Cooks Flea Market is the biggest flea market in North Carolina and unquestionably one of its finest. With over 500 stalls to browse, you're almost certain to find some treasures amongst its vast collection of new and used goods. Add lots of tasty food options, a bustling farmers market, and an amazing lineup of events to the mix, and you can see why so many bargain hunters decent on the market each weekend. If you still need some convincing to spend your next weekend picking through the market's huge assortment of quirky finds, check out these 10 reasons to visit Cooks Flea Market.
1. It's got an amazing history
If you like your shopping destinations to come with a backstory, you won't be disappointed with Cooks Flea Market. The market first opened for business in 1982 in Cooks Tobacco Warehouse. As the tobacco trade tended to be at its busiest during summer, the flea market was restricted to opening between October and July. Once the tobacco season kicked back into gear, the flea market cleared out its booths and the tobacco auctioneers moved theirs back in. Then, in 1990, a “Members Warehouse” building set just a few yards from the original Cooks building became available. The flea market said goodby to the tobacco trade, moved in, and the rest, as they say, is history.
2. You won't come away empty-handed
No one comes away from Cooks Flea Market empty-handed. As unitedfleamarkets.com says, with over 500 booths selling everything from antiques to handmade crafts, collectibles to kids toys, kettles to hairdryers, African art to Middle Eastern fragrances, you're certain to find plenty of things to tempt you. The best thing is, the prices are so low, you can afford to splurge without feeling an ounce of buyer's remorse.
3. The food is delicious
If you haven't been to a flea market before, you might be tempted to bring along a power bar and a couple of cans of soda to keep your energy up. Don't bother. While the stalls are the main attraction, the food comes a very close second. Whether you're in the mood for some candy, some cake, an ice cream, a hot dog, or some authentic Mexican cuisine, you'll find plenty of options to suit. In case you spend all your cash on collectibles before you can load up on carbs, you'll find 4 ATM machines scattered around the market.
4. There's a top-notch farmers market
The Cooks Flea Market isn't just a great place to stock up on handicrafts and collectibles. Adjoining the market is a huge (and very popular) farmers market. Once you're done checking out the stalls in the flea market, be sure to stop by to stock up on some fresh local produce. The prices are unbeatable, plus you'll get to quiz the farmers on the produce and even get some recommendations on how best to use it. Along with the fruits and veggies, there's also a good selection of plants and cut flowers.
5. It's free
If you're looking for free things to do in Winston Salem, paying a visit to the Cooks Flea Market is a no-brainer. There's zero charge for admission and the parking's free as well. Just be sure to bring along some change anyway - if you manage to walk out without at least one bag of goodies, you'll be the only one who ever has.
6. You can get fit as you browse
Cooks Flea Market is vast, with aisle after aisle of stalls to browse. As optimaonerealty.com points out, walking up and down those aisles is a great way to squeeze some exercise into your weekend, and an easy way to burn off the calories from all the tasty food you'll be trying throughout the day.
7. It's open every weekend
If you're looking for some new ideas to try out on the weekend, why not give Cooks Flea Market a try? Come rain, shine, summer, or winter, it's open every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year (unless Christmas Day happens to fall on the weekend, in which case, you're out of luck). The best thing? New vendors are always rocking up, and even older vendors always have a few new finds to tempt you back each week. No matter how often you go, this isn't the kind of place you're going to get bored of.
8. It's a great way to make some extra cash
If you've got more junk in your attic than you have cash in your wallet, Cooks Flea Market could help you change things. Becoming a vendor is almost as easy as becoming a buyer: simply contact the market via the contact form on their website and they'll take it from there. The prices are super reasonable ($54 per weekend for a booth and $48 for a table), you're guaranteed a much higher footfall than if you organized your own garage sale, you'll get to meet a huge variety of people, and to top it off, you're likely to come home with anything between $250 - $1000 in your pocket.
9. There are regular events
To add a bit of extra excitement to your weekend, Cooks Flea Market organizes regular events throughout the year. According to their official website, the next events in the schedule include The Vinyl Record Event, which will see hundreds of record vendors take over the site to offer shoppers the opportunity to grow their collection with some rare finds, and the Labour Day Event, which will include lots of fantastic flea deals, food, and fun for the whole family to enjoy.
10. It's fun for the whole family
How often do you find something that the whole family can enjoy together? Almost never, right? And if you do happen to land on something, you can bet you'll have to pay through the nose for it. The Cooks Flea Market is the exception. Kids will love searching through the new and retro toys, moms and dads will enjoy picking up some great new finds for the house or car at an unbeatable price (not to mention the chance to guzzle down some tasty craft beer and tantalizing enchiladas), and everyone will enjoy having a little bit of extra cash to play with thanks to the free admittance.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson