Your 2019 Guide to Roundtop, Texas Antique Fair
We have been religiously going to the Roundtop Antique Markets for the past 20 years. Just to give you a mental picture, Roundtop is a darling little town in Central Texas with the population of roughly 100.. Yep 100. And guess what? Over 100,000 people will visit it twice a year for the biannual Roundtop Antique Show. So for all you design enthusiasts, we highly recommend planning a trip to check out what all the fuss is about.
Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks:
Day Trips From Austin/Houston:
Try to leave around 8:00 so you can get there by 9:30 or so. If you are only going for the Marburger opening, I would recommend getting to Marburger by 9:30 and parking. The show opens at 10:00, but over the years we’ve seen plenty of Texas socialites and designers lining up outside their favorites tents to be the first in. Last fall we were a little lazy and didn’t arrive until 10:30 and many of the things we wanted already had sold tags on them. Crazy.
We recommend going in large car, truck, SUV or trailer to transport items back on your own. There are several freight companies that can transport your large items if needed. Distinctive Transport at Marburger, Westbrook Moving at The Big Red Barn can help you out with your freight needs.
Fly into Austin or Houston and rent a car. Although both airports are about the same distance, our Waze app says Austin is closer by 10 minutes.
What to wear?
Springtime in Texas means you can have 4 seasons hit in one week. In October 2018, the show felt like a humid sauna!!!! The temps were in the 90s and it kind of sucked. But for the Spring 2019 show, we were there this past week before the show started and it was GORGEOUS! Highs in the 70s with zero clouds. So check the weather and plan accordingly.
The most important thing is to wear something comfortable! We always wear our comfy shoes for sure. Over the years, I think the fashion has changed a bit. I feel like we could do a whole blog post on Roundtop fashion, but ultimately it’s comfy clothes that win. And throw in a rain jacket just for good measure.
What’s in our bag?
We are always prepared with our phone for pictures of items we are interested in. But FYI, the cell service can be patchy at times and some vendors do not want you to take pictures, so ask first.
We’ve found that most of the vendors we buy from accept credit cards now, but when cell service is slow, the machines can also be slow or don’t work at all. Be safe and bring checks and cash with you as well. Parking is free in most areas, but occasionally you make run into a $50 parking fee. You will need cash to enter some of the big shows like Marburger.
PEN AND NOTEBOOK
Don’t forget to measure your spaces before you arrive so you can double check if items will fit into your space.
We are always measuring and double measuring items for our client’s spaces. This is a must have.
WATER AND SNACKS!
We pack a few protein bars and water to get us from point A until a late lunch.
SUNSCRREN & SUNGLASSES
Weather can be picture perfect and sunny! Be prepared to be in the sun!
To protect you from that sun! Plus, it’s fun Roundtop fashion.
Where to shop?
Honestly, it would take a whole week or more in Roundtop to hit every show and tent. Because we have been going for so long, we know our favorite places to shop. We can get in in and out of there in a day or two depending on how may items we are looking for our clients.
Here is our top list of places to shop!
This place continues to grow and grow with each season. We REALLY love it here and always leave with great finds.
You will find this group of tents right across the street from Market Hill. There are lots of fun jewelry, art, bedding and rugs here. And if you forgot or need a hat, there is the best hat shop there.
excess 1 has been around for years, although many of the original vendors have moved out. You can find funky industrial finds here and creative pieces. If we were designing a movie set, we would definitely hit up this side. Behind excess 1 there is a rug tent that we always find great things at, so check that out. After you are finished cross the to cross to excess ll. some of our favorite vendors for accessories are there.
This spot is great for a good bathroom break and lunch. It also happens to have tons of fun antiques. There are 5 different buildings with lots of goodies.
Another must stop during your trip is Blue Hills. Lots and lots of great treasures and funky finds!
Last but definitely not least is Marburger. It’s usually the first Tuesday in October or April. Try to schedule your trip around the opening day and check the website for show dates. It kind of feels like Christmas morning, the Tuesday morning when Marburger opens up. You just never know what treasures you will find here. It’s definitely not inexpensive, but fun to go and experience.
photo above: la dolche vita blog
Where to eat?
Rancho Pillow has a fun dinner called Feast In the Fields, usually the night of the Marburger opening. Tickets go on sale months in advance. We’ve never been to this, but we are planning on going this year so we’ll keep you posted!
After hours, we love to grab a glass of wine with cheese at Prost Wine Bar, especially on a pretty day.
Mandito’s has great Mexican food and margaritas. But a reminder that all of these places are popular and fill up early.
For lunch we usually do a quick stop a the food truck at the Compound or Market Hill. You can get great options at either.
Where to stay?
We make day trips back and forth, but this year we are doing a girls trip and plan to stay at Rancho Pillow.
People seem to always want to stay at The Vintage Roundtop, but it books up early and we never can get ourselves organized early enough to make this happen.
The Flophouze seems super fun. They are shipping containers made into places to stay. They also have a couple homes in the area to rent.
VRBO, Home Away and Airbnb’s are coming increasingly popular, so check those sites as well.
We are headed back out there Tuesday, so I’ll update this blog with more info after we go! So here’s to having fun, safe travel and ending your day with great finds!