Upping the ante on your average stoop sale, the World’s Longest Yard Sale (www.127sale.com) sets up shop along 654 miles of America’s rural byways from August 6 to 9 for its 22nd year . Starting in West Unity, Ohio (a little over an hour from Toledo), the sale continues south on U.S. Route 127 through Kentucky and Tennessee; then switches to the Lookout Mountain Parkway, where it hits Georgia; and finally ends in Gadsden, Alabama.
Wondering where to start? Here we give you three charming towns that serve as perfect entry points to a long weekend of wheeling and dealing the old-fashioned way.
- Harrodsburg, Kentucky
VISIT Get a glimpse of a simpler life -- and chow on Martha Stewart–approved Southern comfort food -- at the beautifully restored Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. www.shakervillageky.org
STAY The Beaumont Inn was once an all-girls’ school, but it now provides a comfy bed-and-breakfast retreat, not to mention it has an impressive bourbon collection in its tavern. www.beaumontinn.com
A flight into this southern city lands you smack in the middle of the yard-sale trail.
DO Visit the 350-plus-vendor Chattanooga Market on Sunday to stock up on fresh produce, locally made crafts, and more. www.chattanoogamarket.com
CLIMB Hop across the state line to Georgia’s Lookout Mountain and take in Rock City’s panoramic views of seven states. www.seerockcity.com
Explore nearby Birmingham before tackling the sale from its southernmost point.
VISIT Relive the struggles and victories of the civil rights movement at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. www.bcri.org
EAT Cool off with an icy cocktail and haute cuisine at Highlands Bar and Grill, nominated this year for a James Beard Foundation Award. www.highlandsbarandgrill.com
BEST BUYS FROM LAST YEAR’S SALE
/ VINTAGE GUITAR Paul Kreft of Blue Ash, Ohio, scored a “very cool ’68 Univox bass guitar” for just $25 in northern Kentucky. / SIGNS Aaron Draplin of Portland, Oregon, was excited to find old plastic-letter signs for 10 bucks apiece . Turns out, he would have even paid $100. / TOYS Natalie Mathis of Florence, Kentucky, added to her antique-toy collection for mere pennies from a vendor in southern Kentucky.