Fall in Florida is the perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. The weather is still warm, and the season just begs you to reconnect with the land and explore the Sunshine State’s natural beauty. A great place to escape the hustle and bustle and take in some old Florida charm this fall is Martin County on the state’s east coast. This area is teeming with naturally quaint communities and has a rich agricultural history that provides plenty of opportunities to revel in the natural offerings of the Sunshine State. Whether it’s a day at the farm or an annual festival, Martin County has something for everyone this fall.
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Enjoy Concerts on the Farm
Spend a night outdoors at Kai-Kai Farm’s Music Garden with fresh, farm-to-table dishes and live music. This local farm in Indiantown serves up many different flavors for your palate and your musical tastes. The half-acre garden hosts national and local musical acts on a state-of-the-art outdoor stage while chefs serve up gourmet creations featuring local seasonal fare. Guests can take it all in while seated under the screened polebarn that overlooks the farm’s crops. It’s truly a farm-to-table concert venue.
Visit Pumpkin Towne
When you think of fall, pumpkins come to mind and luckily Stuart and Jensen Beach are home to one of the most popular pumpkin patches in South Florida. Pumpkin Towne in Stuart offers families a place to bring the kids — or kids at heart — to an authentic pumpkin patch where you can find your perfect pumpkin for carving, decorating, or making a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin Towne is only open from early October through Halloween, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 7 days a week.
Shop the Green Market
Visit downtown Stuart on Sunday mornings for a taste of Martin County at the Stuart Green Market. This weekly market is the region’s premiere destination for local goods. Get your pick of fresh produce, seasonal flowers, local honey, fresh-baked breads, goat milk and cheeses, as well as handcrafted soaps, organic spice blends and more. Vendors gather in front of City Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family Fun at the Fall Festivals
The season isn’t complete without a visit to an annual fall festival, and Martin County has two you can attend in October. The Annual Stuart Fall Craft Festival is a great place to kick off your holiday shopping, with local vendors selling jewelry, paintings, sculptures and more. The event takes place alongside the more than 70 shops and restaurants in downtown Stuart, so you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. Meanwhile, Palm City hosts its annual Fall Fest at Citrus Grove Community Park each October. This event is free and includes a parade, car show, food, arts and crafts, and more. These fall festivities are a great way to enjoy all things local in Martin County.
Travel Back in Time on Historic Horse Trails
Martin County has plenty of scenic waterways and beautiful beaches, but there’s no better way to see the area’s old Florida charm than by hidden horse trails. Many of the county’s historic trails are found in state parks, including the protected Parklands at Jonathan Dickson State Park in Hobe Sound. The park offers guided horseback rides and horse-drawn tram tours that wind through cypress and pine flatwoods. Meanwhile, the 70 miles of trails at Palm City Farms predate the 1920s and are excellent for horseback riding. Martin County is home to a thriving equestrian community and http://www.growninmartin.com has a full list of ranches that offer horseback trail rides.
Pick Your Own Produce
There’s nothing better than a fresh tomato picked right from the vine, and you can enjoy this simple pleasure at 710 U-Pick in Indiantown. This family-owned and operated business has been serving the communities in Martin County for more than 30 years and offers visitors the chance to pick their own fresh vegetables throughout the season. The farm has a variety of vegetables to pick from, including tomatoes, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, collard greens, kale, okra, zucchini, and more. Picking your own vegetables not only is a great way to connect with local farms, but it’s a great family activity with the kids. Plus, 710 U-Pick also has fresh picked produce ready to purchase if you want fresh veggies but you’d rather not pick your own.
Visit an Urban Farm
Who knew you could have a working farm right in the middle of a downtown district? Well, Ground Floor Farm in historic downtown Stuart is doing just that. This urban farm grows vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers for the local community, and acts as a community workshop that offers educational programs on cooking and gardening for children and adults. And while bringing this green space into downtown sounds like a lot of work, Ground Floor Farm also opens as an event and community space for wedding and business meetings to art exhibits and yoga classes.
Watch the Annual Rodeo
Break out your cowboy hats and dust off your boots for the annual Indiantown Rodeo. The weekend event is hosted each October at Timer Powers Park and is endorsed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as well as the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. The rodeo features bareback bronco riding, bull riding, barrel racing and more. The event has brought thousands of fans to the area since 1946 and is a nod to Martin County’s heritage as the land of the cowboy.
Martin County offers great ways to reconnect with Florida’s rich agricultural legacy this fall. From a tour of the local farms or a morning at the market to trail riding and farm-to-table dining, there’s a way for everyone to reconnect with the land and enjoy the great outdoors in the Sunshine State. Visit DiscoverMartin.com to plan your agricultural escape.