On the Road: Rose Bowl Flea Market

27 Jul

I crossed a Bucket List item off a few weeks ago and made a trip to California to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market.


I think I saw maybe 30% of the entire market, but let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. The market is held on the second Sunday of every month and it’s an easy early morning flight that gets you there with plenty of time to shop. Or so I thought. I flew in to LAX Sunday morning with the hopes of a celebrity sighting or two, but sadly, no luck. By the time I got my rent car and made my way out to Pasadena, it was 11:00. 4 hours. Should be plenty of time! HOLY CRAP. This place is huge!!


Arial view. Courtesy of http://www.fleamarketinsiders.com

The market is separated in to sections by types of merchandise. Furniture, antiques, housewares, etc. Booths that sold vintage jewelry, bags, and some clothes were mixed in to the “Antiques” section and there were plenty to choose from.




You know that sweet Fort Worth one came home with me!

Vintage carpetbags

Vintage carpetbags

I spent about 2 hours roaming around, not willing to commit to buying anything just yet. I mean come on, everyone knows the better prices are in the booths way in the back that cost less. So, I’m about to commit, to go back and find the booths with the Whiting & Davis snake necklace, the fringed leather jacket, the hundreds of tooled leather belts. And then I see this:


More vintage? Seriously??

Seriously.  I only have 2 hours left and NOW I find this. How did I not know? (Note to self: That map they handed you when you walked in might have been a clue. Just sayin’.) By this time the mild California weather is beginning to look more and more like a Texas summer day with temperatures creeping in to the nineties. Find me a bottle of water and I’m good to go.


One of at least 20 booths that sold vintage bags


My friends, you have not seriously flea marketed for vintage until you have flea marketed at the Rose Bowl. Hundreds of booths. Bags, coats, T-shirts, dresses, belts, cowboy boots, even new crap that is “vintage inspired”. (Umm, why??) Kid in a candy store does not even begin to describe the overwhelmingness.


Vintage T-shirts. 5 for $20.


This booth was twice as long as you see here. Everything was $10.

I shop, I dig, I bargain, I spend every penny of my $200 cash budget (minus the $8 it costs to get in. Parking is free though). Trust me, I could have spent way more. Finally, by 3:00 I’m exhausted, starving and as I haul my trash bag full of treasures across the parking lot, I can’t quite remember where I parked my rent car, let alone what my rent car even looks like.  Fortunately, my hotel, food and a nap are only a few minutes away and as I drive there I’m already trying to figure out how and when I can come back. Wanna go?


2 Responses to “On the Road: Rose Bowl Flea Market”


  1. Get Out of Town! Networking for People who Hate Networking by @BessandEvies | She Owns It - August 13, 2013

    […] weekend and hit the Rose Bowl Flea Market and the infamous Decades on Melrose Ave. Ok, so yes, my trip DID include vintage shopping, but I swore it would be shopping JUST for me, not for the store. […]

  2. On the Road: I’ve Died and Gone to Vintage Heaven | Bess & Evie's Vintage - August 7, 2013

    […] my last post, I shared with you the adventures I had at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, CA. If you […]

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