sarasota travel guide

Events - Sarasota Farmers Market

Downtown Sarasota every Saturday 7:00 AM - 1 PM
Sarasota Attractions Selby Gardens

What began in Sarasota over 28 years ago as a smattering of vendors has now grown into a 3-block-long, year-round, weekly Farmers Market, with a glorious variety of products, including food, flowers, top quality arts and crafts, ready-to-eat prepared treats, live music, and lots of convivial socializing. And, as with the best of Farmers Markets, it's a veritable dog show, with every breed imaginable socializing on ground level while their owners chat overhead.

Every Saturday morning before dawn, rain or shine, you can see intrepid entrepreneurs setting up their tents and displays along Lemon Avenue, from the "purple fountain" at Pineapple Ave all the way to Whole Foods Market at 1st Street in historic downtown Sarasota.

Unfolding before your eyes are numerous produce vendors, including two organic farmstands, and a major citrus grower. In the plant category, there are separate retailers specializing in climbing vines, fruit plants, bromeliads, orchids, cut flowers, indoor decorative plants, and wonderful bedding plants and shrubs.

Forget about dieting at this market. You'll be tempted by baked goods galore, Italian breads, pesto and pasta sauce dips, crab cakes, breakfast wraps, seafood sandwiches, frozen ices, local coffees, raw food delights, and lots of samples to taste.

Intermingled with the food and flower offerings are artist-wares such as pottery fountains; clothing, hats and bags featuring collages of vintage photos and amusing quotes; charming paintings of familiar Sarasota scenes and landmarks; bead and wire wrapped serving ware; jewelry; stained glass; Colombian belts, paintings, and jewelry; engraved wood display objects; natural grass rugs; beautiful nature photography; handknit scarves, shawls, and decorated flip-flops; locally made scented candles; and the list goes on . . .

Just when your shoulders are tired from carrying all the wonderful edible, plantable, and wearable loot, you can lay your burdens down and surrender to a deeply restorative chair massage, located across Lemon Avenue from Mattison's City Grille. Aaahhhh . . .

A nice way to extend the fun is to head over to Whole Foods Market at 1st Street and Central Ave, around the corner from the Farmers Market, for a lazy brunch at the outside cafe tables. And on several weekends during Season, you might happen upon an arts and crafts show set up in the park in front of Selby Public Library, a block west of Whole Foods Market on 1st Street.

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