Round Top Antique Show in Round Top, Texas, is hands-down one of our favourite road trips.
Named the largest antique show in North America, the Round Top show is nothing to sneeze at. This ain't an easy saunter through the Brooklyn Flea, y'all.
I think of it as the most elaborate antique show west of the Mississippi. Tens of thousands of antiquers make their pilgrimage here once or twice a year. Set out over dozens of farmers fields there's really no way to see the whole show under four days.
We have a few tips for getting the best out of this sprawling show.
First, there are two events every year, Spring and Fall. Check the dates on the official Round Top Antique Show site. Or, you can get your feet wet at a smaller show like the Winter Antiques Show at the end of January. But you can't go outside of the set show times or you'll be incredibly disappointed.
Second, timing is everything. If you go early you get a better pick of pieces. If you go later in the week you get a better chance of getting some deals as the dealers are clearing stuff out!
Third, you need wheels. Outside of the core show there are at least 20 other venues stretched over 25 miles through a string of small Texas towns. And you likely won't be staying in Round Top (more on this below). Consider renting a mini van with stow-and-go seats for your goodies, it's crazy how much you can pack in there.
: Zombie-like striped deer mounts found at Round Top.
: From factory to flea market, all the good stuff pops up in Round Top. Where scrap metal goes to be born again.
: Our rental company, Bon Accord, sources dozens of vintage folding chairs now used for weddings and dinner parties throughout Vancouver.
: Heaps of vintage industrial lamps in one of Round Top's many fields.
: The cool and the creepy, often blurry lines.
Fourth tip - know your fields. Each field has its own aesthetic, and for those interested in industrial antiques and vintage lighting, the best field for industrial is EX-CESS. You can check out the schedule here. There's really no way to know which field is which without making the trip, or asking someone with experience.
If you fall for something big, there are moving services to house, pack and ship your purchase so you don't need to worry about getting it home. Otherwise, consider using Greyhound Buses for shipping, the price is usually right.
Fifth, bring cash. Not all vendors take credit cards, and cash can sometimes help you negotiate.
Sixth, bring your appetite. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the BBQ. A highlight for me is always the pulled pork sandwiches in the fields (goes best with beer).
Round Top, population 90, is one of the small towns located on the route between Austin and Houston. While there is accommodation in Round Top and Warrenton, we usually opt for the 1-hour trip back to Austin.
I know you're stoked and ready to book your ticket but next month we'll tell you where we stay, go for eats and what else we like do while trippin' around Round Top in Texas (hint: it involves live music).