Twice a year, hundreds of antique addicts and self-described "junkers" descend upon Round Top, Texas (about half way between Austin and Houston) for an all-out shopping soiree. The Round Top Antiques Fair started 49 years ago and has since become a spring staple. The 2017 Spring Antiques Fair opens on March 27. Here's why you should take a road trip to rural Texas, what you should know, and how to bring home the antique find of your dreams.
Usually all that can be seen on the side of Highway 237 in Fayette County is bluebonnets and Hereford cows. But in late March, roadside tents start popping up from La Grange to Schulenburg, part of what's known as the "Roundtopolis," where dedicated antique-slingers can be found selling their wares. The massive antique show can be a little overwhelming to the novice shopper, so don't try to see everything in just one day. To start, here a few of the big names in the world of antique dealers.
The Big Red Barn
This antique show in a 30,000 square-foot barn is part of the Original Round Top Antiques Fair and is known as the show that started it all. The success of the first gathering lead to more and more antiques shows each year. The Big Red Barn show is meticulously curated and specializes in early Americana and Continental furniture. Go here if you're looking to find the perfect piece to complete your living room set. They even have folks onsite to help you carry and pack up your finds. The show runs from March 27 through April 1.
Marburger Farm Antiques Show
Antiquers have been visiting the Marburger Farm Antiques Show for two decades. The show features more than 350 dealers from around the world. The show runs from March 28 to April 2.
Unlike the other shops on this list, you can visit the Junk Gypsy World Headquarters year-round. And once get a glimpse of what these junk aficionados have in store, you're going to want to return again and again. Sisters Amie and Jolie Sikes built a business out of turning "junk" into treasure. The flea market-obsessed sisters traveled across Texas and the United States, filling their pickup truck with old furniture and vintage signs to be lovingly refurbished and sold. Today, Junk Gypsy specializes in refurbished furniture, country-fried jewelry and road trip gear to keep your wanderlust alive.
Zapp Hall in Warrenton, Texas, which neighbors Round Top, is a must-see during Antiques Week. Boasting an impressive selection of boots, clothes and flea market oddities from around the globe, Zapp Hall is one-stop shopping for one-of-a-kind finds. The Zapp Hall show runs from March 24 to April 1.
Be sure to bring your walking shoes (or most comfortable pair of cowboy boots). Once in Round Top, you'll want to park your vehicle in a central location and walk to each vendor stop in town. You'll also want to bring some cash. Some shows, such as The Big Red Barn, charge admission to get in.
Don't be surprised if you spot a few celebrities while you're browsing. Miranda Lambert and everyone's favorite fixer-uppers Chip and Joanna Gaines are known to attend Antiques Week regularly.
What To Eat
No trip to Round Top would be complete without a trip to Royer's Round Top Cafe, which is famous for its phenomenal pies. Bud "the Pieman" Royer took over the cafe in 1987 and made it into a world class tourist destination while keeping its small town charm. The bistro only seats 40 and there most certainly will be a bit of a wait during Antiques Week, but it's well worth it. If you're only in it for the dessert (or just want a second helping), check out Royer's Pie Haven, the sister shop that sells signature Royer's pies and darn good coffee.
While You're There
Yes, there are things to do in Round Top other than shopping. Dance the night away to a live band at the Junk Gypsy Prom, which takes place on March 30 in the Zapp Hall tent. Attendees are encouraged to show up in their best "junkified" prom dress.
If you plan on spending the whole day antiquing (and trust us, you'll want to), you have plenty of options for lodging in style.
The Rancho Pillow Motel offers a whimsical retreat to renew and recharge any shopper's soul.
The Prairie, a charming bed and breakfast curated by designer Rachel Ashwell, also provides a down home paradise and peaceful setting.
With miles and miles of Texas shopping, delicious eats and dreamy resorts, a Round Top road trip is the perfect way to kick off your Spring season.