It’s almost time for the Alameda Point Antiques Faire! On the first Sunday of each month, Northern California’s largest Antiques Show takes place on Alameda’s Naval Base, and it is not to be missed. With around 800 vendors and food trucks galore, this is fantastic, fun (and potentially all-day) affair with an incredible variety of vintage housewares, furniture, clothing, collectibles and more, almost all of which is at least 20-60+ years old. For serious collectors or those who want the best selection, go early—the Faire opens at 6am and goes until 3pm. Admission is $20 from 6-7:30am, $15 from 7:30-9am, $10 from 9-12pm and then $5 from 12-3pm, and no matter when you go, you are sure to have a great time.
If this is your first time, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start your Antiques Faire journey, whether at the front, working your way towards the back or all the way at the farthest booths where the crowds are thin, moving towards the entrance as you go. No matter where you are, however, you’ll enjoy not only a fantastic selection of cool and unique items plus friendly vendors and a few bargains to be had, but also beautiful views of the Port of Oakland, downtown San Francisco and the Bay & Golden Gate Bridges—plus some really fun people-watching. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen and a hat. I like to bring a water bottle and reusable bags too. Shopping carts and flat-bed carts are also available to rent, if you plan on purchasing larger or bulky items.
When you get tired and/or hungry, you have an astonishing variety of food trucks to choose from to quench your hunger or thirst—there really is something for everyone. My favorite is the Lockeford Sausages Truck. I also like to end the day with an ice cream on a bench, admiring the views. With all of that food consumption and shopping complete, you will be exhausted and ready to go home and rest… until the next day when you start to get an itch, thinking about all the stuff you saw and what you want to get next month. And the cycle to experience one of the greatest ‘flea markets’ around begins. —Melanie Anderson
Pro tip #1: Be sure to look down at your row letter/number when parking or take a picture of it so you don’t end up wandering aimlessly in search of your car at the end of the day—the parking lot is huge!
Pro tip #2: If you don’t mind walking a bit, you can always park just outside the parking lot on Monarch Street and walk through the side entrance. This allows you to skirt around the potentially long line of cars waiting to get into the main parking lot entrance if you plan to get there in mid-morning when it’s the most crowded.