Sure, the Round Top Antiques Show can technically be done in a day—but that doesn't mean it should be. To get the full experience of the 51-year-old antiquing extravaganza and its charming surrounding community, it's best to devote a few days to exploration. This year's fall show runs September 30 through October 5, which means it's already time to start planning.
For suggestions this year, we turned to the experts: the ladies of DASH, Houston's twice-annual home and decor market (returning to Silver Street Studios for its fall iteration October 24-27), which itself stemmed from the four longtime friends' regular pilgrimages to Round Top. “We would come here to buy treasures, and we just wanted to bring a little bit of that shopping experience to Houston,” DASH co-founder Angela Poujol previously told Houstonia. "So that's what we did."
So, as we prep for this year's trip, we tapped Poujol, Lisa Erwin, Michelle Maresh, and Vanessa Sendukas for their must-dos in and around the treasure-hunting mecca.
Not all who wander are lost
DASH says: Finding a place to stay is part of the adventure, but start early as most book up fast. The Round Top Chamber of Commerce offers a list of area accommodations, but you can't go wrong with a stay at the convenient (and iconic) Round Top Inn or the new Wander Inn, a boutique hotel owned by the Junk Gypsy filled with funky-chic decor and great outdoor spaces. We can't wait to check out the historic Silver Spur, a new Airbnb property near Henkel Square. There are more great lodging options in Fayetteville—including a haunted hotel.
Get the look
DASH says: Half the fun of Round Top is checking out the outfits, and shopping at The Arbors is a must for anyone who wants to look the part. Check out The Guayabera Guy to try on the most fedorable hats, great for blocking the sun and rain on these long shopping days. Shuffle over to Agave Sky to check out beautifully crafted footwear. We love their unique selection of tall boots—perfect for navigating Round Top's tall grass. Wear layers, as the weather can start out cool in the morning and end up blazing hot by the afternoon. Don't forget to bring a crossbody bag for hands-free browsing, a raincoat or poncho for the occasional shower, and plenty of cash for bargaining.
DASH says: We never miss The Arbors for a fabulous selection of furniture, decor, and clothes (see above), like great tops from Houston-made Tutu & Lilli. Right across the street, Paul Michael's new venue, Market Hill, hosts some of the best dealers around—including our favorite, Susan Horne Antiques. We love the eclectic dealers at Excess on both sides of Highway 237 in Warrenton, and Blue Hills and The Compound are more faves. The best of the best: Marburger Farm Antique Show (October 1-5), which hosts more than 350 dealers on 43 acres, so it's practically guaranteed you'll walk out with something you love.
Tailgating, but make it fashion
DASH says: Circle your SUVs, U-Hauls, or sedans and make it classy with linen napkins, candlesticks, champagne, gourmet cheese, and pre-made salads. If you forget anything, drop into Pop-a-Top Bottle Shop for all your party needs. No time to pack a lunch? Get the best egg salad, pimiento cheese, and chicken salad at The Texas Rose, or stop by the Ellis Motel, restaurateur Lee Ellis's brand-new emporium for gourmet foods and craft cocktails.
DASH says: Part of the fun of Round Top is digging to find one-of-a-kind treasures. If you're a "picker" at heart, visit Hector the Collector for architectural finds at Excess I, check out the hundreds of booths around Zapp Hall in Warrenton, and stroll the fields—especially Bar W and North Gate—for adventures in collecting...and hiking. You never know what you'll find, and you can be certain nobody else will have one!
Dining choices have exploded in the last few years, and foodies will not be disappointed. Make reservations at Bader Ranch, an amazing pop-up restaurant with a chef-driven menu; check out Rancho Pillow's Feasts in the Field for a fun, gourmet group experience; or dine at the always-packed Garden Co. Feed & Firewater, where you're bound to run into at least one friend. Houston's own Armando Paliacio has two great restaurants in Round Top—Tex-Mex haven Mandito's and Italian joint Lulu's—that are always a hit. And don't even think about leaving town without sampling the country cooking at Royers. And the pies...oh, the pies!