Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market: Hollywood Treasure Hunt + Celeb Haunt

LA's beloved flea market isttops for vintage finds & celeb sightings too

Brad Pitt shops at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market
©Ivan Yosafat

How Can a Flea Market Be Considered "Luxury"? Meet the Pasadena Rose Bowl

When is a flea market a luxury shopping opportunity? When it’s a legendary, world-class flea market like the Pasadena Rose Bowl. This the Hollywood flea market, and it has been drawing vintage collectors since the 1960s.

Here in the Los Angeles sunshine of historic Pasadena, you’ll rub elbows with antiques hounds on the hunt for treasures with a "backstory." Few leave empty-handed.
• People who love wearing vintage clothes and living amongst antiques
• Store owners hoping to buy wholesale and sell retail
• Movie costumers and set dressers
• Celebrity stylists (lie Rachel Zoe or Kim Kardashian, who started out as Paris Helton's stylist)
• Retro-minded celebrities such as Brad Pitt (read about what Brad did at the market)

When, Where, and How Much

The Rose Bowl Flea Market is held one day per month: the second Sunday, rain or shine.

• It takes place in the vast parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl football arena
• About 2,500 vendors raise their tents along seven miles of aisles
• The market opens at 9 a.m.; dealers start packing up around 3 p.m.
• Admission is $8 (with change from a ten given as a $2 bill, in itself a collectible)
• Early-bird admission, before 9 a.m., costs more (and is the usual choice for serious collectors and antiques retailers)
• Kids under 12 are admitted gratis
• General parking is free, but closer-in preferred parking costs
• Most dealers accept cash only, and expect you to bargain (don't be shy! here's how to bargain)

Types of Vintage Stuff Sold at the Pasadena Rose Bowl

Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market vendors sell every imaginable vintage items. These range from signed treasures to quirky collectibles that the vendors themselves refer to as chachkes or junque. Expect an array of:

• Vintage clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, kids; they're from the 1800s to recent designer collections
• Jewelry including estate gems, watches, Taxco (Mexico) silver, Bakelite, costume bijoux
Kitchenware including cookware, porcelain, Fiestaware-era dishes, flatware, glassware, vintage toasters and blenders
• Hollywood memorabilia such as autographs, programs, posters
• Cowboys and Indians: cowboy boots and hats, Navajo rugs and turquoise jewelry
• Furniture, linens, rugs, mirrors, lamps, patio and garden antiques
• Vintage bicycles, radios, clocks, cameras, musical instruments, suitcases, picture frames, birdcages, toys
• Art glass, pottery, ceramics (especially American art pottery from Rosevile, McCoy, and others; fakes are now common, so trust your suspicions)
• Fine and not-so-fine original art
• Books and ephemera such as postcards, photos, sheet music, maps
• Some new stuff: sneakers, sports equipment, electronics, potted plants

Customer Facilities at the Pasadena Rose Bowl

• A wide variety of snacks and soft drinks
• Benches and tables, many with umbrellas
• Bathrooms and changing tables
• Handicap facilities
• ATMs
• But no water fountains; you either buy or bring H2O

For More Info About the Pasadena Rose Bowl

• Pasadena Rose Bowl website

Thinking of Visiting L.A.? Here Are Some Hotels Our Writers Loved

• Set in the heart of the hip Westside, but in its own maritime enclave: The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Mar
• A legendary Silver Screen era hotel in Santa Monica, whose iconic pool is now a hangout for young Hollywood "Industry" execs: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
• Originally a high-society beach club, now a chic boutique hotel with a stunning Art Deco lobby and elegant dining and drinking: Casa Del Mar
• A beach-view hotel and buzzy indoor-restaurant, all decorated by Kely Wearstler, the reigning genius of L.A. interior decoration: Viceroy Santa Monica

You Reward for Reading this Far: Stars Who Shop the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Marke

Have your camera at the ready, too, because stars besides Brad Pill shop the Rose Bowl. There are so many, I organized this list alphabetically.

  • Paula Abdul
  • Jessica Alba
  • Kirstie Alley
  • Tyra Banks
  • Kelly Bensimon
  • Cher
  • Lauren Conrad
  • Alice Cooper
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Shannen Doherty
  • Simon Doonan
  • Hilary Duff
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Flea
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • George Hamilton
  • Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna
  • Paris Hilton
  • Donna Karan
  • Diane Keaton
  • Anthony Kiedis
  • Heidi Klum
  • Madonna
  • Jenny McCarthy
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
  • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Norman Reedus and Helena Christiansen
  • Nicole Richie
  • Maria Shriver
  • Alicia Silverstone
  • Tori Spelling
  • Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
  • Rod Stewart
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Taylor Swift
  • James Woods
  • Diane von Furstenberg
  • Kat von D
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