Tasting Table listed Charleston Farmers Market among the absolute best food markets in America. It’s one of the most popular attractions in Charleston, South Carolina.
But what makes it so special?
This city has loads of farmers markets. However, none are as well known for outstanding food and vendors.
What Is the Charleston Farmers Market?
The Charleston Farmers Market is a weekly public assembly of local farmers and craft vendors.
You can find fresh produce, herbs, plants, flowers, prepared meals, and more. Locals and tourists alike love this attraction.
The city of Charleston is located in what’s called the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The land along this coast is known for its regional cuisine. So some say visiting the Charleston Farmers Market is the best way to learn what Lowcountry is all about.
Situated in the downtown historic district, locals and tourists love strolling along Marion Square as they explore the market. Folks like to grab a coffee and crepe at one vendor before getting fresh fruits at the next stall. In fact, you can stay long enough to eat both breakfast and lunch. And don’t worry. There’s plenty to do and see!
Things to Do at the Charleston Farmers Market
You can visit the Charleston Farmers Market on Saturdays between 8 am and 2 pm. But it’s not open year-round. The 2023 season starts on April 9 and ends on November 26. Luckily, if you love Christmas, you can visit their Holiday Market during the first three weekends of December.
But no matter when you go, there’s a lot to do and eat!
Get Your Fruits and Veggies
Nearly 20 produce vendors regularly sell fresh fruits and vegetables at the Charleston Farmers Market. There’s plenty to choose from.
Lowland Farms is a local favorite for heirloom tomatoes, radishes, and eggs. This family-run farm produces food year-round and is located just 11 miles from the market. You can’t get much fresher than that!
If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, try the Shuler Peach Company stand. They specialize in; you guessed it, peaches! But you can also grab some yummy nectarines, blackberries, and corn. Be sure to try the market in spring if you want some delicious strawberries.
Grab a Bite To Eat
Take a look at the market’s food and beverage section on its website, and you’ll start drooling. There are so many delectable things to choose from! Do you want a crepe? Or how about an omelet? You can find it there.
The Roti Rolls food truck is a surefire bet to fill your belly with yummy local eats. A roti is a flaky, crispy flatbread. Its Caribbean roots make it a favorite on the south shores. It’s served like an open-faced wrap with practically anything inside. Roti flavors depend on what’s in season. You can usually count on options like pork, shrimp, or veggies mixed with kimchi.
Other specialty foods at the Charleston Farmers Market include pickles, hot sauce, ice cream, and an assortment of local spices.
Explore Local Crafts
If you’ve had your fill of food, take a break and check out some artisan vendors. Jewelry lovers have plenty of stalls to explore. You can also find wares for your kids and pets.
If you’re looking for something unique, check out Ideas in Metal. Born and raised in Charleston, metal craftsman John Douglas has incredible sculptures inspired by native wildlife and plants.
And if you need a greeting card, be sure to check out Perla Anne Press. Artist Stacey Bradley makes notecards, towels, and one-of-a-kind wall prints using old-fashioned block printing.
Pro Tip: While exploring Charleston, you may notice a lot of blue porch ceilings. Find out Why Are Southern Porch Ceilings Blue?
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Charleston Farmers Market?
The Charleston Farmers Market is open seasonally, from early April to late November. But the best time to visit is either before June or after Labor Day in September. The summer heat in South Carolina can be brutal!
Visit the market in April or May if you’d like to catch a glimpse of blooming magnolia trees. But keep in mind that hotel prices are exceptionally high around Easter.
Fall is a great time to visit for those who want a little less tourist foot traffic, especially during October and November. There’s also less humidity and little rain. If you’re up to it, you’ll have plenty of events to check out. So bring your walking shoes!
What Are People Saying About the Charleston Farmers Market?
It’s tough to find any negative reviews of the Charleston Farmers Market. Most Google reviews say how fun it is to stroll along the walkway and slowly check it all out. Those who don’t love crowds say to get there early. The same advice goes for coffee lovers!
A couple of reviews mention that parking is a challenge. So if you’re staying at a nearby hotel, you might want to walk or take the bus. It’s a very pet-friendly event, so you’ll likely meet many furry friends there.
Most Saturdays at the market also feature live music in the afternoon. Some people bypass shopping altogether and just chill out to the free local music!
Pro Tip: The south might be known for its warm welcomes, but This Popular Tourist Spot Shows Off Its Oppressive History.
Things to Do Near the Charleston Farmers Market
Since Charleston Farmers Market is smack-dab in the middle of downtown, there’s no shortage of attractions. Especially if you like being near the waterfront. Here are three choices to round out your Saturday when visiting the market.
The Charleston Museum
This history museum is one of the oldest museums in America. Founded in 1773, the galleries include vast historical artifacts, fine art, textiles, fossils, and costumes. The popular ornithology gallery contains over 50,000 bird specimens.
The Charleston Museum’s mission is to educate visitors on the natural and cultural history of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Plan to spend a good two hours there to soak it all in. Grab a bite at the market after, as it’s only a three-minute walk!
South Carolina Aquarium
A little further down the street is the South Carolina Aquarium. Located on the historic Charleston harbor, the Aquarium has loads of marine exhibits and great views. You can step out onto their decks and watch for dolphins in the harbor.
One of the coolest parts is the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery exhibit. You can see how their turtles get rehabilitation and understand what gets them injured in the first place. The sea turtles are returned safely to a local beach once fully recovered. So sweet!
Joe Riley Waterfront Park
If you’d rather spend more time outside, check out the Joe Riley Waterfront Park. It’s about a mile south of Charleston Farmers Market. The famous Pineapple Fountain is a spectacular photo op.
It’s named after former mayor Joe Riley, who turned the abandoned former maritime land into a scenic walkway. The park is about one-half mile long. It’s a great place to do as the Southerners do. Slow down and take your time.
Is the Charleston Farmers Market Worth It?
The Charleston Farmers Market is a fantastic way to learn a little about Lowcountry living. You don’t even need to buy anything to experience local culture and style firsthand. That said, we can’t go without at least two shopping bags. There’s so much to buy and try!
We think the Charleston Farmers Market is more than worth it. You’ll find positive vibes all around!
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