City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Texas Treasure Hunt

How to Shop the Round Top Antiques Show Like a Pro

Article by Taryn Tipton

Photography by Exploredinary, Cindy Vassell, Andrew Disney, Robin Cathey

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

It’s usually a sleepy community of less than 100 year-round residents. But Round Top, Texas, transforms into a bustling hub of activity twice a year for the fall and spring antique shows. Pastures typically dotted with cows are cleared and mowed as this small town becomes the epicenter of the biggest treasure hunt in the country. The Round Top Antiques Show has garnered national attention; it’s been featured on popular home and design programs like Fixer Upper and Why the Heck Did I Buy This House?!. Drawing crowds of thousands, it has become a must-visit destination for vintage enthusiasts and design aficionados. 

There’s definitely a learning curve for the uninitiated. Round Top's antique show is not a singular event but a collection of dozens of shows stretching over 20 miles, each with its own opening days, entrance fees, and distinct selection of merchandise. The sheer number of venues, vendors, and items can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

For those who enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of a great bargain, the fields of Warrenton offer an unparalleled selection. Regardless of your budget or style, something will speak to every shopper. Karla Hinze, owner of the Campbell Building in Warrenton, explains: “You can find light fixtures or furniture for home remodels, taxidermy, neon signs, great art, custom Louis Vuittons, home furnishings, handmade soaps, clothing, plants, vintage furs, and beautiful jewelry.” In addition to the shopping, Warrenton boasts a festival-like atmosphere with live music spilling from barns next to food trucks and tents selling margaritas, beer, and mimosas.

For the most discerning shoppers, Marburger Farm Antique Show provides a curated experience with air-conditioned restrooms, a food court, parking shuttles, and complimentary Wi-Fi, making the shopping experience comfortable for the entire day. The show features artful displays, strict rules for dealers, each with their own aesthetic, and high-end antiques worldwide. It’s not unusual to spot a celebrity or high-end designer exploring the booths here.

How to Find the Best Items
- Timing is critical for those seeking the finest finds and best deals regardless of where you shop. The widest selection is available at the show's beginning, while some of the best deals are often found towards the end.  
- Tracy Blacketer, show manager of Marburger Farms, encourages shoppers to interact with dealers. “Our dealers know all the stories and history and can guide you in finding exactly what you need — or even what you didn't know you needed. Ask for input and advice; many of our dealers are interior designers, which makes them a great resource of inspiration, expertise, and help.”
- Negotiation is welcome, especially when purchasing multiple items. Robin Cathey, a dealer in Bar W Fields in Warrenton, suggests, “Cash is king! Some dealers don’t have great cell service, so they can’t take credit cards. Some dealers may be able to haggle on a price, and others can’t or won’t. But whichever you run into, always be courteous.” 

How to Have the Best Experience
- Hinze says to make the most of your trip, “I recommend coming early. We open at 9:00 am every day during the show. You can get good parking and hit the ground running.”
- Dress appropriately for the outdoor setting with closed-toed shoes and layers to tackle the unpredictable weather and uneven terrain. Blacketer laughs, “This is a cow pasture in Texas, after all!” Round Top is known for cowboy boots and creative, bohemian outfits, but ultimately, all the veteran shoppers and dealers agree that sensibility reigns. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and a crossbody purse or backpack to carry essentials and small purchases.
- Cathey suggests practical tips, “Drop a pin on Google Maps to remember where you parked and mark any favorite booths you want to return to. Make sure to stay hydrated—you can bring your own food and drinks in the fields.”
- The area offers several luxe and quirky lodging options and surprisingly elevated dining establishments for those looking to extend their trips. However, book in advance as reservations fill up quickly. Hinze offers insight for a more prolonged visit: “There is so much to see, so, if possible, allow yourself more than just a day of shopping. Zapp Hall Prom is a must if you find yourself in Warrenton on the last Thursday of the show! It’s unlike anything else with people dressed in costumes, live music, and shopping after dark.” 

Even if you don't make a purchase, embrace the holistic experience, revel in live music, and explore the unexpected; the energy and browsing alone are sure to spark inspiration for styling and DIY projects. So whether you're searching for the perfect piece or are simply eager for a unique adventure, the Round Top Antiques Show promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Texas's antique country. As Blacketer puts it, "It is not just an antique show; it's a road trip destination!" | Spring Show: March 14-31 | Fall Show: October 10-27

  • Marburger Farms
  • Campbell Building
  • Campbell Building
  • Marburger Farms
  • Red Barn
  • Bar W Fields
  • Blue Hill
  • (Photo by Exploredinary)
  • (Photo by Exploredinary)