Weekends in Orange County can be packed full of activities like hitting the beach to catch some rays or visiting one of our amazing theme parks. But sometimes, it’s just as fun to keep things low-key, and venture out to do some good old fashioned shopping. Fortunately, we have plenty of places to shop, but if you want to do some treasure hunting, head out to one of the area’s swap meets. Here’s where to find them:
The Original O.C. Swap Meet
Hours/Dates: Currently On Hold Until Further Notice
Cost: Admission is free; parking is $10
Where: OC Fair and Event Center: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. Lot D. The entrance is at Gate 3.
Originally created as a space for local vendors to gain exposure, the OC Fairground Swap Meet is a fantastic space to discover over 150 new and established vendors. It also is a space to buy unique items and products from local vendors. Dubbed the “Original O.C. Swap Meet,” this entirely new event is organized by a former employee of the OC Market Place, and drew over 3500 people during their first swap meet opening in summer 2021. That day attracted over 80 vendors from across the county. From cigars to sports memorabilia to beer to local cuisine, this swap meet offers a wide variety of local goods, and there are often musical performances and family activities to enjoy.
The Original O.C. Swap Meet will be open the second and fourth Saturday of each month. A seller’s permit is required for all vendors as the swap meet is on state property. Whatever you are looking for, the Original OC Swap Meet is the perfect place to either sell, or take the family out for a shopping day. You can even bring the dog.
Golden West College
Hours/Dates: Open Saturdays & Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine
Cost: Free admission and free parking
Where: Golden West College: 15744 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach 92647
Starting in 1979, with 100 vendors, the Golden West College Swap Meet grew rapidly into a swap meet that boasts 680 vendor spaces a day. Vendors sell everything from refurbished and used items on weekends to handcrafted artwork and jewelry. Held 103 days a year, the Golden West College Swap Meet provides a fun and safe space for the community to purchase antiques, fresh produce, and overstock items. Authentic offerings of food like tacos, elota, and ice cream are sold at the event as well.
This community college hosts the swap meets on days when classes aren’t typically in session to provide ample, yet free parking outside of the space where the event takes place. Stroll down the rows upon rows of local vendors next time you are looking to enjoy a day of shopping or be inspired for your next DIY project. Sorry, no pets allowed at this swap meet.
Cypress Swap Meet
Hours/Dates: Saturday and Sunday 6am – 4pm
Cost: Free admission and parking
Where: Cypress College parking lot: 9200 Valley View St, Cypress
The Cypress Swap Meet is a great place to enjoy the weekend with family and friends while browsing the vendor spaces around the swap meet. This swap meet sells everything from electronics to ethnic food to flowers which creates a sense of community while still offering a wide selection for shoppers. Grab some authentic tacos next time you find yourself here which are sure to please. The Cypress College Orange County swap meet is a crowd pleaser.
OCC Swap Meet
Hours/Dates: OCC Swap Meet is open Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Parking and entry is free
Where: The OCC Swap Meet: 2701 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa. Located in the parking lot off Adams and Pinecreek
The OCC Swap Meet attracts large crowds for their sales of everything from handmade clothing to plants. This swap meet has been going on for over 40 years and has since grown in size year over year.
This local Orange County swap meet features a live Mariachi band and performances by Chinelos dancers during select weekends which is announced on their Instagram account.
There are long lines of vendors every weekend at the swap meet’s entrance near The Harbour which is a fully furnished apartment complex for college students. Foodies rejoice over the authentic food offered here each weekend.
Anaheim Marketplace Indoor Swap Meet
Hours/Dates: Open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed Tuesdays
Cost: Free entrance and parking
Where: 1440 S. Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim
Featuring over 200 stores and restaurants, the Anaheim Marketplace is Orange County’s largest indoor swap meet. The Anaheim Marketplace has a wide variety of merchandise to offer at prices below your average retail store. This multilingual shopping experience also features specialty eateries like Don Churros Jr., which can be found in the parking lot of this shopping destination. Whatever you are looking for, this Anaheim gem is a great destination to check out for an authentic Swap Meet experience.
Flying Miz Daisy
Hours/Dates: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Dates are announced as scheduled. See website for upcoming events.
Cost: $10 for parking, free admission
Where: LOT D at the OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa (located at the front of the Pacific Amphitheater box office)
Developed as a successful outdoor vintage market, Flying Miz Daisy focuses primarily on antique dealers and gives shoppers the ability to find unique goods, new and old, in a fun family shopping experience. This social experience was founded by Char Goetz and the market was launched in 2014.
Each item sold is “curated, collected, and restored” prior to making its way to a buyer. Many items have been repurposed with vendors crafting “new”, unique goods out of something old. Check out this quirky vintage and antique market the next time you are in Costa Mesa to search for your own little slice of history to take home.
Stanton Swap Meet
Hours/Dates: Monday, Wednesday-Friday 11 a.m. through 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. through 6 p.m.
Cost: Free parking and admission
Where: 10401 Beach Blvd, Stanton
Enjoy Orange County’s only two-story indoor swap meet the next time you are looking for a great, consistent swap meet experience. From baby clothes to antiques, the Stanton Swap Meet is your one stop shop for a typical swap meet experience in an atypical swap meet layout. Celebrating nearly 30 years of business, this international bazaar harbors a smorgasbord of nationalities, each allowing for bartering in native tongues ranging from English to Vietnamese. Whatever you’re craving from your native land, this convenient Orange County Swap is likely to deliver.
Veterans Stadium Long Beach Swap Meets To Check Out
Long Beach Antique Market
Hours/Dates: Third Sunday of each month from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dates: See Antique Market schedule
Cost: $10 admission from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Early admission from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. $15, free parking, children under 12 are free
Where: Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 4901 E Conant Street Long Beach, CA 90808
Is your style one of a kind and overtly unique? Look no further than the Veterans Stadium in Long Beach, Antique Market. Brought to you by over 800 dealers across the country, even the most seasoned “antiquer” will be astounded by the sheer selection, volume, and creativity that can be found in this spectacular monthly event. An overlaying tone of the antique market is the reuse of recycled items and their subsequent repurpose. From furniture to vintage clothing, the Veterans Stadium Antique Market is the perfect stop the next time you’re on the hunt for a great antique find.
So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet
Hours/Dates: Various Sundays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dates: See So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet schedule
Cost: $12 per person with free parking
Where: Long Beach Veteran’s Stadium 5000 Lew Davis St. Long Beach, CA 90808
So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet is the largest monthly gathering of riders in the country. This event features over 500 vendors and over 1,000 bikes, either for sale or on display. Collectors and retailers like Harley Davidson and Choppers are present in addition to foreign brands out of Japan and Europe that add dimension and facilitate selling, trading, and education about trends, parts, and accessories. The Bike Corral is the exclusive space to park, display, or sell bikes. Only running bikes are permitted. In the vendor space, vendors can turn their old parts into cash without a professional shop. This event is a biker’s haven and a must see for the bikers at heart.
Hi-Po Swap Meet
Hours: Set from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dates: See Hi-Po Swap Meet schedule
Cost: $12 per person, free general parking
Where: Long Beach Veteran’s Stadium 5000 Lew Davis, Long Beach, CA 90808
Founded in 1983 with a mere seven vendors and 40 shoppers, the Long Beach Hi-Performance Swap Meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium has grown exponentially since their humble beginnings. The outdoor event is home to world renowned antique, classic, and high performance cars and parts for sale at bargain prices. Show off your classic car at the car corral where you can show or sell your car or truck. Collector cars and trucks are free in the park, but only running and driving vehicles are permitted in the car corral. Collector cars, 1985 and earlier fall under the collector car qualifications. Meanwhile, vendors can turn their old car parts buried in their garages into cold hard cash, an affiliated shop or manufacturer is not required. Car enthusiasts rejoice, and head to the Hi-Po Swap Meet in Long Beach.
SoCal Etsy Guild Market
Hours/Dates: Every Sunday | 11 am – 8 pm
Where: The Outlets at Orange (Formerly Known As The Block At Orange), The Shops at Mission Viejo, and other SoCal locations
Not quite a swap meet but worth a mention here. The SoCal Etsy Guild Market is an outdoor event that runs year-round and features local artists, crafters and designers with art, handmade, vintage, and originally designed unique items. No food is sold at this event. The market is located in AMC Theater Courtyard between Forever 21, and Market Broiler.
Swap Meet Tips
- Take small cash and bills
- Dress down
- Arrive early for best deals and to avoid the crowds
- Arrive late and get the items vendors don’t want to take home
- Bring bags, collapsible wagon or something else to carry your discoveries
- Always negotiate
- Know when to say no when your heart is saying yes
- Check the vendor list and plan ahead
- Have a list
- Know what things are worth and how to tell if they’re genuine
- Ask tough questions and/or demand documentation
- Walk through first
- Be kind
- Bring a friend
- Have a strategy, stick to it
What is the difference between a flea market and a swap meet?
To some it’s just a regional difference in which each term is used. To others the difference between the two lies in the fact that some swap meets involve strictly swapping goods with no money involved, as opposed to flea markets, which usually deal exclusively in cash.
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Rebecca has an undeniable love of writing and recently graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. She enjoys watching hockey, scuba diving, swimming, and working out.