Round Top, Texas, is a small town located almost equidistant from Austin and Houston and home to one of the largest flea markets each Spring and Fall. As a town of 90 permanent residents, over 100,000 visitors flock to the town for the twice-annual fairs to shop at the 20+ miles of vendors that sell there. In short, it is a mecca for antique and flea market lovers. But take one look at the vendor list and it is overwhelming. Which shows are worth hitting up? Which have food or parking? Here’s how this first timer did it and some things I wish I’d known before hitting the Round Top Spring Antique Show.
Round Top, Texas, Spring Antique Show Recap
Doing my research before going, I found a great resource at Round Top Register, which had a map showing all the shows. It points out which shows have food, parking, or an entrance fee. While the city of Round Top is the epicenter, shows actually stretch from Carmine and Burton—towns north of Round Top—down to Warrenton, which is south. Venues typically open either Monday or Tuesday and run all week to Saturday.
I started at Marburger Farm Antique Show. This one popped up on everyone’s review so I knew it had potential. It has a $10 entrance fee but that will get you into the whole week’s show. It has 350+ vendors and is set up in a series of tents and permanent buildings. The vendors were mostly antiques and priced as such ($$$). Everyone had beautiful displays and really knew the value of the items they had. Not so much a flea market or garage sale price point. I did pick up a set of sweet peachy-pink cocktail glasses.
After Marburger, we drove further north into Round Top and stopped at Arbor Antiques. This was much smaller than Marburger but had a mix of antiques, new furniture, and an impressive selection of upholstery fabric on bolts. I picked up a wooden pizza peel, which will look great behind my new tray and decanters—remember that decision debacle? (Spoiler… I kept #2)
Directly across the street from Arbor Antiques are Market Hill and Round Top Hill. Now we were definitely into the flea market world. Tables of mismatched goods and seemingly endless piles of junk. But that’s the gold! I was able to score three bowling pins, which have been on my to-look-for list at flea markets for the past year or so. I had never seen any before then and continued to see many more all day. I’ve already planned a DIY to spiff them up a bit and better fit the colors of my apartment. Next door at Market Hill, I was able to find a ceramic glove mold. This has also been on my list for quite a while, but I had only seen a few at antique stores around town.
At this point, we thought we’d head back south to Warrenton and the shows we saw as we drove in. The traffic had really picked up and see below where I definitely recommend shopping from south to north to avoid this. Warrenton had a completely different feel than Round Top and was more like a flea market/festival. Food trailers were everywhere and you could grab a beer and walk the whole show while drinking, which everyone did. This was definitely a typical flea market. Lots of random things and it takes some picking but you can find some real gems.
Going back I definitely would like to carve out two days to go instead of trying to pack it into one day. While the good stuff probably went early in the show, many vendors were willing to make an extra deal since it was the last day. I left with a million DIY ideas to cook up. If you’re a flea market lover you should definitely put it on the list to visit!
Things I wish I’d known:
- Many guides will say the way to get around Round Top is coming from the north and driving south. However, this direction was very, very busy. I would definitely plan my day driving from south to north to avoid the traffic.
- The shows in Warrenton are all connected. You can easily park at either end and walk through all the shows.
- Food and porta potties are abundant- you didn’t have to look far for either.
- In Warrenton, the regulars all had wagons or small carts to carry their purchases as well as koozies for their beer. It’s hot out there, remember!