So you’re in town, and you’re looking for a free way to pass the time before your next business meeting, the big game or the performance you’ve got tickets for.  If you love finding hidden treasures or would like to get a little more acquainted with the locals, then spending some time at a local flea market could be just the thing for you.

When you hear “flea market,” you may think of some small gathering of garage sales on the side of the road.  Fortunately for you, Raleigh’s Flea Market is nothing of the sort.  Located on the historic State Fairgrounds, this flea market draws tens of thousands of shoppers and more than 600 vendors every weekend.  Vendors offer everything from antiques and collectibles to handicrafts, furniture, homemade goodies, clothing, jewelry and more. If you’re looking for a unique gift, chances are you’ll find it here.

The Raleigh Flea Market only takes place on the weekend, but if you’re here on a weekday, don’t fret. Watson’s Flea Market also takes place in Raleigh but is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.  There are approximately 150 dealers a day, offering vintage clothing, silver, coins, jewelry and other hidden gems.

Care to venture a little outside of Raleigh?  Try the Rolesville Flea Market, the Garner Marketplace, or the Holly Springs Farmers Market for even more shopping and exploration.   Exploring a local flea market might not be on your itinerary now, but by the time you pay a visit to one, you’ll be penciling it in every time.