Established in 2004, the Historic National Road Yard Sale on US 40 stretches 800-plus miles across the heart of “Main Street of America” from Maryland to Missouri. The 200-year-old scenic bypass showcases the country’s diverse beauty from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Steeped in the legacy of westward pioneers, US 40 Yard Sale is a trail that beckons antique enthusiasts to explore.
The Historic National Road Yard Sale draws thousands of visitors. According to some reports, the annual event pulls in tens of thousands. Crowds, however, are dispersed throughout six member states. The sale typically begins the Wednesday after Memorial Day and runs for five days. Like many highway flea markets, vendors are open from dawn to dusk. While early birds can have their pick of the lot, late comers might score better deals.
Yet, possibilities are as vast as the open road. Visitors will discover everything from antiques and vintage to common yard sale knick knacks. Among the products to expect are primitive furniture and kitchenware as well as retro embroidered patches and clothing. In one participating county alone is a 66-mile loop with over 1200 antique dealers known as “Antique Alley.”
In addition to quality antiques and collectibles, residents and community organizations set up booths along the route. The result is win-win. Merchandise can be an unpredictable assortment of both upscale and affordable items. Patrons might find heirlooms alongside thrift store trinkets. Crafts also run the gamut, from intricate leatherwork to jewelry and beadwork.
A special perk of the Historic National Road Yard Sale is the opportunity to overnight in classic inns. For example, family-owned rustic lodges and kitschy motels pepper US 40 roadsides. Wherever travelers rest, miles of antiques will delight collectors far and wide.
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