There is no better place to get fresh fruits and vegetables than the local farmers market. Not only are the goods fresh and usually organic, but you also have the opportunity to stand and talk to the person who grew them. But these North Carolina farmers markets aren’t just about the veggies. In fact, you can make a whole morning or afternoon out of it, sampling desserts and wine, smelling homemade soaps and bath salts, and listening to some live music.
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Davidson Farmers Market, Davidson (Nearby Hotels)
The Davidson Farmers Market is a year-round market that features goods from more than 35 local farmers and producers from within a 100-mile radius. The market includes produce, cheese, seafood, meat, prepared foods, donuts, popsicles, flowers, bath products, fresh bread and more. It takes place every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. during the months of April to October, and select weekends from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from November to March. During the months of June to October, you also can enjoy live music from local musicians, while the kids play on the playground in the center of the market.
State Farmers Market, Raleigh (Nearby Hotels)
The State Farmers Market in Raleigh is one of four regional farmers markets that are owned by the state of North Carolina. This massive market is spread across multiple buildings, each with its own theme. The Farmers Building is a whopping 30,000 square feet of fresh produce and plants. The Market Shoppes is a 15,600-square-foot, climate-controlled building that features more produce, as well as meats, cheeses, baked goods, crafts, candies, soaps, lotions and local wines. The Market Imports contains over 2 acres of architectural elements, furniture, pottery and other unique items from around the world. There is also a Truckers Building and a Wholesale Terminal for commercial and large volume purchases. But perhaps the most unique part of this market is the three on-site restaurants: The Market Grill, The State Farmers Market Restaurant, and a seafood restaurant. The State Farmers Market in Raleigh is open seven days a week all year long, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Western North Carolina Farmers Market, Asheville (Nearby Hotels)
The Western North Carolina Farmers Market in Asheville is another year-round market owned by the state of North Carolina and operated by the NC Department of Agriculture. The market sits on a beautiful 36-acre site near downtown Asheville and offers beautiful views of both the mountains and nearby Biltmore Estate. Here, you’ll find a variety of products including produce, jams and jellies, honey, breads, cookies, and craft items. There is also an on-site nursery that sells plants and shrubs, as well as a café that serves three meals a day. Although it is open seven days a week all year round, it does close one hour earlier (at 5 p.m.) during the months of November to March, as opposed to the rest of the year when it is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, Charlotte (Nearby Hotels)
Also operated by the NC Department of Agriculture, the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market features something for everyone including fresh produce, pork products, grass-fed beef, goat cheese, baked goods, wine, jams and jellies, homemade soap, fresh cut flowers and more. Since it’s conveniently located on Yorkmont Road, it is easily accessible from both Interstates 77 and 85. The market is open year round, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (October to April) and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (May to September). During the summer, the market opens on Sundays from 12-6 p.m.
Carrboro Farmers Market, Carrboro (Nearby Hotels)
The Carrboro Farmers Market was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest local farmers markets in the state of North Carolina. It’s also one of only a few markets that require the farms’ owners to be present at their stand during operating hours, which helps foster personal relationships between the farmers and the consumers. The Carrboro Market is considered one of the most eclectic farmers markets in the state and often is home to some very unique varieties of produce and other food items. In the past, farmers here have sold specialty figs, lacto-fermented sauerkraut and kimchi, and even a whopping 60 varieties of tomatoes. Over 75 market members sell locally produced goods here, including produce, pasture raised meats, cheeses, breads, eggs, baked goods, crafts, rugs, woodworking items, pottery, baskets and more. You can check out this market Saturdays year round or on Wednesdays from April to November.