Antiques Weekend in the Texas Countryside

The tiny town of Round Top, Texas has an "official" population of 81 people. For two weekends each spring and fall, Round Top and other nearby towns like Warrenton, Carmine and Shelby swell and tens of thousands of people descend on the area's Antique Weekend. The event hosts an estimated 2,500 dealers and draws visitors from all over he country - it's considered to be one of the largest antiques events in the world.

Most of the dealers and shows are free to visit while some tents require an entrance fee of $5 - $15. We've never paid a cent to go into one of the big tents as there are all kinds of options that don't require a fee. You'll probably pay $5.00 per car to park on someone's property but some free lots are located on the outskirts of towns like Warrenton.

What can you find there? Thinking back to our previous visits over the years, we've come across all kinds of things...

  • A Heywood Wakefield moderne-style bed from the 1950s for about $200
  • A 1920s German desk chair for $20
  • A 1950s pole lamp for about $20
  • A small calf-hide for use on a chaise lounge for $50
  • An "as-is" Hoosier cabinet base that we eventually restored as a kitchen island for $40
  • "Refurbished" grain baskets made out of wood for $25 - $35
Well, that's your basic idea. Going out there makes for a nice day trip, especially when the weather is nice. You can kill all kinds of time there and there are plenty of places to eat, drink and see just about every random item under the sun.

If you decide to visit Antiques Weekend (technically two weekends) and want to make it a true weekend outing, we suggest staying at the Wellspring Retreat. This bed and breakfast is run by good friends of our family and is a two-minute drive from "downtown" Round Top. The retreat offers three types of accomodations - three rooms in the main house, a large loft-style room in the "Art Barn" and two rooms in a restored train depot from Hempstead. Our choice would be the train depot with two bedrooms that open up to a common living room - perfect if you plan on heading out for the weekend with some friends. The B&B is also available for church retreats and other group gatherings.

Spring or fall... either option is a good one but, let's be honest, springtime means bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers. Make sure to take back roads to make it to Round Top... just get a good Texas map and wander through random towns like New Ulm, Bellville and Fayetteville to see a little slice of Texas.

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