Guide to Round Top Antiques Week
Round Top Antiques Week Guide
I began going to Antiques Week as a shopper fifteen years ago. In the mean time, Smoot and I became antique dealers, home rental owners, and home goods designers based out of Round Top. We've shown in Marburger Farm, Zapp Hall, Thunderbird Ranch Art Gallery, and now Round Top Vintage Market, a permanent year-round space.
We’ve compiled our best tips from the experience we've had as shoppers and vendors. We hope this guide will help you navigate through the interesting world that is Round Top Antiques Week.
Preparing for the Show:
Dates and Times:
-The shows are held twice a year in the Spring (end of March, beginning of April) and the Fall (end of Sept, beginning of October). They span over a fifteen-day period with approx. 60 shows on an eleven-mile stretch of Hwy 237 in Round Top with smaller shows in neighboring towns.
-Every show is different, most open by 9:00am (however some open even earlier) and close around 5:00pm (or stay open until the last shopper leaves)
-Some shows have specific hours, primarily the shows with paid entry fees.
Refer to these links for Show Dates:
Best Time To Come:
This all depends on what your goals are at Round Top Antiques week.
Looking for the Best Deals:
-Come towards the end of the third week of the show. There will be less selection, however vendors will be more inclined to strike a deal or negotiate with you to get rid of their inventory. (Although, this is not always the case. Many dealers pack up from one show to go to the next, so are not in a position to give major discounts.)
Looking for Smaller, Less Chaotic Crowds:
-Visit the shows Monday-Thursday. During the week, parking is much easier and the crowd is smaller, making it easier to get from one show to another.
Looking for the Best Selection:
-Plan to be there the very first week. It will not only be less crowded, but you will have the widest selection to choose from before it gets picked through in the following, most popular week. Downside: the prices will be less negotiable and not all vendors are open.
Want to be here when all of the shows are open? Marburger Farm (opens the Tue of the last week) and Big Red Barn (opens the Monday of the last week) are the only two shows that have an entry fee, however the fee covers parking and the entire length of the show. Both have a variety of dealers, however most of them are higher- end and many are European. The booths are styled and easy to navigate. We were a Marburger Farm vendor; you can see our past show pics here and here.
Where to Stay:
Book lodging early! Many B&B/home rentals require a 2-3 night minimum stay.
Regardless if you plan to come once or twice a year, lock the reservation in with your favorite B&B or Home Rental. The Vintage Round Top is, of course, our first pick, but if the home is booked already, go through Round Top Chamber of Commerce or VRBO Vacation Rental to find available lodging.
What to Wear:
Dress comfortably stylish! Texas weather can be extreme and change overnight, but many days are picture perfect. Shoe choice and sun coverage are the most important decisions in regards to staying comfortable while navigating the shows. Wear layers and a light jacket or top to cover your shoulders to avoid sunburn, even if it’s cold. Wear comfortable shoes or if the forecast calls for rain, wear rain boots. Bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses just in case.
What to Bring:
Carry a large tote bag to carry water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Use your tote to carry a notebook and pen or use your cellphone, for writing down your purchases including the location, name and number of the vendor you need to pick up your items from.
Bring a camera or use your cellphone to take pictures of the items you bought and left behind to pick up later. (Always ask permission before you take photos of a booth and get the name and contact info to tag the vendor in social media outlets.)
You can also carry smaller items you have purchased in your tote bag or use a rolling cart, however these can be tricky when trying to maneuver in smaller booths.
Bring cash! Although some dealers accept credit cards and checks, cash is always welcomed. There are banks located in Round Top and the surrounding areas of Carmine, La Grange and Brenham and some show sites do have ATMS.
During the Show:
Many parking areas are located between and behind the shows along SH 237. Most parking is free, but there are places that offer paid parking for a small fee, typically $5.
Navigating the Shows:
If you come for a day trip, get started as early as possible. Since the shows span over an 11 mile stretch, traffic can slow down the process of getting from one to another. Drive to the furthest show and work your way backwards so you are only dealing with traffic on the way back. However, if you have favorite shows, start there first to get the best selection.
Negotiating with Vendors:
Most vendors will negotiate, but some are firm on prices. You won’t know until you ask and most dealers expect to be asked. You will have better luck negotiating if you are looking to purchase a large ticket item or a large amount of small items. Remember that these vendors have a tough job so be fair in what you offer.
Finding Your Hidden Treasure:
As the saying goes, “One’s man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” We love the hunt, but one issue you have to face when looking for your perfect piece is the decision of when to buy. If you decide to wait and go back later to purchase a piece, it may be gone. The other aspect is that you may buy something in the beginning and then find something even better later so, there is no easy answer. Bottom line: If you LOVE it, BUY it!
Transporting your purchases:
There are several businesses that offer shipping of large purchases but in our experience, the two most reputable are Roll’en Hills and Distinguished Transport. If you aren’t buying large items, simply transport your purchases in the back of your vehicle, in your trunk or even pull a small trailer. If you choose to take your items home with you, bring plastic or paint tarps to cover the interior of your car in case of rain or if items are dirty, etc.
Roll’en Hills Contact Information:
Cindy's Cell : 281 726 2631
Kevin's Cell: 281 204 7434
2121 South State Hwy 237
Round Top, TX 78954
Distinguished Transport Contact Information:
Phone: 979 249 3473
or 678 910 1668
2377 South State Hwy 237
Round Top, TX 78954
Several shows offer late night shopping along with live music.
The most well-known and rockin’ is the “Junk Gypsy Prom” held on a Thursday at the Junk Gypsy tent in Zapp Hall. They have live music, vendors and Zapp Hall has a bubble bar with libations.
Prost Wine Bar offers live music and a world class selection of wines by glass or bottle.
112 Bauer Rummel Road
Round Top, TX 78954
The Stone Cellar has moved to the Old Depot and is known for great music, dancing, and pizza.
204 East Mill St
Round Top, TX 78954
Our favorite vendors – see our post
Our favorite shows- see our post
Eating during the show:
Legal Tender Saloon
Most shows and all large ones have “Pop Up” food vendors.
What happens in Round Top outside of the shows?
There was a time that not much happened in between, however that has changed and Round Top is becoming a destination hot spot, especially for locals in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. In addition to year round shopping (see list below) it’s become known for weddings, romantic getaways, girlfriend weekends, family reunions, workshops, retreats, or just a drive for some famous Royers Pie.