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Growing up in Queens, the flea markets I went to were housed in racetrack parking lots and filled with tables of baseball cards and athletic socks. I had no idea you could score antiques a short ride away in Connecticut or Pennsylvania. It’s true the outer borough flea market has come along way since the 1980s, and you have your pick of several great flea markets just a subway ride away. But these are worth a day trip out of the city. If you have a friend with a van, it would be wise to invite them.
Elephant's Trunk in Connecticut (Michelle C./Foursquare)
Get up early for a trip to Elephants Trunk in New Milford, Connecticut. The market is open Sundays in April-December from 7am-2pm with two-dollar admission. They also offer an option for early buyers from 5:45-7:00 with twenty-dollar admission. Housed in a large field, the market is filled with antiques, collectibles and other goods. If you’re one of those city folk lucky enough to have a garden, in the summer months, there are vendors selling shrubs and garden statuary.
Beacon Flea Market
Four years old, The Beacon Flea is located in parking lot behind the Main Street Post Office in the town of Beacon. It’s open on Sundays from 8am-3pm until November. Peruse the tables of vintage items and housewares, hand-made jewelry and other merchandise sold by vendors at this Dutchess County flea market. Hit the ATM on the way there, most vendors only take cash.
Some offerings last year at the Golden Nugget Flea (Facebook)
Golden Nugget Antique Market
Located on Rt 29 in Lambertville. Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 6am-4pm.
You can find everything from vinyl to antique furniture. If you are a fan of large flea markets with vendors selling DVDs, handbags, toys and collectibles very similar to the wares and food you’d discover at NYC street fair, less than twenty minutes away is Rice’s Flea Market in New Hope, PA.
Mowers Flea Market
Open Saturday and Sundays from May through November and Wednesdays in July and August, Mower’s Flea Market is right in the heart of Woodstock, located behind Bread Alone in a two-acre field. The vendors are eclectic and you never know what you’ll find at the tables, from artists selling work to antiques in a laid back atmosphere. Don’t fret if you walk away empty-handed, you can always head to the shops in town.
Not officially near New York City, this is a weekend destination in Massachusetts, because the drive will take you a little over three hours. Folks plan their visit to this popular flea market very far in advance so it might be hard to find last-minute accommodations. The Brimfield Antique Show and Flea market occurs three times and year, and will happen twice more this summer on July 8-13 and September 2-7.
You never know what you'll find at the Brimsfield Antique Show (Valerie G./Foursquare)
This is pretty much the mother ship of flea markets. Several fields in this Massachusetts town are filled with vendors selling obscure and hard to find collectibles, antique furniture, and many other goods. If you are serious about going to Brimfield check out the FAQ section on their website.
Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News, Travelandleisure.com, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her on Twitter at @cityweekendsnyc.