31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale

Spanning 150 Miles From Louisville to Nashville

Shoppers at highway yard sale
Oliver Strewe/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

The 31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale is held along U.S. 31W, also known as the Dixie Highway. The annual yard sale spans approximately 150 miles, from Louisville, Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee. This historic highway started as a buffalo trail before becoming Kentucky's first paved highway. Today it lures those seeking to turn other people's trash into treasure.

Dates

The 31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale is held the second weekend in September, Thursday through Sunday. Expect these dates:

  • 2018 Dates: September 6 through September 9
  • 2019 Dates: September 12 through September 15
  • 2020 Dates: September 10 through September 13

Along the Way

While you're in the area, enjoy local attractions like the Lost River Cave and the Shaker Museum. The route includes the Civil War battlefields of Munfordville. However, note that this route usually lacks the food stands and festivals seen at some other long garage sale routes.

31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale Shopping Tips

To make the most of your expeditions, use these tips:

  • Look for signs pointing the way to church and off-highway yard sales. Not everyone in the participating communities has a property right on the route.
  • Watch for clustered sales in fields and parking lots.
  • Some shoppers in recent years report that Kentucky has a lot more yard sales than Tennessee during the event. If you don't have time to travel the entire sale, prioritize the Kentucky end of the route.
  • Study up on the highway yard sale shopping tips and etiquette. Haggling on prices is expected, but you will do better later in the day or near the end of the weekend. But also know that the good stuff usually goes early, so try to shop in the area where you are most likely to find what you are seeking. Pack your treasure hunting tools and gear as well.
  • September still feels like summer when you're in the south. Wear lightweight layers you can add and remove depending on the time of day, and load your car with an ice chest full of cold drinks. Make sure you wear sunscreen.
  • Stash some boxes, bubble wrap, and newsprint in your trunk. You may need it to wrap and pack fragile finds for the trip home.
  • Always bring a good amount of small bills so you won't be stuck making change. Most purchases will require cash.

Selling at the 31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale

If you'd like to sell at the 31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale but don't live on the route, call (270) 670-3741 or contact the local Chamber of Commerce in your preferred area. They may know of group sale locations along the route where you can rent selling space.

If you're selling off of the main route, make yard sale signs to direct shoppers to your off-highway sale. Place them (in legal locations) so that shoppers driving the route from both directions can read them and see the arrows pointing the way to your yard sale

If you have property along the yard sale route (or if someone you know does), talk to friends, family, and neighbors about joining forces to have a group sale. It's always better to have more people working the sale and bigger sales attract more shoppers.

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