Our Best “Worlds Longest Yard Sale” Shopping Tips
Let’s shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale on Highway 127’s Lookout Mountain Parkway Highway.
The annual August concept of the World’s Longest Yard Sale is to pull people off the interstates and back into the heartland of rural, scenic America.
The event encourages businesses and residents to participate in each community’s unique cultural heritage by having yard sales, sidewalk sales and special promotions for a continuous stretch from one end of the sale route to the other.
We’ve all heard the saying “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” and that adage holds true as this event brings people together from all across the country and from around the world to barter and haggle over things that may have been stored in a garage or an attic somewhere for years.
The pleasure we derive from rummaging through someone’s junk, hoping to find something unique and maybe even discovering an item worth a lot to you but the seller says, “I’ll take .50 cents for that.” Those words are music to every savvy thrifter’s ears.
If traveling this famous route is on your bucket list, we’d like to help make sure you make the most of this once in a lifetime experience.
The yard sale brings about various questions from people that are new to the event.
We hope these tips will help give you a better understanding of how to make the most of the journey.
Who organizes the event?
The event was created by tourism officials in Tennessee, but rely on community support from each town and/or county tourism and chamber office to promote the event in their regions. The success of the sales depend on coordination from each community.
How do I become a vendor?
Anyone can be a vendor by simply having a yard sale in their yard, at their business or setting up in designated vendor places. Many communities have different places were vendors from within and outside of that town or city can set up a booth. The main thing is to be sure you have permission from the land owner to set up a booth. Usually the more the merrier therefore clusters of vendors are commonly found along the route.
What can I sell?
Almost anything! Popular is junk, antiques, collectibles, dishes and glassware, to farm implements, food items, produce and more. Some things to consider however are business licenses and health department permits. Each town has different rules and regulations so be sure to check with the local City Hall and Health Department where you set up your booth for any licenses or permits you may need to purchase.
Where does it start?
The current length of the World’s Longest Yard Sale takes you from Gadsden, AL to Addison, MI. You might decide to start at the southern end and travel north or right the opposite. You may decide to jump on board anywhere in between. Parking may be limited in some areas to virtually impossible in other places to ample. It depends on the area. The yard sale routes become narrow country roads in many places but don’t let that discourage you. VERY IMPORTANT – be cautious of the driver in front of you and pedestrians on the roadway – be patient and a parking space will present itself.
Where are the Yard Sales?
Yard sales can be found along the route at homes located on the designated route, in business parking lots, alongside streets adjacent to the route, in wide open fields and pastures (remember, these roads pass through beautiful rural areas with farms and some of the most awesome scenery you will find anywhere), and basically anywhere people can find to set up. Some areas will have large numbers of vendors in one group, others may be scattered and in some instances you may travel for several miles or more without seeing a yard sale because of the distances between homes on the country roads.
Is there an entry fee?
You should never have to pay admission. The event was not set up for that purpose. It is free to participate however some vendor spaces may charge a nominal rental fee to allow you to set up a booth.
What's the best time to shop?
Each vendor is on their own and can choose when they want to begin but typically vendors are active by 8:00 A.M. and operate until late in the evening.
Can I ship items home?
Definitely! You found something you just had to have but don’t have room to load in your vehicle? Many communities have shipping centers and of course Post Offices. They will be glad to work with you to get your items home so you can continue on the yard sale route.
How long does each stop take?
That depends on how disciplined you are and how much ground you want to travel in one day. If you have to stop at every yard sale then it may take you awhile. It is easy enough to “cruise” the yard sales and travel a modest distance but it also easy to get caught up in the event and spend 3 to 4 hours in one area. Pre-Plan. Decide in advance how much time you want to spend in each area and try to stick with your plan. But most of all – have a good time and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Where can I stay?
There are plenty of accommodations located along the way. Making reservations is a wise decision but you have to have a plan and be disciplined to make your destination for the night. Getting a room may be difficult if you wait too late in the day to find a place but not impossible, so we suggest planning ahead if possible.
Helpful Suggestions include:
- Drive a large car. You never know what oversize treasures you might unexpectedly find.
- Bring items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and mosquito repellant, to protect yourself from the elements. It’s hot and humid in this part of the country and the sun can roast you even on a cloudy day.
- Wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of fluids, chances are you’ll be doing a lot of walking. It is usually very warm and all the walking and activities can drain you before you know it. Don’t succumb to a heat stroke or dehydration.
- Many vendors don’t take credit cards or checks, so bring cash.
- Get out there early! Though there are hundreds of vendors who sell all day long from sunup to past sundown, you’ll be competing with thousands of other shoppers. And as with any yard sale, the good stuff goes quickly.
- Be very cautious of other vehicles. You will often find yourself looking off on the sides of the road at the yard sales and before you know it the vehicle in front of you has come to a stop. Be alert.
- Watch for pedestrians.
- Take pictures and share your journey by tagging @VisitLookoutMountain
- Enjoy YOUR America!