Round Top Edit – Where to shop
Welcome to Travelista’s “Round Top Edit – Where to Shop,” your guide to the enchanting world of Round Top, Texas! Nestled in the picturesque Hill Country, Round Top is a quaint town that transforms into a shopper’s paradise during “The Show,” a triannual antiques fair. With a history dating back over 50 years, this extraordinary event boasts miles of hay fields, barns, and tents brimming with antiques, art, and décor. In this post, we’ll explore the magic of the Round Top experience where bargain hunters and pickers can find vintage treasures, as well as the ever-growing appeal that draws celebrities, influencers, and design enthusiasts alike. Round Top, despite its charm can be overwhelming so I’ve *ahem* rounded up my best tips to help you make the most of your visit!
Round Top, Texas is a charming Hill Country town just a few hours from Austin and Houston with a population of around 90 people. Several times a year, its population swells to over 100,000 as “The Show,” takes over Highway 237. Looking past rare and high end antiques vendors you’ll find “the fields” and here’s where a lot of the Round Top magic happens! Vendors set up tents in the fields and anything goes here vintage clothing, old sinks, signs you name but there are bargains to be had here and that’s a big part of the fun! Honestly, this was my favorite area, because I’m a picker at heart and the prices here didn’t give me nearly as much sticker shock as in the other areas.
Round Top is more than just an “antiques fair”, over the years it has grown exponentially into a full blown experience that has drawn celebrities, influencers, many of your favorite TV home design personalities and countless girls’ trips!
There’s a VIBE here and it’s captivating and fun and even a little magical. There’s a high bougie factor for sure but maybe it’s the Hill Country Texas landscapes and the beautiful fields and sunsets that lend a raw, rustic and laid-back bohemian feeling to the whole experience. If you’re an avid people-watcher like myself, the people-watching here is exquisite! There’s food, fashion, live music, fashion shows and even a prom! I felt very inspired by vendors who were making upcycling items in unique ways and just living a life of creativity. Also everywhere you turn there’s something interesting or beautiful to look at!
Who is Round Top For?
Round Top is for anyone! My Round Top experience as a newbie was merely to soak it all in and wander and explore as much as one can in a weekend visit. My goals were to find unique clothing, vintage or new, visit retailers that I follow on instagram and enjoy the food and drink scene there. You DO NOT have to be a high-end interior designer or antique collector to attend! I found more than enough places to shop besides furniture and plenty of treasures. I got the lay of the land and in this guide, I’ll share my findings and experiences.
When can I go to Round Top?
You can visit the town of Round Top anytime with plenty of shops open in Round Top and the surrounding towns! The “Shows” happen during Fall, Spring and Winter. Each venue has different dates so double check the particular venue you want to visit. These dates are approximate:
Spring Show 2023: March 18 – April 1, 2023
Fall Show: October 13-30, 2023
Winter Show: January 2024 (dates TBA)
Round Top Resources:
Rules of Round Top
Have a plan!
The first rule of Round Top and the one that will help enjoy the experience more is to understand that you will not see or do all of it! There’s simply too much and it’s more than anyone can see in the span of a few days. So how do you overcome this? You have to have a plan! If you are shopping for particular items, know what you are looking for and keep a list and locate vendors on a map and chart your course.
I’m not going to lie, Round Top is overwhelming. That is a fact. Having a list of “must-visit” places will help you make the most of your experience, and of course you will wander and discover unexpected treasures along the way!
If you’re on a one or two day trip, it’s important to be strategic. Since most of the venues are located along Highway 237 your best bet is to work your way up or down the highway, from Warrenton to Round Top or vice versa. The traffic can get pretty congested so you will want to just make your stops down the highway instead of backtracking. There’s other areas to explore but this guide will only focus on Warrenton to Round Top.
Cash is king and gives you the best negotiating power. Also, some vendors only take cash, especially in “the fields” and you don’t want to find yourself scrambling. Bring more than you think you’ll need.
What are the types of items you can shop for at Round Top?
Well just about everything, but these are the general categories and suggestions on where to find them:
Furniture – Round Top is a furniture mecca with new, vintage and antique finds. Plan to haul it home yourself or have it shipped. Where to shop: Blue Hills, Market Hill, The Compound, Bader Ranch, Big Red Barn, Excess I & II, The Venue, The Halles.
Home Decor & Accessories – The treasure hunt for unique home decor and accessories is a fun one at Round Top and you’ll find antique, vintage and new items to inspire your home at all price points. Where to shop: The Arbors, Blue Hills, Market Hill, The Venue, The Halles.
Clothing & Accessories – I did not expect the amount of clothing retailers that I found throughout Round Top! There were so many offering a mixture of styles and I definitely indulged in getting a few unique items! Where to shop: Junk Gypsy, The Arbors, Blue Hills, Henkel Square, RT Village.
Vintage Items/Collectibles – There’s uncountable vintage items to be discovered! Where to shop: Big Red Barn, Blue Hills, Zapp Hall, Excess II, Warrenton Fields.
European Antique Furniture – You do not have to go to Europe to collect antiques, it’s all in Round Top and you’ll also find Scandinavian antiques as well. Where to Shop: Blue Hills, Continental Tent, Market Hill, The Compound, Round Top Ranch Antiques.
Mid-Century Furniture & High End Vintage – No replica can beat the original. Where to Shop: Bader Ranch, Big Red Barn, Excess I & II, Blue Hills.
Notable Venues And Vendors
470 S. Washington Street | Round Top TX 78954
My first stop in Round Top was the beautiful Bader Ranch, this picturesque location is anchored by a weathered barn which inside boasts an impressive array of antiques and Mid-Century treasures. In addition to their permanent collection, they host several pop-up retailers on the grounds in tents and inside the barn. The back field is simply stunning and brilliantly adorned with modern white chairs which make for a great spot to watch the sunset or the perfect backdrop for instagram.
One account I had been following on Instagram, @shopsissylight, had caught my attention due to my love for hats. It was a treat to finally see their stunning display of hats in person! While I didn’t end up purchasing one, my friend, who had previously claimed she wasn’t a “hat person,” found the perfect piece and instantly looked #roundtopready. These hats are definitely part of the officially unofficial uniform at Round Top. (More on Round Top Outfits in my next post!)
The variety of vendors found at Bader Ranch make it a noteworthy stop. They have a tent set-up full of vendors with everything from vintage clothing, accessories to jewelry to. Inside the barns are an assortment of clothing and home retailers as well. I was excited to see that my new friends from Lady Captain in Rockport, TX would be selling their coastal chic clothing there as well this season.
To get you in the shopping mood, a stop by Lady Elaine for a coffee or a cocktail is a must-do! This adorable Airstream serves up coffee, cocktails, and snacks from sunup to sun down. Their mezcal margarita hit the spot on a warm Fall day! On one of the days I visited they were even hosting a pop-up of Slow Poke Marfa for flash tattoos.
Yet another reason why I loved Bader Ranch is that they serve a 5 course Farm to Table meal from YComida with Chef Nick Middleton at the helm every night of the show. Dinner reservations are hard to come by in Round Top and booking a seat here is one way to get a guaranteed seat at a table.
1701 Texas 237, Carmine, TX 78932
Blue Hills takes up a staggering 25 acres with 100,000 feet of shopping space and over 60 curated vendors. Blue Hills has picturesque barns full of treasures and the vendors spill over into adjacent tents. To keep your shopping energy up and you will need it they host food trucks and pop-up bars to keep you going!
Once again I was happy to find vendors that I follow on Instagram that include Carla Valencia Design, Arloom, Gather Goods and Fraulein Boots. I ended up buying an assortment of whimsical patches from Carla Valencia and during the pop-up event she can customize a jean jacket with her bedazzling designs. I found loads of gorgeous vintage cowboy boots in my size from Bootitude and if I hadn’t just invested in a pair 70’s vintage Don Quijote boots I would have scooped up a pair. Over the years, I’ve embraced my Texas roots and now have 5 pairs of cowboy boots that I wear regularly.
1503 Texas 237, Round Top, TX 78954
You’ll recognize The Arbors by their signature white tents. You’ll find 12 acres of shopping here and as an extra bonus to add this to your list, there’s plenty of parking. They have a cafe on-site and even a complimentary Happy Hour! They have live music by the Ellis Motel mobile bar from 3-6pm which serves up delicious cocktails.
The Halles had to have some of the most beautiful vistas. Named “The Halles” after the eight buildings on-site this eclectic venue can’t be missed.
I loved seeing vintage sellers like @dirtybohemian along with an array of fashion and home goods. Also on site is food and more importantly coffee because, if you haven’t gathered yet, Round Top is a marathon of shopping and wandering and you have to stay caffeinated AND hydrated. Most all of thee venues host special events, and The Halles is no exception which hosts pop up dinners with an impressive roster of chefs.
Warrentown & the fields
Here’s where the real magic happens for me! You could spend days wandering the fields and all the vendors in Warrentown. Look for Zapp Hall on a map and once you are there you will undoubtedly see the fields that surround it and just dive on in. This isn’t the place to go if you don’t love searching and digging. Unlike other spots in Round Top, the fields are less curated and that’s most of the fun for me. There’s live music and food there as well.
My Round Top Edit offers just a glimpse into the myriad of venues and vendors that await you in this charming Texas town. Consider this a curated starting point for embarking on your own Round Top adventure. I eagerly anticipate returning next Fall and gradually becoming a seasoned Round Top regular! Remember, the secret to making the most of Round Top is staying flexible, prioritizing your must-see spots, and maintaining a lighthearted attitude. Embrace the laid-back vibe and revel in the fun-filled atmosphere. If Round Top is on your travel bucket list, don’t hesitate to make the trip, as its popularity is only set to grow. Happy exploring!