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Want to find a hidden treasure? Try local garage sales!

When most people think of Coronado, they probably think of beautiful beaches and gorgeous homes. But did you know that Coronado is also known for its wonderful garage sales? That's right, you heard correctly. Garage sales.

Actually, if you give it some thought.. it's not all that odd. Coronado is an upscale community so the residents have great swag. Also, many military families live on the island and because they tend to move every few years, they're always trying to get rid of stuff. Coronado resident Jenny Kramen is a garage sale fanatic who loves finding unique items from other countries. "Because military families travel all over the world, they typically have really cool items. One year, I bought a gorgeous handmade blanket from China for five bucks and a rare porcelain German doll for two dollars. It was amazing," Kramen said.

If you've never experienced a Thursday or Saturday Coronado garage sale, there's nothing like it. It's not just a garage sale. It's a colorful adventure. One tip - before you head out and tackle this daunting task, pick up an issue of the Coronado Journal. Every Wednesday, the paper lists all the garage and estate sales so it's a great way to map out your game plan. You'll also want to hit up the garage sales super early. If you're arriving at 10 am, chances are, all the good stuff will be gone.

Debra Smith is a real pro when it comes to organizing garage sales. She's opened her home many times over the years and in that time, she's sold everything from men and women's clothing to books, CD's and kitchen ware. Everything is always in great shape and even if you only had $20 in your pocket, you could easily walk away with a bag full of goodies. But Debra says it's also a great way to give back. "One time I gave away a suit to a gentleman who needed new business attire," Smith said. "It's such a blessing to be in a position when you can help someone," Smith said. "Whatever items we don't sell, we donate to the hospital," she added.

In addition to all the great finds, Coronado garage sales are a great social activity. Smith says friends are constantly stopping by during the garage sales, sometimes exchanging helpful information like the cool Facebook app that allows you to post photos of items for sale. The page is specific to the Thursday and Saturday garage sales held on the island. When you go to Facebook, type in Coronado Online Yard Sale.

So there you have it. The next time you head to Coronado and it just happens to be a Thursday or Saturday, check out some of the garage sales. You never know what hidden treasure you may find!

Darlynne Reyes Menkin is a travel journalist in sunny San Diego. When she's not digging for travel stories, she can be found leading tours and fun Scavenger Hunts with her husband Marc. The couple run Where You Want To Be Tours, a unique tour company that specializes in hidden San Diego spots.

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