MADE YOU LOOK!
By Janis Turk
Antiques anyone? Where to look for South Central Texas’ best antiques, fabulous finds, knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, retro furnishings, salvage materials, and more
So many of us love a fun girls’ shopping trip. It’s not so much about buying anything; it’s about being together. Besides, it’s just fun to look.
Texas is filled with so many great antique shows, flea market fairs, market days, and sweet little boutique shops that it’d be impossible to name all our favorites here. Still, we thought we’d mention a few that make you stop and look.
Round Top & Warrenton
Twice a year, more than 100,000 shoppers descend on small towns in rural Texas, not far from LaGrange, to shop at more than 60 antique, collector, decor, and fashion shows in barns, dance halls, tents, and fields for the bi-annual Round Top – Warrenton Texas Antique Shows. Here you’ll find an almost overwhelming array of vintage collectibles, jewelry, apparel, home decor, furniture, architectural and industrial salvage, antiques, and more. According to the Antique Shows’ website, “All the great shopping takes place in more than a half dozen small rural Texas communities at a midpoint between Houston and Austin.” Peruse the treasures of 2,000 antique, collectible, and craft vendors and dealers and make a long weekend of it. Shows take place in spring and fall each year, and popular spots like the Marburger Farm Antique Show at Round Top are teeming with shoppers. Perhaps just begin in LaGrange and head toward Round Top, stopping along the way. TIP: Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a light jacket and umbrella, and pack bottled water; this kind of hard-core shopping trip is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s often hot, and it’s always crowded. Finding a hotel or B&B isn’t easy, so book months ahead. Don’t miss a stop for pie at Royer’s Round Top Café.
Geronimo & Seguin
Five adjacent buildings and numerous different vendors call home the Blue Hills Antique Mall in the tiny hamlet of Geronimo. This is a one-flashing-light-type town just northwest of Seguin off Interstate 10 along North Highway 123. While there, look for another adorable shop, Glory B! The owner’s great taste in all things old and wonderful leans toward shabby chic. Then take a look around downtown Seguin, which has a few cute antique malls and shops (the Father Christmas Shop is a favorite!) a mere steps from the courthouse and the “World’s Largest Pecan.” There the “Third Thursday” nights keep downtown shops open late. TIP: Line up early for some of the best barbecue in the state at the James Beard-nominated Burnt Bean or at an old-school favorite, Davila’s Barbecue.
Serious shoppers, especially those restoring antique homes and buildings, have all heard about Discovery Architectural Antiques in Luling. There you’ll find antique doors and hardware, old windows and stained glass, antique tubs and sinks, reclaimed lumber and antique lighting, antique furniture, and more. Discovery is but one of several great spots in Luling for antiques, boutiques, home décor, and more.
Comfort & Boerne
Little downtown Comfort northwest of San Antonio along I-10 has several darling shops you’ll want to see. Although the town is tiny, spread out over a few short blocks are a lot of great shops. Spend a day shopping in both Boerne and Comfort for a full day of fun. TIP: Stay in Comfort at the delightful, historic, downtown Hotel Giles. Most San Antonio Women already know all about Boerne. It’s time you went back! Start your stroll on Main Street: shops here hold more high-end style than flea market finds, though there are antique malls and mom-and-pop shops with bargains, too. On the second weekend of each month in the downtown plaza, Boerne hosts its popular Market Days on Saturdays and Sundays.
The “Gateway to the Hill Country,” Wimberley is an adorable little town known for its busy First Saturday Market Days each month, March through December. This is the Hill Country’s largest outdoor market. Numerous other boutique shops, antique barns, artists’ markets, and boutique shops are scattered throughout the downtown area, as well. TIP: Stop at one of Wimberley’s ice cream shops, the Wimberley Pie Company, or a popular new Charcuterie eatery, Los Olivos Market.
Gruene & New Braunfels
In the tiny former “ghost town” (now a popular tourist spot) of Gruene, Old Gruene Market Days are held the third full weekend of each month, February through November, and the first weekend of December. In neighboring New Braunfels, visit its many antique shops and home décor, clothing, and jewelry boutiques within steps of its circular town plaza. TIP: Visit 2Tarts Bakery or the historic Naegelin’s German Bakery if you have a sweet tooth.
Fredericksburg’s Main Street (and surrounding streets too) are lined with unique and interesting shops, and on the weekend of the Third Saturday of each month, Fredericksburg hosts trade days at “Sunday Farms” seven miles east of downtown on Highway 290. Look through the goods of 350 vendors in seven barns for acres and acres of shopping, food, drinks, and live music fun. TIP: Be sure to stop and check out a Hill Country winery on the way if you have a designated driver.