This year I got to go antiquing in Round Top, Texas for the first time, and I’m so excited to share the experience with you!
Last week was the vlog tour of the BEAUTIFUL Airbnb cottage we stayed in that is owned by my friend and fellow designer, Saneth Brown. You can find her online at Little Creek Living on Instagram, or at her new business, The Artisan Homemaker.
This week I’m following up with the details of our day spent shopping at the world’s largest antique fair : Round Top!
If you’ve never heard of Round Top before, you’re in for a real treat! Some of our favorite well known design celebs are known to shop here for their own products and inspiration. People like Ralph Lauren, Chip & Joanna Gaines, Shea McGee, and designers from Ballard Designs.
It’s a highly sought after event!
The city of Round Top, TX actually has a year round population of 90 people, so it’s quite extraordinary to see what they’ve been able to do to pull in giant crowds from all over the US.
They have a short winter fair in January, then longer fairs in both Spring & Fall. If you’d like to be notified about their future events, you can sign up for their newsletter at Roundtoptexasantiques.com
The layout of this huge fair is quite unique compared to other flea markets you may have attended before, mainly because it’s spread out over a 20 mile section of highway 237 in Southeast TX! The many vendors are spread out along that stretch of road, then grouped in together in fields and what feel almost like micro towns. (Or really great community yard sales.) Because it’s TX, there’s quite a bit of open space between the different venues.
This map below is specific to 2022 (subject to change in upcoming years), but was pulled from the great “Guide to Round Top Antiques Week” magazine that is published each year. This guide is available online in the weeks leading up to the sale, and can be found in print at venues throughout the fair.
A lot of the venues in the fair are free to enter, with some of the larger venues charging an entrance fee. The prices I saw for tickets were between $10 (Round Top Antiques) and $40 (Marburger Farms).
I knew before I even left for our retreat that I was going to want to take lots of notes and make a video and blog post as a reference for you to share what the ladies and I learned while we were there! We did learn a lot, but I feel like we only just barely scratched the surface of what all there is to know!
So stay tuned for next year, because I certainly plan on returning!
This retreat was myself and 10 of the lovely ladies from my Behind the Scenes class from all over the US! We got up early and were out the door at 7am to arrive right when the doors at Round top opened. We took 4 cars and made plans to divide and conquer through the different vendors we were most excited to check out.
The night before Round top we spent some time over dinner comparing notes and sharing our shopping lists and specific items we were on the look out for. This was a great help to have 10 extra sets of eyes at each booth looking for treasures.
We had a group chat set up where we could communicate back and forth through the entire day sharing finds and possible winners for other’s lists. That alone was a really neat part of the trip!
What to Bring:
You’ll want to check the weather before your trip to see if you’ll need other specific items like boots or a rain poncho, but for our trip this year, these were the things I was most glad to have had, or wished I had brought along:
What to leave behind:
I purchased a metal folding rolling grocery type cart thinking that it would be a convenient way to carry my treasures from booth to booth, but the terrain there was too tricky between the gravel roads and the bumpy fields. I’d certainly recommend leaving carts at home, unless they’ve got tested wheels for this type of terrain.
Getting Your Treasures Home:
For those who are able, it’s not uncommon to rent a u-haul and drive it to Round Top to be able to haul bigger items back home.
If you’re flying in and hoping to bring your items back in your checked luggage, my hack is to nest your empty checked bags together as condensed as possible for your flight in, and then once you’ve got your treasures ready to pack up you can split your bags and check them in individually for the return flight.
(Tip: Buy your packing materials from somewhere like Lowes or Home Depot rather than UPS/Fedex, you’ll likely find much better prices.)
I highly suggest flying SW airlines for your return flight if possible, because their baggage policies are much more reasonable than some others we encountered (Delta, as an example).
There are also options for shipping items back to your home directly from TX. This quick summary guide is shared from a great summary post by The Vintage Round Top :
Where to Shop:
The full list of vendors is so extensive, that even with 11 of us, we did not get to see even half of them. The ones we saw that we enjoyed the most were:
The smaller tents along the road seemed to have really good pricing and more thrifting/architectural salvage type pieces. One of the places we stopped the gentleman said he had actually purchased the whole lot of items from a movie set!
After learning that tidbit it was easy to see how everything had a cohesive feel and was from the same era. My guess is that it was some kind of movie about pirates. Pretty cool!
We learned pretty quickly that the larger established structures and barns, the places that are there year round are typically geared more for the higher end clientele. That in and of itself is fine, but it just wasn’t what we were looking for this time, being a more DIY crowd of ladies.
Marburger was a good example of that type of venue. With the highest door price ($40), it also had pretty high prices for their items. They were beautiful, and no doubt great quality, but again, not quite the right fit for what most of us were looking for.
Here’s an example of a beautiful French mirror, and the attached $6000 price tag.
It is however a great place to go if you’re mainly wanting lots of great inspiration.
We also realized that they had some better deals outside of the main tents, kind of where you could consider the “end caps” to be. Like a stash of beautiful armoires out back by the porta potties. (Which is certainly an interesting marketing strategy, if you ask me.)
At the bottom of this post I’ll share some additional links and resources we found and pulled together to share with our ladies before the trip, they could be really helpful as you’re planning your Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 trips as well!
As I often like to do here, I didn’t want to end this post without sharing the treasures I did find!
My 3rd post in this series will show our trip to Waco & Magnolia, and I’m excited to show you the pieces I found there as well!
A bamboo cane for $25 – this will be styled in my fireside room along with my umbrellas.
A beautiful camel colored velvet pillow, also to be styled in my Fireside room.
A skelton key that I’m going to add a tassel too and hang it on a dresser knob.
From the white tent sale and the old movie props, I got $100 worth of really pretty, good quality decor fabric. Some camel and green velvet, a huge flour sack bag, and a beautiful patterned piece that I think you’ll be seeing in the future showing up in my living room window seat.
I also found a nice spool of really lovely quality double sided green velvet ribbon.
Don’t forget to Check out…
Most of the venues within Round Top closed at 5pm, which felt pretty early, to be honest. Before we made our 2 hour drive back to our rented cottage, we decided to make one more stop at Old World Antieks, and we were NOT disanointed. It’s in La Grange, TX, which was on the way home for our particular trip.
This place had warehouses full of great items, and the prices felt very reasonable!
I ended up buying a brass ash bucket that I was thinking to maybe use for my husband’s office trash can, but it was too small, so we’ll instead use it as an actual ash bucket in our fireside room.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Round up, and it would be fun to see some of you antiquing in Round Top next year!
Guide to Round top Antiques Week: This is the best summary guide. Created specifically for 2022, These will be available in printed form at the venues themselves.
Page 39 (of the virtual guide, 38 in print) shows 16 tips for shopping Round Top:
This is the map from the Antiques Show Guide Listed Above. Pages 93- 100
This is a section dedicated to some of the food available at RoundTop – but I do not believe this is a comprehensive list. (Page 129-130 of the guide listed above)
From what I’ve read, some of the specific sections (or “fields”) have their own dining options/food courts.
Here is another link with some food options sorted by town: https://antiqueweekend.com/food/
Category Guide from the Antique Show Guide, Pages 135-145:
These are some good summary posts with tips & information about what to wear, shipping, etc…
And here are some Instagram accounts I found that are posting updates about Roundtop: (I have only been actually following some for a few weeks, so I can’t vouch 100% for their content, but they seem like legitimate accounts for businesses who will be at roundtop, but follow at your own discretion!)
Blue Hills at Roundtop : https://www.instagram.com/bluehillsatroundtop/
Round Top Antiques Texas : https://www.instagram.com/roundtopantiquestexas/
Roundtop Vintage Market: https://www.instagram.com/roundtopvintagemarket/
Marburger Farm : https://www.instagram.com/marburgerfarm/?hl=en
Round Top Antiques & Design : https://www.instagram.com/roundtopadc/?hl=en
Going to Round Top: https://www.instagram.com/goingtoroundtop/?hl=en
Round Top Village: https://www.instagram.com/roundtopvillage/
The Vintage Round Top: https://www.instagram.com/thevintageroundtop/
Round Top Ranch Antiques: https://www.instagram.com/rtrantiques/
The Halles at Round Top: https://www.instagram.com/thehallesatroundtop/
Bader Ranch at Round Top: https://www.instagram.com/baderranchatroundtop/
Antiques Vintage Round Top: https://www.instagram.com/antiquesvintageroundtop/
Excess Field: https://www.instagram.com/excessfield/