This collection of vendors and antiques is a treasure trove among the countless roadside gems lining the stretch of U.S. Route 301 from Gainesville to Jacksonville.
Featuring everything from authentic vintage signs to fishing tackle, musical instruments to fresh produce, and, if you’re lucky, the opportunity to pose for a photo with a “wolf hybrid” (for the small fee of one dollar), a day spent at the outdoor market (and you will need a whole day) is a ticket to another world, simpler times when life happened at a slower pace. Wait in line for ice cream churned by a John Deere tractor engine (worth it), sit down and enjoy a corn dog and sweet tea or try to choose from the endless flavors of boiled peanuts offered by a handful of vendors.
The Waldo Flea market was born in 1975 after entrepreneur Al “Big Al”/”Cuz”/”Killer”/”Big Daddy” Killian was inspired by a similar concept he and his wife Anne saw while traveling cross country. Nearly 40 years later, the market remains in the family, and sees 900 vendors and 40,000 visitors each weekend. An antique village, open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., boasts huge collections of antiques, home furnishings and more to the antique enthusiast or the enthusiastic passerby.
Know Before You Go
Look for a big chair, a windmill and a horse atop the sign along the side of U.S. 301.