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L.A. Flea Markets are a Fun Sunday Activity


Los Angeles is a sprawling city, and one of the benefits is lots of neighborhoods have their own local things going on.  One of the most fun weekend draws are LA’s Flea Markets, especially in the Summer when people opt to not fight the traffic heading out to the beach.  With the economy going south, these open air markets are a great way to get things you need (some items are new, so don’t just think its dusty old stuff) for bargain prices.  I always hope to find that Antiques Roadshow million dollar item, but mostly end up with cool old pictures and clothes (several women at the Fairfax market sell brand name clothes for Loehmans prices. I know.)  One thing to know, don’t be afraid to bargain.  They are willing to make a deal…

The aforementioned Fairfax Market, which is apparently actually called the Melrose Trading Post, is one of the best in town, and most attended. Every Sunday, rain or shine, it’s low $2 entry price and variety of items makes it a great draw.  Plus the people watching is awesome.  There’s clothes (tons of old, some new), furniture, knick-knacks, posters, and even a woman selling cool jars from Senegal.  You can also expect to find come across some new trends there, recently there has been some gal making her own high-end headbands.  One thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t much food for sale, other than an Argentine couple that make a hell of a sausage.

The mother of all Markets – U.S. included –  is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, every second Sunday of the month. People come from all over the Western and Southern U.S. selling their goods.  It’s HUGE!  You name it, its there – and then some. You can easily spend hours and not see everything, but you will have a blast. But know one thing, if you go in the summer, hydrate and go early.  It can be a sauna in the Summer and there is really nothing to eat here (and no shade. I’m sure the hat people make a fortune.)  You will find unique items here, and that will have you wanting to come month after month.  After 9am admission is $8.  If you want to go early to make sure you get the bestest stuff and are a hard core market buyer, admission can be earlier and goes up in price ($20 to go in at 5am.)  Not to worry though, parking is free.  (These marketers also have huge markets in Ventura and San Bernardino, so head to the site above.)

In Santa Monica you can head to Ocean Park and Lincoln for the market at the John Muir School.  It’s the first and 3rd Sunday of each month and has a ton of stuff.  You can head there just before or after the beach, and know that there is a decent sample of food here.  

No matter which market you head to, you will have a good time, be out and about and get some deals.  Now that’s a good Sunday.