San Diego's Best Swap Meets    

If you’re a treasure seeker, bargain hunter, or a fan of the unique and unusual, you’ll find them all at San Diego area swap meets.  

You never know when you’re going to run across antiques, oddball offerings, low-priced goodies at a fraction of retail, or “who knows what” when you put on a pair of comfortable shoes and head for a local flea market.  You’ve got several to choose from across San Diego county.  Some are bigger than others, but they’re all perfect for explorers who don’t mind browsing and getting a little exercise in search of that perfect something.

Perhaps the biggest and well-known of all swap meets is Kobey’s Sports Arena Swap Meet (3500 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego).  A self-described “clean, family-oriented outdoor marketplace,” you’ll find hundreds of people who flock to all types of dealers offering everything from plants and household decor to clothing, toys, artwork, and more.  Kobey’s operates Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from 7 am to 3 pm with $1 admission on Friday and $2 on the weekends.  Kids 11 and under are free.

Another biggie is the Spring Valley Swap Meet (6377 Quarry Rd, Spring Valley).  One of San Diego’s older swap meets has been around since 1970, with vendors offering everything from antiques, household goods, garage sale resales, and an assortment of other treasures.  It runs at the same time as the local farmer’s market, so you can pick up fresh produce, flowers, and other edible goodies when you go.  It's open Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 3 pm with a $1 admission.  Go early if you can, because lines form before it opens.

Further south, the National City Swap Meet (3200 D Ave, National City) has been attracting bargain hunters since 1962.  Hunters rave about fabric, fresh fruit, and other goodies.  And there’s the added bonus of a taco shop next door.   It runs from 7 am to 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays with a $.50 admission.

The Santee Swap Meet (10990 Woodside Ave N Santee) features 150 vendors and has drawn regulars for over 60 years. It's open from 6 am to 1 pm every Saturday and Sunday. Professional bargain hunters gladly pay $5 for an early 5:15 am admission to beat the crowds.

Other popular swap meets are the South Bay Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet (2170 Coronado Ave, San Diego), featuring a whopping 300 vendors on Wednesdays and weekends, the dog-friendly San Diego Vintage Flea Market (3366 Adams Ave, San Diego), and the quirky, retro Encinitas Bazaar (459 Coast Highway 101, Encinitas).