Treasure Island Flea

One weekend of every month, the deserted former naval base in the middle of San Francisco Bay becomes the site for a busy flea market. You can find just about anything here, from succulent plants to lawn ornaments, old maps to previously worn flannel shirts, leather handbags to unique photography items. This market is a generous mix of old and new.

Treasure Island is that tiny spot of land (along with Yerba Buena Island) you cross over while on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The island was built in the 1930s initially for an Exhibition as part of a World’s Fair. It was later taken over by the US Navy, as a major spot to process the movement of people and machinery to the Pacific, which is easy to see from the deserted hangars and administration buildings on the island. The Navy sold the island to the city of San Francisco back in 2008 with plans for building housing on the island. Until the funds and plans are in place, the island continues to be the spot for a music festival, a marina, fishing, panoramic views of Oakland & San Francisco and the 6-year old Treasure Island Flea Market.

I’m a sucker for just about any type of market, especially on a sunny day. I really enjoy wandering past all the stalls to see what’s on offer even if there isn’t anything I desperately need in my life. Last time, I purchased two gorgeous geometric planters which contained precious sweet little succulent plants that died in my care. That’s right, I can’t keep a succulent alive. Since then, I’ve given up on all hope that I can keep any type of living thing from curling into a moldy deadly state (apart from my cat, don’t worry, she’s perfectly fine), but I kept the planters and am on the lookout for small artificial plants or greenery with which I can liven up my apartment. There are truly some great wares from local Bay Area artists as well as from around California at the flea, and during holidays this market is a great place to find unique gifts.

Arriving around the market’s 10am opening time is your best bet to beat the crowds. After exhausting your feet and wallet, grab lunch from one of the many food trucks that call upon this monthly market. You can usually hear live music playing around various spots. Entry is $3 and parking is free. Dogs are allowed, but I wouldn’t recommend it, especially small doggies, due to the volume of crowds shuffling through. The flea is the last weekend of every month, year-round, and the schedule can be found here.

Enjoy some scenes around the market, and I hope you all had a relaxing and reflective weekend!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Alex says:

    we have the longest market in Europe here in Walthamstow, apparently, although there’s about 5 different stall types repeated several times over so not much range of item on offer.
    are they bottle tops in that last shot? were/are they a thing on certain/specific bottles?

    1. Mary says:

      I didn’t realize the Walthamstow market was the longest in Europe! The bottle caps seem to be a new thing here as I’ve seen it twice now – artists take old bottle caps from soda, beer, just about any type of bottle and put images or words on the underside & sell them at markets.

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