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
WHERE: Daytona Beach, Florida
Cost: Free admission; free parking
Shake off the sand for a bit at the Daytona 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.
Insider Tip: The flea market hosts a local car show on the first Saturday of every month, when locals bring out celebrated and rare antique and race cars. Arrive on the early side, as the parking lots can get crowded.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Daytona Beach Travel Guide
Shipshewana 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.
Insider Tip: On your return trip from the market, seek out the Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail, where 19 large, quilt-patterned gardens vibrantly dot the way through seven Indiana communities.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Indiana Travel Guide
Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market
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.
Insider Tip: For the best homemade ice cream and shakes, stop by Young’s Jersey Dairy, where a new flavor of the week keeps palettes fresh.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Ohio Travel Guide
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).
Insider Tip: The plus-sized doughnuts at Dough are fantastic. Though the selection changes daily (and the cakes sell out quickly), seek out the chocolate with earl grey and the lemon ginger doughnuts.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Brooklyn Travel Guide
Randolph Street 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.
Insider Tip: Be sure to bring cash to the market; if you run out or need extra, there are two ATMs on site. While some dealers accept credit cards, having cash can sometimes allow for additional bargaining power.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Chicago Travel Guide
Austin Country Flea
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.
Insider Tip: Driveway Austin is hotspot for thrill seekers, as gas-powered racing karts with speeds up to 60 mph race around courses with varying levels of difficulty. The warm-up lap and Formula 1-style start adds to the authenticity of the race. The experience costs $25 per race/driver.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Austin Travel Guide
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.
Insider Tip: While in Ann Arbor, don’t pass up the chance to have a corned beef sandwich at Zingerman’s Delicatessen—where the pickles nearly steal the show from the deli meats.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Michigan Travel Guide
Rose Bowl Flea Market
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.
Insider Tip: Be on the lookout for some of Hollywood’s celebrity bargain hunters known to peruse the stalls. Madonna, Cher, and Clint Eastwood have been spotted making rare finds.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Los Angeles Travel Guide
Mower’s Saturday Flea Market
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.
Insider Tip: Dine outside to the babble of a stream at The Bear Cafe in Woodstock, a fine dining spot that offers organic grilled salmon and unique tempura five-spice bean curd.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Woodstock Travel Guide
First Monday Trade Days
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.
Insider Tip: Plan to leave the market an hour or so early at the end of the day as the parking lot can become overcrowded and create a gridlock.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Dallas-Fort Worth Travel Guide