One of the oldest and largest outdoor markets in Texas is located a short drive from Austin in the beautiful town of Wimberely. Held on the first Saturday of the month from March to December, the market boasts nearly 500 different stalls with a variety of items to please everyone. As a fan of flea markets and antique stores, Wimberely Market Days had been on my Bucket List for quite some time.
What started in 1964 as a small market in Wimberley’s town square where people sold everything from pigs to homemade tamales out of the backs of their trucks, quickly grew into what Market Days is now. The local Lions Club assumed management and bought the current land where the market sits in 1972.
Eager to see what I could find at this market, I headed out super early (sans kids!) on a Saturday morning to be sure to get there early enough to find good deals and to find parking, as I had heard that the line to get in could be quite long. I decided to leave the house at 6:00 a.m. with an arrival time shortly after the 7 a.m. opening time. Admittedly, getting up that early on a Saturday is a challenge but the quiet car, sunrise and hot cup of coffee all helped motivate me to look for that one-of-a-kind item that I couldn’t live without.
The drive to Wimberley, located south of Austin between Dripping Springs and San Marcos, is scenic – depending mostly on the route that you take. Coming from the north Austin area, I drove south on I-35 to San Marcos. Once off the interstate, I really enjoyed driving the more serene back country roads shaded by oak trees.
The first advantage of arriving early: I found parking in the lot right outside of the entrance without waiting in a long line. There was also no line at the ATM or snack bar for that second cup of coffee and a breakfast taco that help charge up my energy reserves for some major shopping!
Speaking of food, there are seven concession stands located throughout the market selling everything from Texas b-b-q, wine and beer, hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks, frozen yogurt and more. The Lions Pavillion is a large area that has plenty of seats and tables to eat at, shade and live music.
The vendor stalls really have a little something for everyone. There are antiques, new items, clothing, plants, maybe even a little junk to rifle through. But hey…. one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? There are even items that used to belong to dead people. Hmmmm….
I managed to buy an old German bread box that I’ve wanted for years, a shabby chic vase, a couple of super cute and inexpensive tablecloths (freshly washed and pressed, even), a framed piece of art and more for under $150. I had a great day meandering in and out of all of the stalls, people watching and enjoying the laid back feel of the market. By the time it started to get busy, I was done with my shopping and made it back home in time for dinner with the family!
Speaking of family, if you want to bring the kids along, the market is fairly kid-friendly with paved walkways that make stroller pushing easier.
Wimberley Market Days
Location: Lions Field, 601 FM 2325 (about 1/4 mile from its junction with RR12)
Cost: FREE admission. Parking cost is $5 per vehicle.
2015 Fall Dates:
Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Note: Leave the dogs at home! No pets allowed.
More information: http://www.shopmarketdays.com