Hunting in the Hill Country
Living with Leah
by Leah Ashley
Photographs by Harper Smith
With Austin growing as fast as it is, it can feel like our favorite secret spots aren’t so secret anymore. Whether it’s your go-to second-hand store, swimming hole or even your neighborhood coffee shop, it feels like there are people everywhere these days. What were once staples of my treasure hunting sprees, now, at times, feel picked over and over-priced.
Luckily, central Texas has an abundance of small towns just outside of the city, each with something unique to offer. And by “offer,” I am referring to junk – the good kind! If you love an estate sale, thrift store or flea market as much as I do, then heading for the hills – as in the Hill Country. It’s not only the recipe for a great day, it’s also the place to find a great deal. Here’s a few of my favorites, all just down the road in Wimberley, Texas.
450 River Road
The Village Store is a nonprofit retail store that supports local charities. It is comprised of three separate buildings all on the same property. The main shop looks most like a thrift store with housewares, clothing and furniture neatly separated and displayed. Next to that is “The Boutique,” housed in a charming vintage home. Here, you will find higher-end items such as collectibles, china and antiques. Across the parking lot is the “Builder’s Barn” where you can source light fixtures, building materials and tools at bargain basement prices. They’re open Tuesday through Saturday, 9am – 2pm.
601 FM 2325
Market Days in Wimberley started in 1964 when everyone in town got together and exchanged livestock, handmade goods and tamales out of the back of their trucks. Fast forward to 2019 and Wimberley Market Days can attract up to 500 vendors. You can find pretty much everything at Market Days. From handmade soaps to antiques to clothing, loads of junk and,of course, tons of BBQ. Market Days take place the first Saturday of every month from March through December and admission is free. Open 7am – 4pm.
14000 Ranch Road 12
For a more curated vintage selection, I always head straight to Unknowable You right on Ranch Road 12 in the heart of Wimberley. The shop is well put together with an amazing selection of affordable vintage clothing, art, accessories, and furniture. The vibe is hip and the store is oh, so cool! It’s open everyday from 11am – 5:30pm.
11552 Ranch Road 12
Tucked away on a hillside right off of Ranch Road 12, this little hidden gem really does have it all. With over 20 vendor booths to peruse, you are sure to find something that you won’t be able to leave without. The merchandise is constantly changing and includes furniture, pottery, kitchenware, tools and vintage clothing. Stepping into Jean’s is like stepping back in time. Jean’s is open everyday from 10:30am – 5:30pm.
2101 Lone Man Mountain Road
If you love a good treasure hunt, then Life Changes is a can’t-miss shopping destination. This resale shop is located off the beaten path. After a scenic drive past open fields, Longhorn cattle and ranch houses, you stumble upon what looks like someone’s front yard. That’s because this resale shop is housed in a substantial shed on private property. You can find just about everything here from art to jewelry to furniture of all kinds. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday, 9am – 3pm.