers. The Flea’s antique auctions continue the deal-hunting spirit year-round, as high quality antiques start bidding wars every Wednesday in an indoor facility. If haggling makes you hungry, the onsite food stalls won’t disappoint with delicious pulled pork, chicken croissants, and homemade pie. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Indiana Travel Guide
  • SPRINGFIELD ANTIQUE SHOW & FLEA MARKET
    Photo Credit: Troy Burt Photography Where: Springfield, Ohio Cost: General admission is $7 Less than an hour west of Columbus, the Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market is a destination for fine furniture as well as countless collectibles. Let your decorating instincts go wild as locally-made wooden furniture, vintage lamps, and classic beer signs are just some of the countless home décor items on sale. Specialty shows throughout the year, focusing on toys, holiday items, and folk art are highlights of the market, as the events bring out the rarest of items. The Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market is only open one weekend a month, so make sure to plan accordingly. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Ohio Travel Guide
  • BROOKLYN FLEA
    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brooklyn Flea Where: Brooklyn, New York Cost: Free admission An artisanal paradise, Brooklyn Flea captures the best of the borough’s hipster vibe with over 100 vendors hawking one-of-a-kind items such as vintage rugs, furniture, and rare watches. The local craft stands are bold and creative with knit scarves, purses, and jewelry among the many items for sale. A hub of Brooklyn’s renaissance for locally-sourced and inventive food, the Flea is home to up to 30 fine food stalls, including Asia Dog (hot dogs with Asian-inspired toppings) and Chickpea & Olive (a vegan pop-up known for their "Phatty Sliders," melts, and BLTs). Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Brooklyn Travel Guide
  • RANDOLPH STREET MARKET
    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Randolph Street Market / Chicago Antique Market Where: Chicago, Illinois Cost: Advance tickets are $8 online; $10 at the door Downtown Chicago’s Randolph Street Market, located west of the Loop, features the Chicago Antique Market and Indie Designer Market. Open one weekend during most months throughout the year, professional pickers and deal seekers descend on the three-level Market for its storied variety of vintage fashion and apparel, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and paintings. During the warmer months, the shopping experience extends outside, where city blocks are transformed into a vintage and antique shopping center along with food stalls, beer, and live music. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Chicago Travel Guide
  • AUSTIN COUNTRY FLEA
    Photo Credit: Rosie Young Where: Austin, Texas Cost: Free admission; $2 parking Explore Austin beyond the downtown district for a taste of true Texan life at the Austin Country Flea. Cowboy boots, specialty Mexican ingredients, and wow-sized fresh produce are staples of this indoor-outdoor market that encourages bargaining and trades. Arrive hungry as the deep-fried turkey legs ($7.50) make for a perfect lunch paired with $2.50 margaritas and $1 ice cream cones. While you’ve got your turkey leg in hand, don’t pass up the condiment station, where the southern-style “fixins” include lime juice, hot sauce, and garlic powder. The Flea is cash only with one ATM on site. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Austin Travel Guide
  • TREASURE MART
    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Treasure Mart Where: Ann Arbor, Michigan Cost: Free admission Perfect the art of browsing at the Treasure Mart, a trove of antiques, rare collectibles, knick-knacks, and just about everything else you never thought you needed until it’s yours. Vintage fabrics, photo frames, and jewelry boxes line the shelves alongside antique flatware and glassware in this well-maintained three-story shop. Appraisers are available at the Treasure Mart for estate consultations at $45 per hour, offering invaluable insight into the many rare and unique items that collectors cherish. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Michigan Travel Guide
  • ROSE BOWL FLEA MARKET
    Photo Credit: Los Angeles: Rose Bowl Flea Market by Eli Duke CC BY-SA 2.0. Where: Pasadena, California Cost: General admission is $8 Rare finds are routine at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California, held on the second Sunday of every month alongside America’s beloved Rose Bowl stadium. A market for many professional pickers, the gates open as early as 5 am for VIP admission for the first three hours to those willing to pay $20 a person. What sets this market apart is its five miles of booths, grouped by category, that stretch in rows throughout the parking lot of the stadium, filled with vintage clothing, furniture, and local crafts. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Los Angeles Travel Guide
  • MOWER'S SATURDAY FLEA MARKET
    Photo Credit: Janine Mower Where: Woodstock, New York Cost: Free admission Woodstock’s arts community has fostered many unique shops, galleries, and fine dining spots that have kept the town alive since its famed ‘69 music festival. Mower's Saturday Flea Market is a seasonal weekend gathering (May through November) of the region’s many independent arts and crafts vendors on a two-acre field. Caravans of vintage goods and apparel line the way as informed shoppers browse the endless racks of clothes. Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold at farm stands, as well. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Woodstock Travel Guide
  • FIRST MONDAY TRADE DAYS
    Photo Credit: Debra Johnson Where: Canton, Texas Cost: Free admission; $5 parking An hour east of Dallas, this oasis of commerce, buzzing with trade since the 1850s, has grown immensely throughout the decades. Known as First Monday Trade Days, since 19th-century vendors would gather on the first Monday of each month, the market now operates seasonally, Thursday through Sunday. A staggering 6,000 vendors fill the hundreds of acres of indoor and outdoor space as up to 100,000 shoppers seek out the best deals. Antiques, clothing, crafts, and jewelry are most commonly found in the stalls that line the pathways along with typical fair food, including hand cut fries and corn dogs. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Dallas-Fort Worth Travel Guide