I have lived in California my entire life, which is 30 years, so I think its safe to say that I have been all over this state. I have found some great flea markets and thrift stores. I love to shop for anything and everything and I have done some real research on what places are considered the best. Here I am sharing with you the best flea markets and thrift stores in all of California. Oh an don’t forget, there are Rules To Shopping Flea Markets.
I have been to a lot of these things, and I think I have certainly raised my standards on what constitutes a great one. The list is small, but only because those that made it are really that good.
This one is about 30 minutes outside of San Francisco, and is the first Sunday of every month. It’s pretty big, with about 800 booths to choose from. The entry fee goes up the earlier you arrive, so keep that in mind. It really does have everything.
The thing I love most about this fair, is that they only allow for items that are 20 years or older to be sold. This is great if you are really looking for some old vintage pieces.
Images from the APAF web site
Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.
This is one of the biggest I have ever been to with over 2,500 sellers. So it’s no surprise that there has never been a time where I didn’t find what I needed. What I love about this one is that it is very organized and set up according to what the vendors are selling. The clothes are all in one area, furniture in another, and so on. This is a huge time saver because this place is far too large to wander around aimlessly. They really do have EVERYTHING.
Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles.
This is my favorite smaller market, and has been on HGTV’s ‘Flea Market Flip’. It’s only $3 to get in and all proceeds go to the local high school. Melrose has about 250 sellers, but it seems to really take care to only let reputable vendors in. Everyone is always incredibly kind and willing to make a deal. This, I love! If you want to find a place to get a coffee, great vintage dresses, old records, and a new living room set, then I recommend checking out this little gem.
Images from the MTP web site
This is the best swap meet in the San Diego area and is 3 days long every single week. It averages about 1,000 vendors and has a huge variety of items. It does sell new as well as old, however everything is pretty cheap. It has an entire area known as the ‘Garage Sale Lot’ and is usually where the best items are found. If you’re looking for vintage jewelry or home décor, then this is your place.
Image from the KSM web site
623 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA
In San Francisco, this place is a must. It’s on Valencia in the Mission District, which is a great area in itself. It’s a pretty good size and everything is really cheap, my favorite. The best thing about this place is actually all of the clothes and the ridiculous amount of books they have.
140 N 7th St., Grover Beach, CA
This little place is in Grover Beach and is also known as the ‘California Cool Thrift Store’. It’s always a surprise and is located along the central coast, which I highly recommend you seeing for yourself some time. It is actually one of my favorite thrift stores because it is probably the cheapest. This place can be pretty hit or miss, but you will always spot at least one thing that you were pretty happy to find. Usually not what you expected either.
648 Broadway St., Fresno, CA
This one is in Fresno and is almost like a mini flea market. It’s a pretty big thrift store and has everything. Really. Everything! It’s only open 3 days a week but believe me, it gets very busy those three days. If you have any doubt about the selection that this place has, just look on their Facebook page. They have it all.
3226 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA
Burbank has a lot of great vintage stores. This is one of those spots around LA that has everything but somehow keeps from being overrun. Which means there is always a large stock of clothes, books, furniture, and ridiculous art. They even offer coupons on their website American Way.
4121 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA
Last but not least, is ‘Frock You’ in San Diego. Clearly this is a clothing only store, but it is seriously adorable. It has really great vintage clothing, and they actually just opened up a second location. Considering how great some of the stuff you’re getting is, it’s totally worth paying these prices, which are not bad at all. If you are ever in the San Diego area, please check out this great place. They do also sell some things online, check out Frock You for more.
Yes, I know there are some that I may have missed. Or maybe you just don’t agree. If you know of one that should be on this list then let me know. I want to make it my mission to check it out.
Good luck shopping!by