Whether you’ve organized one yourself, stopped at one you’ve spotted from the car, or you frequent established and organized ones, we all enjoy a good yard sale. Curiosity drives us to explore people’s displays of no-longer-needed home goods, books, records, clothing, trinkets, furniture and more. Sometimes you might score a major deal on a sought-after item or collectible. Many people even “flip” older items and restore them with fresh polish or a coat of paint. Well, what if we told you there was a bigger yard sale out there … so big that it spans six states?
The 127 Yard Sale, named for Highway 127, is literally the world’s longest yard sale. It spans a whopping 690 miles and passes through six states. The yard sale begins in Michigan, then continues through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia until it ends in Alabama. Here’s your guide to shopping, eating and exploring the 127 Yard Sale — happening August 1 through 4 — like a pro!
Where it Began
This record-breaking yard sale was started in 1987 by Mike Walker, a native Tennessean. As a former county executive, Mike wanted to showcase the charm and character of small towns. The 127 Yard Sale was created with Tennessee tourism in mind, however, with its expansion into six states, the sale brings attention to many small towns along its route. Travelers attending the sale take back roads instead of highways. In so doing, they get to experience not only the 690-mile-long strip of vendors, but also the historical attractions, state parks and rural towns along the way.
Where to Shop
With a yard sale 690 miles long, where do you start? If you live in one of the six states the sale passes through, you can search for vendors in your area on the yard sale’s website. Or, you can check out one of the 127 Yard Sale’s “vendor hubs,” where hundreds of vendors gather. For example, the largest hub is in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, where there are more than 400 vendors.
The 127 Yard Sale has room for just about every type of product, including antiques, home goods, auto parts, clothing, toys, farm equipment and much more. Robin Brown, the blogger behind Junk is My Life and 17-year veteran attendee of the 127 Yard Sale, says the sale “is truly a treasure hunter’s delight … I have seen coffins, a vintage bullet-ridden car and everything from antiques to new items.” The most interesting thing she’s seen? A horse walking on a treadmill to provide the power to churn an ice cream maker on an Amish farm in Liberty, Kentucky. While the sale has a variety of oddities, we’re confident you can find just as many diamond-in-the-rough furniture and decor pieces.
Where to Eat
For all the shopping the 127 Yard Sale has to offer, finding food to fuel your adventure is a must. Robin and other bloggers recommend packing some snacks, as food can sometimes be “few and far between.” However, there are some local food stops along the 690-mile route to keep an eye out for.
While you can find chain restaurants close by, Robin recommends supporting the local businesses. “Eat at the mom and pop establishments and local food vendors, particularly if a church is offering breakfast or lunch,” she says. Additionally, Robin says to take the opportunity to try fried pies and fresh peaches from roadside produce stands. Lastly, old-time ice cream shops along the route, such as at Pioneer Antiques in Kentucky, are a must-try!
What to Bring + Some Tips
Whether you go for one day or four, you’ll want to pack a few key items. Shopping is a lot of work, and stocking a cooler with snacks and drinks will keep your energy up. Plus, with the majority of the yard sale being outside, it is important to stay hydrated and use sunscreen. Robin smartly recommends bringing packing materials to keep your finds secure. She brings bubble wrap, tote bags and a tool kit in case she needs to take apart a larger furniture item. Lastly, having cash is helpful, as some vendors do not take credit or debit cards. Find a full checklist HERE.
If you plan on shopping for more than one day, Robin says to book hotel rooms early. “Route 127 runs primarily through small towns, and hotels fill up quickly along the route. I book at least six months in advance.” While we’re clearly within six months, if hotels are scant, at least you can start planning for next year.
Robin gives us some final takeaway points: “Take some time to take in the scenery. This country is beautiful, and there are prime examples of its beauty all along the 127 sale route … just enjoy the trip, whether you spend one day or several. Making memories with friends and family will be the most important treasure you find.”
The 127 Yard Sale happens the first weekend in August (Thursday through Sunday), which makes it a perfect summer weekend activity. With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be able to navigate every inch the world’s longest yard sale.
Thank you, Robin, for your insider tips and photos! Check out Robin’s blog HERE.
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