As summer is just around the corner, it’s time for outdoor market season! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a one-time visitor, you may be wondering what are some markets to keep your eye out for to score your next big find.
Here, I share 5 of my favorite markets in Seattle that are treasure troves of great finds, great people, and an overall great experience.
Almost all of these markets are rain-or-shine, which means that no matter the weather, you’re sure to find something amazing for you or your home.
Also, all of the markets that I've shared are not exclusively food markets, and, in most cases, food vendors are in the minority.
Disclaimer: I’ve been a vendor at every single one of these markets, which is why I love these! If you’re lucky, you may find me there on the day of your visit!
Things I look for in a market:
As a vendor, I’ve gotten pickier about what I look for in a market than the casual hunter of fine(and otherwise) goods. I primarily look for 3 things:
- Quality of goods
- Quality of vendors
- The Vibe
I want to have an overall good to really good experience, even if I end up walking away with nothing. Please note: what may really appeal to me may not appeal to you, and vice versa, and that’s ok! I’m here to share my experiences, and I do my best to share the why behind my choices so you can better decide for yourself if a specific market is a good fit, or a hard pass.
Quality of goods
No matter the price point, whether it’s $5 or $50, I want to know that what I’m taking home is going to last, or at the very least I know what I’m getting so that I can adjust my expectations accordingly. While many purchases in these markets are final sale, because most vendors are local, if you have an after-market issue, you can contact them, and they’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with your purchase!
Quality of vendors
Maybe I’m a bit biased on this one, since, to me, nothing makes or breaks a market like its vendors. Are the vendors friendly? Willing to answer your questions or go above and beyond (within reason) to ensure an amazing experience for you?
Have you ever gone to a market, really excited about what new treasures you were going to take home, just to find The Vibe completely at odds with your expectations? The Vibe is what I like to call the general atmosphere of a market—does the market and the vendors make for a fun, playful atmosphere? Does it feel like a flea market, or an upscale experience? Are the vendors aloof, or are they wanting to chat with you for hours on end? While there’s not one type of experience that’s necessarily better than another, there is one type that’s definitely one no one likes: the one where the vendors look and feel like they’d rather be anywhere else but there. Maybe it’s been a slow day, the weather is awful (flying tents, anyone?), or the market is too crowded.
Whatever the reason(s) may be, you can just tell that The Vibe is not where it needs to be for you to want to stay and shop. All markets have off days, but rest assured, 9/10 times, The Vibe is where it needs to be at these next markets for you to have a great beginning or end to your weekend!
Georgetown Flea Market
1st Saturdays of the month, 10-4, April-September, outdoor
Georgetown Flea Market has a very special place in my heart! Located in the heart of the Georgetown neighborhood, it has 2 locations, one block apart. This means that you get up to 80 different vendors, and just as many shopping experiences! From full-on flea vendors to handcrafted local candles and everything in between, this market is one that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it shows! It feels like a big hangout where vendors are excited to share their processes with you, and no matter what you buy, you know that you’re supporting small and emerging businesses.
Sodo Flea Market
2nd Saturdays of the month, 10-4, Feb-December, outdoor
From the organizers of Georgetown Flea Market, SODO Flea Market is a well-established market that has been around for years. This market is located in the parking lot of a warehouse-style antique mall, EPIC Antique Mall, so not only are you getting 70+ outdoor vendors ranging from flea to visiting handcrafted jewelry vendors, but you’re also getting the opportunity to shop for antique goods as well. While this market is a bit harder to get to than other markets, it’s definitely a worthy destination for a few hours’ worth of treasure hunting on a Saturday morning.
Fremont Sunday Market
Every Sunday, 10-4, outdoor
This market has been going on for over 30 years, with an exciting combination of established and emerging businesses. Like all other markets in this list, Fremont Sunday Market is a combination between flea, new, and handcrafted products. This is also the largest of all markets, with the vendor roster ballooning to 100+ vendors at its busiest. Please note: at its busiest, there’s upwards of thousands of people walking around Fremont Sunday Market at a time, so if large crowds aren’t your thing, show up early for the best shopping experience.
South Lake Union Market
Every Saturday, 10-4, June-September
From the organizers of Fremont Sunday Market, South Lake Union Market is a perfect way to start the
Punk Rock Flea Market(PRFM)
Punk Rock Flea Market is a several-times a year market that is THE perfect market for the lovers of the bizarre, occult, and full on weird. Every market that the organizers at PRFM organize tend to be 2+ days, with some vendors selling all days, and some vendors selling only for one day. This is the market for those that want something off the beaten path and rough around the edges, so make sure that your expectations are in line with that!