Visit one of The Peddler Show Tour's events, and you'll likely see some smiling faces among the other shoppers in attendance. It seems like there's nearly always someone grinning widely, having just discovered a perfect gift. It might be a necklace from Nan's Precious Pearls, a bottle of lotion from Salve All Natural Skin Care, or a tin of indulgent sweets from The Caramel Candy Co. Or maybe it's all of the above.
The Peddler Show Tour has been connecting Texan shoppers with boutique gifts and housewares for well over three decades, but the show has never been stronger than it is today, with 26 events hosted annually across the state. Even frequent shoppers can find something new on each excursion, since hundreds of different merchants and boutiques apply to participate. While many come for the clothing, jewelry, and household items, others stop by to sample gourmet foods or purchase a bed frame made of fudge.
The BoardHouse Surf & Skate’s knowledgeable staff helps wave riders and rail sliders stand out in the extreme-sport crowd with stylish clothing items and accessories. Warm chilled craniums or hide comical cartoon head bumps with a black Neff Love beanie ($17). A pair of sky-blue Billabong board shorts ($44.50) blazes a soggy path through oceanic surroundings, and an Electric Jackson T-shirt ($19) sports a trendy homage to famous lightning bolts. Not content to merely swaddle thrill-seekers' torsos, The BoardHouse also houses a cache of Channel Islands surf boards, VonZipper sunglasses, Freestyle watches, and an adoring gaggle of merfolk from a variety of name-brand labels.
In both its physical and virtual incarnations, Enchantments Scrapbooking & More carries a massive collection of supplies for the crafty memory keeper. An array of albums opens up the creative arena, ranging from the Victorian elegance of the 6"x6" Artisan design with its black and white floral pattern ($12.99), to the impressionistic naturalism of the Susan Winget Botanical 12"x12" album ($19.99). For an expansion of the artistic space, Enchantments stocks row upon row of paper, great for plastering with pictures or folding into elegant headwear.
Port Aransas Beach stretches for six miles along Mustang Island, one of Texas's largest barrier islands. Island Hotel Port Aransas sits just a mile from the beach, and you can sense it in the hotel's decor: palm trees stand sentinel outside, and guest rooms feature bright colors and decorative starfish. It's a quick stroll to get to Port Aransas Beach, where fishing boats bob in the water and colorful boutiques line the boardwalk. You can also use the hotel's outdoor pool if you want to take a swim or make a large batch of Kool-Aid. In the morning, guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast. There are also barbecue pits and a picnic area outside if you want to have an impromptu cookout.