Alameda Point Antiques
It is almost a pilgrimage to make it up to Alameda Point Antique Fair from Pacific Grove, where I live. About a 2 hour drive. But for me, it is worth it every time. Even on the days when I don't find anything. I just love walking around the myriad of stalls. You never know WHAT you are going to find. This flea is HUGE, over 800 dealers to be exact. If you are going to tackle Alameda for the first time here are my tips for how to have a great day at the Flea.
Get Your Beauty Rest- The flea opens at 6:00 a.m. at this time cost is $15 to get in. But here is how I do it; the entrance cost goes down to $5 at 9:00 a.m. and I really don't feel the need to go any sooner than that. There is still good, no GREAT, treasure to be found even after 9:00 a.m.
Save The Best for Last- This is the hardest part. You will arrive eager and ready to shop but trek your little butt all the way to the very last row of stalls and then make your way to the front. I have found that the prices are MUCH lower the farther back you get, this is why I just start at the back!
Know What You're Looking For- Have an idea of what you are going to look for before you go, otherwise you will be way too overwhelmed. My last visit, I was looking for Pyrex (of course,) Lefton cuties, a tin dollhouse, and 1960's floral frocks. You will find way more than what is on your list, but having a list at least gives you an agenda, so you are not just aimlessly shopping.
Look for Variety- This probably is not the rule, but it is a little tip I have found to be true. Sellers that specialize in ONE thing, generally are experts in that ONE thing. For example, Pyrex. I always have my Pyrex radar on. When I spot a booth that ONLY has vintage kitchen, I know they know what they have and probably have a pretty good idea of its worth. But when I spot a hidden bowl in a hodge-podge eclectic booth, chances are they are NOT an expert on Vintage dishes and I am more likely to get a better deal. This theory was proven true when I attended the fair with a couple of my girlfriends who were on the hunt for rugs. We stopped at every rug stall and were quoted prices from $100-$700. But then we stumbled on one of those variety mix-bag booths and we found a lovely Persian rug for $20, yes $20!
Be Prepared- Wear sun screen, hat, comfy shoes and layers. The flea is located in a sun and wind belt and the weather can be very unpredictable. I also bring a wagon. It can be annoying dragging it the entire day, but I would rather drag my stuff on wheels, than carry a heavy load. If you don't have a wagon, you can rent a cart at the flea for $5 per day. Bring water to keep hydrated. There are food vendors that will sell water, but if you are bringing a wagon, you should load it up with a couple bottles of water.
Bring Cash- I always bring myself a set limit of cash, this way I won't overspend. Some vendors will accept card but they are far and few between. There are also ATM's at the flea but they are know to run out of cash before the end of the day.
Have fun- You never know what you will find or who you will run into. Even if you don't find what you are looking for, find the joy in the hunt, that's what its all about anyways!
For more information about the Alameda Point Antique Fair visit http://alamedapointantiquesfaire.com/