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Arrive early on a Sunday for the best selection of treasures and to beat the crowds. Friday and Saturday can also be good, but Sunday's the big day. Plants, produce, garage sale stuff, jewelry, clothes, and things you never even thought about but can't live without!
2. Santa Cruz Antiques Faire
Held on the second Sunday of each month, this open air street faire in downtown Santa Cruz has lots of bargains as well as antiques and collectables. Look for the Linen Lady with designer bedding, quilts, pillows and rugs (previously owned but in great shape) at thrift shop prices.....the Pillow Lady with fabulous (new) pillows made from vintage fabrics and trims.....and many booths with wonderful vintage clothing. It's located on Cedar Street from 9AM - 5PM.
3. Front Street Thrift Store
Saturday is half-off day at this two-story emporium of all things thrifty. Clothes, shoes, housewares, paintings & picture frames and furniture. Look for great selection and prices on Aloha shirts, jeans, and children's clothes. 428 Front Street, Santa Cruz
4. Salvation Army
Another vast, two-story collection of so-cheap-ya-gotta-have-it treasures. There's even an upstairs "designer section" with slightly more expensive but way more upscale clothing and housewares. They're closed on Sunday so go on Friday or Saturday. Downtown Santa Cruz at 812 Pacific Ave.
5. Goodwill Santa Cruz
Very well organized and huge - go here for racks and racks of jeans, shirts, party dresses and the best selection of men's clothes. 204 Union St.
6. Bargain Barn
Not for the timid, this is a huge warehouse with no pretense of any amenities, organization, or even cleanliness. But amazing bargains and treasures can be found by the hard-core hunter-gatherer willing to dig through piles of stuff. (Wear gloves.) 350 Encinal St.
7. Garage Sales
Drive down any major artery in Santa Cruz and you'll see so many garage sale signs you could easily make a day of it. Try Broadway, East Cliff, West Cliff, Soquel, and Morrissey Streets on any Saturday or Sunday.
8. Crossroads Trading Company
A unique approach for a resale shop - they buy your used clothing on the spot - so the clothes and shoes tend to be more up-to-date and stylish. THE best selection of knit shirts and tops and shoes, and they mark things down 50% after they've been there a while. Downtown Santa Cruz at 811 Pacific Ave.