Garage sales around Los Angeles are great places to find treasures, but flea markets are even more fruitful when it comes to unearthing any number of gems in the form of home decor, antiques, collectibles, architectural elements, decadent jewels, all kinds of playthings and much more. That said, the City of Angels offers more than its fair share of these vendor-driven gatherings than possibly any other urban outpost on earth. Consider the five best below.
Related: Best Flea Markets In The LA Area
Rose Bowl Flea Market
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103
No flea market list for the City of Angels would be complete without mentioning the queen of them all, The Rose Bowl. Held the second Sunday of every month, rain or shine, and called the most famous flea market in the whole wide world, this iconic venue holds about 2,500 vendors that take over, attracting literally 20,000 buyers and window shoppers. Although antique and vintage items aren’t all that is on offer at this beast of a market because many vendors are now selling new items, you will come across stellar examples of designer furniture and furnishings from yesteryear brought into the Rose Bowl from all over the country. Look hard and you will find whatever you’re seeking, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a rolling vessel in which to put your newly purchased goods because you’ll have a whole lot of ground to cover once you reach this ultimate flea market located in Pasadena.
246 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Downtown Flea debuted on July 28, making this Los Angeles’ newest flea market. Taking over four parking lots situated between 2nd and 4th streets and Main to Broadway, this particular treasure-finding arena is a gold mine for fine arts, antiques, home decor and fashion. Also expect to find food trucks galore at this gathering, thus putting yummy treats on offer to go along with your Sunday shopping expedition at this fresh and different swap meet venue located in downtown Los Angeles.
Pasadena City College Flea Market
1570 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Pasadena City College’s parking lots turn into a first-rate flea market the first Sunday of every month when those in the know drop by to discover treasures galore, from vintage clothing to antique necklaces to all kinds of collectibles. This particular swap meet is one in which you’ll come across the same sellers again and again, and even if you don’t buy from them, you’ll probably find a friend in many, especially the friendly sellers who are happy to swap some stories about the provenance of their products. This is also a good way to rest for a bit before taking on the many dozens of booths that make up this popular swap that’s been operating for more than 20 years.
Related: LA’s Best Vintage Shops
Long Beach Outdoor Antique and Collectible Market
4901 E. Conant St.
Long Beach, CA 90808
Of all the flea markets in the area, the Long Beach version is one collectors and shop owners don’t like to miss. Everything vintage is on sale, with a lot of hard-to-find, mid-century modern pieces on offer on the third Sunday of every month. Looking for a rattan set from the 1940s to add to your tiki decor? You’ll likely find that very set-up here. How about a 1950s standing bar to add to that collection? You’ve come to the right place. Want some bark cloth to upholster a piece for this small scene? Pony up at the Long Beach market. And when you do, keep in mind that the best bargains in this particular realm are often found at the back of the market in a small area directly across from the entry point, while furniture, smalls, fashion and a whole bunch more can be discovered in every nook and cranny of this popular swap meet.
Melrose Trading Post
7850 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-7679 Ext. 103
This hipster’s haven held every Sunday of the month is full to the gills with new items, vintage items and everything in between. From weathered cowboy boots to modern hi-low dresses made by area designers to all kinds of smalls like vintage bedspreads and antique pottery, you’ll find it all in this carnival atmosphere situated in small booths covering the parking lot of Fairfax High School. For those who are on the hunt for art, both traditional and wearable, you’ll find all types at the Melrose Trading Post where the best bargains can be unearthed late in the day just before this awesome swap meet closes until the next month.
Related: Best Home Décor Stores In LA
Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.