Nicknamed the “Happenin,” the US 11 Antique Alley and Yard Sale is certainly a hub for vintage lovers. Over 30,000 visitors travel the 502-mile route. Shopping for antiques and collectibles spans five states and 80 participating towns from Meridian, Mississippi to Bristol, Virginia. If exploring backroads of southern Appalachia sounds appealing, US 11 is the place to be.
Discover historic cities and charming downtowns along the way, including Birmingham, Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Dade County Georgia and Reece City, Alabama. Each community can have 100 booths or more. Merchants set up by courthouse squares, residential lawns and fields, and antique storefronts.
Started in 1997, US 11 Antique Alley is held annually on a four-day weekend after Mother’s Day. Hours are loose, but sunrise is a common start time. Anticipate a variety of goods. In past years buyers found Mid Century metal gliders and wrought iron patio furniture, garden accessories and architectural salvage. Additionally, pick up Coca-Cola memorabilia and signage, railroad lanterns and model cars, cameras and instruments.
Artisans are on site too. Look for jars of local honey, funky sculptural artwork and crochet designs. Prices range, but watch for new and vintage quilts. Of course, food is a highway yard sale perk. The region is known for buttery corn on the cob, fried chicken, barbecue, boiled peanuts, sweet tea and craft beers.
Antiques come first, but towns plan special events during the “Happenin.” Country bands and bluegrass pickers play music in mountainside parks. If near Chattanooga, tune in Saturday morning to the fun and informative “Radio Garage Sale” broadcast. Or catch a drive-in movie at the world’s largest outdoor theater in Trenton, Georgia.
US 11 Antique Alley and Yard Sale is a lively festival from start to finish. Indeed, hundreds of vendors make this sale too good to miss.