Santa Cruzans are spoiled. Not only do we live in one of the most beautiful beach towns on the West Coast, but we’re blessed with sunny days, rich soil and a community of dedicated farmers and artisans. This is never more apparent than at the vibrant farmers markets that pop up almost every day around the county. Even in the dead of what Californians call “winter,” the produce and local goodies one can walk home with never cease to amaze.

  • Felton Farmers Market

    Tuesday, May through October

    Located in the heart of downtown Felton on Hwy 9, this market is considered the most kid-friendly. Grown-ups can safely leave the kiddos in a centrally located space where they’ll play, draw and get their faces painted while their caretakers admire the local treats and pick farmers' brains on how best to use that Japanese eggplant or that organic kohlrabi. 2:30-6:30 at 120 Russell Ave., Felton

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  • UCSC Farm & Garden

    Tuesday & Friday, Late Spring through October

    While not a “market” by any stretch of the imagination, this farmstand at the base of campus has its own appeal. Everything here is grown at the 30-acre UCSC Farm and 3-acre Alan Chadwick Garden by the staff and members of the apprenticeship program. If you’re in need of fresh herbs, produce and flowers at the beginning or end of your week, pop on up. 12-6pm at Bay St. & High St., Santa Cruz

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  • Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers Market

    Wednesday, Year-round

    The largest and oldest market in Santa Cruz, the Downtown Farmers Market is as much a friendly mid-week gathering as it is a place to pick up your weekly haul. In addition to the de rigueur phenomenal produce, it offers a great selection of artisan foodstuffs, baked goods and lots of options for lunch and dinner. Snag a café chair and enjoy a little live music or get a massage while you’re at it. 1:30-5:30/6:30 at Cedar St. & Lincoln St., Santa Cruz

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  • Watsonville Farmers Market

    Friday, Year-round

    This market is in the heart of the famously bountiful Pajaro Valley. Peaceful and family-oriented, the Hispanic heritage of this community gives this market a “mercado” feel. You’ll find a large variety of Latin American treats, including some lesser known dishes such as pambasos, huarache and chicharrones, in addition to the local produce and flowers grown a mere stone's throw away. 2-7pm at Downtown Watsonville Plaza, Watsonville

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  • Aptos Farmers Market

    Saturday, Year-round

    If you adore fresh, local foods, grown and handmade with love, this market is your candy shop. Lose yourself among the nearly 100 vendors and discover seemingly endless tasty delights. Handcrafted cheeses! Locally pressed olive oil! Fresh pasta! And so much more. It’s no wonder this market has been nationally acclaimed as one of the best in California. 8am-12pm at Cabrillo College, Aptos

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  • Westside Farmers Market

    Saturday, Year-round

    A briny sea breeze wafts over this intimate morning market, located near Natural Bridges on the Westside. Keep an eye out for their schedule of multi-course breakfast pop-ups, featuring local chefs and the best ingredients of the season from the very farms that sell at the markets. Grab your ticket fast—these sensational meals almost always sell out. 9am-1pm at Western Dr. & Mission St., Santa Cruz

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  • Scotts Valley Farmers’ Market

    Saturday, April through November

    The San Lorenzo Valley community congregates here on Saturday mornings during the warmer months to get their fill of fresh, healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables, local pasture eggs, meat, seafood and more. In the summer, you can enjoy the Santa Cruz County Farmer’s Market local music showcase while you cruise the booths. Little ones love the Kid Zone, and foodies in the know snap up tickets to their delectable pop-up farm-to-table breakfast series faster than you can say “yum!” 9am-1pm at King’s Village Dr, Scotts Valley

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  • Live Oak Farmers’ Market

    Sunday, Year-Round

    Forget waiting in line for brunch - get yourself to this delightful local market on a Sunday morning and you’ll be glad you did. An epicenter for the “clean food” movement, visitors can choose from scrumptiously healthy treats like fresh wood-fired breakfast pizzas, smoked pasture-raised local pork and Michoacan-style egg street tacos, all with fresh organic ingredients. 9am-1pm at 15th & Eastcliff Dr, Santa Cruz

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