Summer is the season to get away in search of antiques and collectibles. Here are some events you may want to attend:
On the last Sunday of every July, the tiny fishing village of Moss Landing -- located halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey on Highway 1 -- morphs into one humongous antiques collective.
For the Moss Landing Antique Street Faire, at least a couple of hundred sellers will converge along the main street offering a nice variety of furniture, toys, glass, china, paintings, kitchen wares, books and bric-a-brac. Besides browsing the booths of the out-of-town vendors, you should make it a point to stop by the stores and galleries that make this historic harbor town their permanent home.
Over the years, I've had my share of luck unearthing finds at the popular street fair. Last go-around, I discovered a box of Victorian advertising trade cards for only $25. My friend Sally frequently snags a cool example of Americana to add to her stellar collection.
In addition to the vintage objects, visitors will also see a selection of healthy-looking garden and house plants, locally made preserves, and décor for your backyard or patio.
While shopping, sample the nifty food. A fish fry, fried artichokes, burritos and hot dogs are among the treats served up. And since this annual extravaganza is a hop, skip and a jump from Watsonville, expect fresh strawberries on the menu.
Veteran showgoers patronize favorite restaurants like Phil's Fish Market & Eatery, 7600 Sandholdt Road (831-633-2152), and Haute Enchilada Cafe, 7902A Moss Landing Road (831-633-5843). Each spot has a tantalizing menu.
Just remember that the weather in these parts is often unpredictable. It's best to dress in layers, don a hat and use sunscreen.
And please drop by to see me. I'll be on hand from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to evaluate your heirlooms and tag-sale finds. This is a neat opportunity for me to catch up with longtime readers who reside in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
This yearly bash takes place July 28 and kicks off with a hearty pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Official fair hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but savvy shoppers arrive much earlier. Admission: $5. Kids under age 12 free. Parking is free, but you may have to hike a wee distance to the entry gate. No dogs allowed. Details: 831-633-4501.
An extra tip: With the Gilroy Garlic Festival happening the same weekend, roads in and around Moss Landing will be busy. Arrive early and leave by midafternoon so you avoid the heaviest traffic.
When some of us conjure up visions of action heroes, we might recall a movie or TV show featuring Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, even Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as the "good guys." More than ever, it seems that our esteem and enthusiasm for these quintessential American personages has grown by leaps and bounds.
On July 20, there is an opportunity to lust after -- and buy -- a superior batch of paraphernalia related to these and other icons at the 19th annual Western Hero Toy Collectors Roundup.
At this show there will be sellers who deal in themed holsters, toy cap guns, cuffs, spurs, children's boots and vests, records, magazines, coloring books, tin sheriff pins, plus lunch boxes and thermos bottles replete with images of the likes of Bat Masterson, Victoria Barkley ("The Big Valley") and other Western-themed TV series.
By the way, I wonder if the recent release of "The Lone Ranger" starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer will stir up a new bunch of fans for these avidly sought items. I know "that masked man" and Tonto were two of my boyhood heroes who meted out justice to the disadvantaged.
Take your own trip down Memory Lane at the Walnut Creek Elks Lodge, 1475 Creekside Drive, Walnut Creek. Cost: $5. Those over age 65 and under age 10 will be admitted free. Parking is free. Details: 800-585-2392.
Small and sweet
One of the smallest but sweetest antiques shows of the year runs Friday-Sunday, July 12-14. It's the St. Mary's-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Antiques and Collectibles Show and Sale in scenic Pacific Grove.
This is the 56th year for the show, which attracts buyers from as far north as Marin and as far south as San Luis Obispo. For decades, patrons have regularly told me that in addition to the intimate size of the event (only 30 to 40 exhibitors are present), they go the distance for an incredibly tranquil setting and the delish lunch dished up by heavenly volunteers.
Join the fun at St. Mary's, corner of 12th Street and Central Avenue in Pacific Grove. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $8 (good for all three days). Lunch, $10, is served from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Details: 831-373-4441.
A new exhibition
The Sunnyvale Lace Museum's latest exhibit -- "Tea for Two" -- showcases lots of pretty lace tablecloths, doilies, embroidered napkins, dresser scarves and dish towels. Items for the kitchen include aprons, potholders, tea cozies and tea towels, decorative wall hangings and appliance covers.
You'll find the Lace Museum at 552 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission, parking are free. Details: 408-730-4695.
Contact Steven Yvaska at firstname.lastname@example.org or 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190.