The Insider’s Guide to the Top Flea Markets in NorCal


If your heart beats faster at the sight of a hand-lettered banner reading “flea market today” and aisles of booths get your pulse pounding, you have probably been to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire, Northern California’s not-to-be-missed monthly treasure hunt (the next one happens on April 1, but you knew that). To get your flea market fix during the rest of the month, you probably swing by the not as large Alemany Flea Market which happens every Sunday at the foot of Bernal Hill. But if you are looking for something a little off the beaten vintage goods path, try these.

I have to admit, I haven’t been to the Treasure Island Flea yet. However, if they live up to their promise of “indie, Etsy, retro fashions and the rare, cool and unusual,” I’m in. It happens on the island on the last weekend of the month (next up, March 24 and 25). It also promises gourmet food and drink, which would make any flea market experience better.

Santa Cruz is a great beach town, but it has some really good antique stores too on Lincoln Street. On the second Sunday of each month, the streets shows its bargain stuff during the Santa Cruz Antique Street Faire. It’s part sidewalk sale, part treasure hunt and the next one happens April 8.

Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire on May 18 and 19. You want to check this event out for more than just the fashion (ranging from the Victorian to the 1980s). Check out fine vintage linens and fabric that can add a unique vibe to your home.

The Sausalito Vintage Jewelry and Antique Show on May 12 and 13 is another find. It happens in a small public building just off the main drag on Caledonia Street (IDESST Hall) and it features wonderful jewelry and amazing prices. Although primarily jewelry, there’s a reason “antique” is in the name. You’ll find plenty of one-of-a-kind home accessories from yesteryear.

On May 27, head north to the tiny town of Healdsburg for their big event: The Healdsburg Plaza Antique Fair. Twice a year, the city’s square (or plaza) is overun with 90 flea market booths. What it lacks in square footage, it makes up for in quality and great finds.

Marin Outdoor Antique Market or Le Petite Marche (the little market). This small, but sweet, show happens the second Sunday of every month from June through October in a parking lot near San Rafael’s Marin Civic Center. If you like hidden gems, this one is for you, with a well-curated selection. Note: The hours are petite too, it only lasts until 3 p.m.

More news: