An estimated 150 million people visit a flea market at least once each year. For many people flea markets are a favorite pastime, with some visiting several different flea markets nearly every weekend.
In its Ultimate Guide for Travelers, National Geographic lists the following flea markets as among the best in the world:
127 Corridor (Addison, MI to Gadsden, AL; www.127sale. Com)
• On the first weekend in August more than 2,000 vendors set up along the 690-mile corridor of Highway 127. Dubbed the ‘world’s longest outdoor yard sale, ’ the event draws visitors from across the country, many camping in tents and RVs along the way.
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Brimfield Antique Show and Flea Market (Brimfield, MA; www.brimfield. Com)
• The more than 5,000 dealers filling 21 fields at the Brimfield Antique and Flea Market Shows make up the largest outdoor antique show in the United States. Booths at three Tuesday-through-Sunday shows each year (in May, July, and September) line an entire mile of Route 20. Launched in 1959, the market draws over one million visitors each year.
Daytona Flea & Farmers Market (Daytona, FL; www.daytonafleamarket. Com)
• The year-round Daytona Flea & Farmers Market opens each Friday through Sunday and welcomes 2.5 million shoppers each year. Visitors snack and drink beer as they peruse the 1,000-booth market. Several events are held throughout the year including pickle eating contests, art displays, and Volkswagen charity races.
Rose Bowl Flea Market (Pasadena, CA; www.rgcshows.com/rosebowl. Aspx)
• Held the second Sunday every month at the UCLA Bruins football stadium with 2,500 vendors and 15, 000 to 20, 000 buyers every month, this is one of the most famous markets in the world. The market has operated continuously for over 40 years.
San Jose Flea Market (San Jose, CA; www.sjfm. Com)
• The largest open-air market in the country and in existence since 1960, the San Jose Flea Market attracts 80, 000 visitors per week and four million a year. The 120-acre market has eight miles of aisles, over 2,000 vendors, 30 snack bars, and dozens of food carts. The quarter-mile Produce Row is legendary. The market has rides for kids, live music such as Mariachi bands, and more.
Shipshewana Flea Market (Shipshewana, IN; www.tradingplaceamerica. Com)
• On Tuesdays and Wednesday from May to November, hundreds of vendors offer their goods at this flea market in charming Northern Indiana Amish country. The market began in 1922 and is the Midwest’s largest outdoor flea market.
The All-Night Flea Market (Wheaton, IL;
• Buyers use flashlights to navigate a maze of several hundred vendors looking for bargains. This unique event is held on the third Sunday every August.
The following are other prominent flea markets across the United States:
Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Faire (Alameda, CA;
• Held the first Sunday of the month at a decommissioned naval base, the Alameda Flea Market hosts approximately 800 vendors. Vendors guarantee all merchandise is at least 20 years old.
Austin Country Flea Market (Austin, TX;
• This weekly flea market is one of the oldest and largest in Texas. Along with its 130 acres and 550 covered booths there is a stage for live performances.
Brooklyn Flea Market (Brooklyn, NY; www.brooklynflea. Com)
• This market is only six years old but has become one of the most popular in the country. Operating Saturdays from mid-April to Thanksgiving, this market has a large assortment of vintage clothing, antique jewelry, and decorative furniture. Local chefs and bakers prepare food.
First Monday Trade Days (Canton, TX; www.firstmondaycanton. Com)
• This market began 150 years ago as a market to trade horses and livestock. The flea market, open the Thursday through Sunday prior to the first Monday of each month, now has more than 28 miles of vendors.
GreenFlea Market in Manhattan (New York, NY; www.greenfleamarkets. Com)
• Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, this is New York City’s largest open-air market. Proceeds from GreenFlea Market benefit two local schools, with more than $4 million contributed since 1985.
Long Beach Outdoor Antique Market (Long Beach, CA;
• Held on the third Sunday of each month at Veterans Stadium, this year-round outdoor market has more than 800 sellers. Every item for sale must be an antique or a collectible.
Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market (Springfield, OH;
• Held for over 25 years, this monthly event at the Clark County Fairgrounds features up to 2,500 sellers offering fine and folk art, period furniture, and other antiques.
Three-day Extravaganza weekends, held in May and September, attract visitors from throughout the midwest.
Texas Antique Weekend (Fayetteville to Carmine, TX; www.antiqueweekend. Com)
• Antique Weekend takes place the first weekend of April and October in more than a.
Half dozen communities along Highway 237 at the midpoint between Houston and Austin.
Wagon Wheel (Pinellas Park, FL; http://thewagonwheelfleamarket. Com)
• Receiving over two million visitors each year, this flea market has 2,000 booths spread over 125 acres. Located near St. Petersburg, Wagon Wheel is open every Saturday and Sunday.