Alameda, CA is a island in the East Bay of San Francisco. I lived there for two years and I loved it. My husband and I miss it very much and one day when we do settle down and put down roots we would both love to do it in Alameda. It's an old Navy Base with one of the greatest flea markets in the country and it's filled with Victorian homes and Mid-Century bungalows.
Alameda Point Antiques Faire (Alameda Flea Market) 2900 Navy Way, Alameda, CA 94501 http://www.alamedapointantiquesfaire.com/
I can't say enough wonderful things about this flea market. People travel from all over, neighboring states included just to go to this market. It's an institution for a reason and arguably the best view of the city in all the bay. Don't forget to get kettle corn while you're there!
Goodwill 2319 Lincoln Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501
The parking here is pretty tough, there's about 8 spots in all. It's one of those Goodwills where if you go regularly you won't find anything but if you go once in a while you'll find something awesome.
St. Vincent de Paul 2315 Lincoln Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501
This is probably the cleanest, most well organized St Vincent's I've ever been in. Good furniture selection (some new) and good housewares.
Salvation Army Thrift Store 601 Webster Street, Alameda, CA 94501
This place is huge but the parking is a nightmare. Lot's of furniture, lots of appliances, TONS of clothes. Not a lot of housewares in comparison to everything else.
San Pablo Flea Market 6100 San Pablo Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608
This isn't a flea market as much as it is a house that looks like a hoarder lives in. There is furniture stacked to the ceiling, lab equipment, random appliances, ironing boards etc. I remember it having a dirt floor and seeing a rat there. There is stuff in the front yard just rotting away but somewhere in those piles there are treasures to be found. Go for the experience.
Urban Ore 900 Murray St Berkeley, CA 94710 urbanore.com
I love this place, LOVE it. They have everything you could imagine. Architectural salvage (doors, windows, bathtubs), housewares, clothes, sports equipment, appliances, tools, cds, antiques, jewelry...everything. Need a power drill? They have them. Need a antique stove? They have them. Need glass doorknobs? They have them. Need dental molds? Yep got those too.
The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse 4695 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609
This place is perfect for those in need of craft supplies. Empty pharmacy bottles, cardboard tubes, remnant fabric, stamps, cds etc. It's near Berkeley so parking is a little tricky, I always found parking behind the building.