Deep in the heart of Texas lies one of the most beloved antique and vintage shopping events in the United States: the Round Top Antique Fair.
This bi-annual extravaganza attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond, with its charming atmosphere and a vast selection of treasures to discover. If you’re planning to attend the market, be sure to read and save my post to get the most out of your visit.
The Round Top Antique Fair
I just returned from my fifth trip to the Round Top Antique Fair, a treasure trove of antiques, vintage finds, and eclectic items in the heart of Texas.
Twice a year, the tiny town of Round Top (population: 90) transforms into a bustling marketplace, hosting tens of thousands of shoppers and vendors from across the country.
If you’re planning to attend this must-visit event, read on for insider tips on how to get there, what to buy, where to stay, when to go, how to shop, and everything you need to make your Round Top experience truly unforgettable.
The Round Top Antique Fair is located halfway between Austin and Houston, making it easily accessible for visitors from these major cities. Here are a few ways to get there:
Driving: The most convenient way to reach Round Top is by car. From Austin, take US-290 E, and from Houston, take US-290 W. You’ll find several parking areas around the flea market but most times you can enter the fields and park in the back so arrive early, as parking tends to fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
RVs and Camping: If you want to make a weekend out of your flea market experience, you can bring your RV or rent a cabin near the event. Many visitors choose this option to enjoy the Texas countryside and maximize their shopping time at the market.
I always rent a car, van, or truck in Austin and drive the hour-and-a-half drive to Round Top.
When to Go
The Round Top Antique Fair occurs twice a year – in the spring and fall. The Spring Antique Week typically takes place in late March to early April, while the Fall Antique Week happens in late September to early October.
To find the dates for the upcoming fair, you can visit their official website (https://www.roundtoptexasantiques.com/) or follow their social media accounts for announcements and updates. Keep in mind that dates may change from year to year, so it’s always best to check the most recent information available.
Each season brings its unique offerings and charm, but generally, the fall market boasts more temperate weather, while the spring event is known for its vibrant blooms.
Each market lasts for about three weeks so look at the schedule to determine when you want to go. We like to go early to find deals and one-of-a-kind items but there is so much for sale I don’t think it really matters.
I get asked all of the time how long should you plan to shop at Round Top. On most trips I have stayed around five days but once I went for just one day and filled up an entire truck of furniture for our Waco Airbnb!
It all depends on how much time you want to shop!
Where to Stay
The Round Top Antique Fair takes place in a small town called Round Top, Texas. Due to the limited accommodations in the area, it’s essential to plan your stay well in advance. Here are a few options to consider:
Bed and Breakfasts: Round Top and nearby towns like Carmine, Fayetteville, and La Grange offer a variety of charming B&Bs that will make you feel right at home. Enjoy a cozy atmosphere, home-cooked breakfasts, and the company of fellow flea market enthusiasts.
Vacation Rentals: If you prefer a more private experience, consider renting a house, cabin, or cottage through platforms like Airbnb or VRBO which are especially great for larger groups or families.
Camping or Glamping: Embrace the spirit of adventure by camping or glamping near the flea market. Local ranches and properties offer a variety of options, from rustic tent camping to luxurious glamping tents with all the amenities.
Hotels: You can find hotels in nearby cities such as Brenham, Giddings, and La Grange which are about 3o minutes away and are just a short drive away from Round Top, and they offer more traditional lodging options.
Camping and RV Parks: If you prefer a more adventurous stay, consider camping at one of the RV parks or campgrounds in the area. The Round Top RV Park and Oak Motel & RV Park are two popular options.
What to Buy
With thousands of vendors selling everything from antiques and vintage clothing to handmade crafts and unique home decor, you’re sure to find something you’ll love at the Round Top Antique Fair.
Here are some popular items to look out for:
Antiques: Round Top is known for its vast selection of antiques, so you’re likely to find a one-of-a-kind treasure. Keep an eye out for vintage furniture, lighting, and decorative items to add character and charm to your home.
Vintage Clothing and Accessories: If you’re a fan of retro fashion, the Round Top Antique Fair is a goldmine. Browse through racks of vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories to find unique pieces that will make a statement in your wardrobe.
Handmade Crafts: Support local artists and artisans by purchasing handmade crafts, jewelry, and artwork. These unique, high-quality items make great gifts and help support the creative community.
Home Decor: Bring a touch of charm to your home with rustic and farmhouse-style decor, including textiles, wall art, and furniture and you’ll also find a great selection of garden and outdoor decor to spruce up your outdoor living spaces.
Architectural Salvage: If you’re a DIY enthusiast or love repurposing materials, look for architectural salvage items like doors, windows, and hardware. These pieces can add character to your home renovation projects or be upcycled into new, functional items.
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How to Shop
Navigating the expansive Round Top Antique Fair can be overwhelming, especially for first-time attendees so here are some tips on how to make your shopping experience enjoyable and fruitful.
The Round Top show actually starts in the town of Warrenton and spans all the way down the highway to Round Top, Carmine, and more. We like to start in Warrenton and work our way down toward Round Top. On the fields, you will find open booths, tents, and permanent buildings which are more like shops. All of these are great places to visit and shop.
Plan ahead: Research the various venues and vendors in advance. The Round Top Antique Fair spans several locations, each with its own character and merchandise. Some of the well-known venues include Marburger Farm Antique Show, The Big Red Barn, and Blue Hills at Round Top. Prioritize the areas you’re most interested in, but also allow for some spontaneity and flexibility.
Dress comfortably: Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as you’ll walk and browse uneven terrain for hours … one day we shopped from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm! Dress in layers, as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day. We braved winds and temperatures in the low forties, rain, and a few warmer afternoons in the low seventies. Bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses for sunny days, and a raincoat and umbrella for the occasional shower.
Bring supplies: Pack a tote or a small cart to carry your purchases, as well as water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat for sun protection. A folding cart or wagon can be handy but we often left our parge purchases with the vendors and went back later and drove on the fields to retrieve everything. Just remember to take photos and good notes so you don’t forget anything!
Arrive Early: Arriving early ensures you’ll have the first pick of the best items and a better chance of scoring a great deal.
Bring Cash: Most vendors at the Round Top Flea Market accept cash, credit cards, and mobile payment options like Venmo. However, it’s always a good idea to bring cash, especially if you plan on bargaining with vendors. There are some ATM machines on the fields, and many vendors accept credit cards and mobile payments, cash is still king at flea markets.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Bring a refillable water bottle and snacks to keep you going throughout the day. While there are food trucks and vendors on-site, having some sustenance on hand can save time and ensure that you’re ready for a full day of shopping.
Bring a Measuring Tape and Photos: If you’re shopping for specific items, take measurements of your space and bring photos for reference. This will help ensure that your purchases fit perfectly in your home.
Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask vendors about the items’ history, age, or intended use.
On this blog, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.
So What About the Prices?
Prices at the Round Top Antiques Fair can vary widely, as the fair features a diverse range of vendors and items.
Generally speaking, I would say the prices are a bit higher than they have been in previous years but I almost didn’t even mention it, because I found some amazing deals on furniture, glassware, and collectibles. Every vendor is different!
Some items may be priced affordably for casual collectors, while others may be more expensive due to their rarity, condition, or historical significance.
It’s important to remember that prices at antique fairs are often negotiable. It’s common for buyers to haggle with vendors to try and get the best deal. To make the most of your experience at the Round Top Antiques Fair, it’s helpful to research the items you’re interested in beforehand and have a sense of their market value. This will help you determine whether the prices at the fair are reasonable and guide your negotiations with vendors.
So What Did I Buy?
I bought three cabinets (the first two photos are purchased here), some large pots, lots of ironstone, a marble bust (who just happens to be wearing a bathing suit), and lots more! I bought two silver lamps, a battery jar, some cutting boards, a few glass jars, some art, and more collectibles that I can’t even remember.
Our group of friends rented a truck and a driver who will deliver everything to Los Angeles. All of my purchases are for the beach house and they will arrive here on Friday.
I cannot wait!
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