10 Great Markets to Visit During Your Next Vacation

When you’re on vacation, there may be a long list of things you want to do. However, there are some U.S. cities where a trip to that city’s market should be placed on the itinerary for your next vacation. When you visit the following cities, you won’t regret planning a visit to their iconic markets:

1. Findlay Market, Cincinnati

Findlay Market hosts over a million visitors annually and offers over 50 full-time vendors. You’ll find Findlay near the historic neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine. Within the Market’s aisles, you’ll find meat, fish, artisanal cheese, and ethnic foods. Every weekend, the Market expands to welcome a Farmer’s Market — full of just-picked produce.

Findlay Market was first opened in 1855. Since its early days, its market tower bell signals the beginning of Cincinnati’s workday. In the warmer months, a Biergarten makes its home on one side of the Market. On other days, you’ll find street a troupe of performers cavorting outside.

Visitors to Findlay represent all ethnicities and age groups, and it’s a popular destination for many of the city’s seniors. Cincinnati has an active senior living community and was named, in a Wallet Hub survey, as the third-best U.S. city for senior activities. Regardless of age, Findlay Market is a great addition to the list of places to see on your next vacation.

2. Boston Public Market, Boston

Boston Public Market is daily earning its nickname of ‘Market on a Mission.’ The Market is the host to 30 artisans and food vendors. In addition, the Public Market dedicates itself to enabling local small food vendors to showcase their wares. Their other focus is highlighting the diversity of foods and crafts native to New England. For your next vacation, include this location as an experience to be savored.

In addition to fresh produce, seafood, and baked goods, some vendors prepare meals to order. If you want a drink, the Pine Bar offers cocktails and other alcoholic beverages inside the Market. Some visitors also come to the Market to learn. They offer cooking classes and educational workshops for those interested in information about sustainable foods.

If you get carried away during your trip to the Public Market and overeat the delicious food, you’ll be glad to know Boston has some of the leading physicians in the nation. If anyone isn’t feeling their best, they can take advantage of Boston’s medical expertise and make an appointment for a check up.

3. West Side Market, Cleveland

Visitors to Cleveland encounter a city as diverse as the United Nations. Come to the West Side Market if you want a place where that diversity is tangible. The Market opened in 1840, as an open-air Market and is now housed in a huge yellow brick marketplace with a majestic domed ceiling. On most days, you’ll find over 100 vendors there.

As you walk by its many stalls, you can stop for a hot dog or sample freshly baked treats. Sample treats from other countries, like Mexico, Greece, and Germany. Walking upstairs to the loft during your visit, you can enjoy those treats with a fresh cup of coffee, while listening to live music. You’ll find so many things to buy at the market that you might need to bring a container on wheels to help carry it back to the hotel.

West Side Market is currently trying to transition to a non-profit organization. To assist in this venture, they hold a series of speakers’ events open to the public. If you’re interested in hearing talks about non-profit businesses, the series may be something you can plan to attend during your next vacation.

4. Eastern Market, Washington, D.C.

Visiting Washington, D.C. may overwhelm you with its government buildings. You may feel intimidated by so many of the city’s famous sights. When you need a break from those sights, find your way to the Eastern Market. This year, the Market is celebrating its 150th year in business.

Many residents of D.C. have come to see Eastern Market as more than just a place to buy produce and fresh meat. Although you’ll find plenty of those offerings there, it’s also become a place for the community to unite. As a community, they shop, enjoy a meal, or watch other people enjoy themselves. On weekends, there is live music, and additional booths open for vendors who sell homemade crafts, jewelry, or antiques.

Previous visitors to the Market advise those who want to enjoy the weekend brunch offerings to line up early. Those wishing to become vendors at the Market must have their business and products approved by a committee. As you can imagine, tracking inventory at this location is complicated, and the committee wants to keep the vendor offerings diversified.

5. Union Square Greenmarket, New York City

Another city where a visit includes preconceived expectations is New York City. Its reputation for tall buildings, luxury stores, and international businesses precedes it. The Union Square Greenmarket is one destination that can encompass those aspects in one place. Located downtown in the iconic Union Square neighborhood, you’ll find this place worth visiting on your next vacation.

The Union Square Market began more recently than other markets listed here. Founded by a few city market vendors in 1976, it now boasts 140 dedicated vendors. Visitors will be able to find a wide choice of goods – including produce, pickles, cheeses, and wines.

Although travel through New York City is often done by subway, tourists may want to avoid venturing through its intricate subway tracks. People from nearby states may decide to drive to the City. If you’re one of those brave drivers, and you have a problem with your car, you’ll be glad to know many quality car repair establishments are available. From engine trouble to issues with your brakes, you can find the right place for help within a few blocks of your location.

6. Pike Place Market, Seattle

Seattle’s visitors looking for a place to find the city’s true essence should visit Pike Place Market. Some Seattle residents have dubbed this busy gathering place the ‘soul of Seattle.’ Founded in 1907, the market now spans nine acres in the heart of Seattle. It is the oldest continually operated market in the U.S.

The market isn’t limited to only one level; several levels of shopping are available below the surface of the central market. Visitors will find the usual offerings of produce and fresh fish. However, you can also find copies of comic books, antique stores, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle. If you’re interested in seeing something unusual, ask someone to help you find your way to the notorious gum wall – a brick alley outside the market with its brick walls covered with used wads of gum.

Pike Place Market is only one of the locations you plan to visit while in Seattle. Few visitors to Seattle know it is home to a place where masons –- and those interested in the masonry profession can learn more about the practice of masonry. Masons planning their next vacation should include visiting the Masonry Institute of Washington. Its educational resources will interest anyone wishing to learn about this valuable industry.

7. Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia

This modern brown brick building is found on the corner of one of Philadelphia’s busiest streets. It was first opened in 1893 under a shed for the city’s elevated railway. The market now offers 100 vendor stalls full of fresh produce, ice cream, flowers, crafts, and clothing. The shops here are arranged in a grid pattern –- with an open area in the center with tables for visitors to stop and enjoy a meal.

Although the market is open every weekday, visitors seeking fresh Pennsylvania Dutch merchandise should be aware that vendors do not open their stalls from Sunday through Tuesday. Some of the many Pennsylvania Dutch vendors sell freshly made pretzels, pies, and locally sourced sausages. If you still need to sample these treats, the market should be on the itinerary for your next vacation.

When you visit, you may wonder about seeing a large pig statue. This statue is Philbert: the market’s mascot. As you drive to the market, if you have the bad luck to get a flat tire, you’ll be glad to know Philadelphia has many trustworthy places to replace your tires.

8. Chicago French Market, Chicago

Despite its name, the Chicago French Market offers visitors more than French delicacies. The ‘French’ designation in its name is due to the mission of the market’s founding fathers. The market was opened in 2009 by Chicago citizens who wanted to support local food sources while introducing Chicago to the old-style European markets. The founders handpicked this market’s 30 vendors and strive to provide consistent access to high-quality products.

In addition to finding fresh foods for sale, visitors can buy grab-and-go meals and many unique gift ideas. The locals especially enjoy the ready-made breakfast items; they’ll inspire you to fling aside your bed covers and get to the market for breakfast. Visitors who buy the Market’s products will also be treated to its inner seating area. Here, they’ll find a perfect photo op: an original mural depicting Paris at nighttime and aisles designed to resemble a Paris courtyard.

If you visit the French market during your next vacation, former visitors advise that the food vendors will give you an international choice of meals. Another visitor especially enjoyed the macarons. Seafood lovers will be drawn in by the irresistible smell of the crawfish boil as they approach the market. At the back of the food court, you’ll enjoy seeing a window framed by an arch resembling the architecture of the Eiffel Tower.

9. Dallas Farmers Market, Dallas

If you travel to Dallas for your next vacation, take time out from the more typical tourist spots and visit Dallas Farmers Market. The Market has been dedicated since 1941 to promoting the benefits of sustainable food. In addition to providing a source of fresh produce and proteins, the Market also offers The Shed. Those who look here will find a weekend venue for local makers of crafts and other artistic products.

The food area hosts meals from many companies, and the quality is reportedly excellent. To ensure the authenticity of the vendors at the Farmer’s Market, the management team for the Market visits each of the farmers and ranchers accepted as vendors. To find more information about the individual farmers, curious shoppers can see profiles of the farms on the Market’s website.

The Market has many offerings, but there are also many shops nearby to complete the visitors’ shopping lists. For example, visitors with a green thumb will enjoy visiting the nearby plant shop. A great ceramic store is a few steps away if you want beautiful ceramic gifts. Those who visit Dallas hoping to experience gunplay may enjoy a side visit to a shooting range near the Market.

10. Nashville Farmers’ Market, Nashville

Take time out from your musical pursuits during your next vacation in Nashville and look for the open-air steel building that houses the Nashville Farmers Market. Since 1800, the Market has brought fresh produce and local merchandise to a site between the Tennessee State Museum and the Bicentennial Mall State Park. You’ll find a 27,000-square-foot garden center plus a food court with 20 restaurants. Their mission is to connect the farmers in the area to the vibrant community of Nashville.

Despite its open-air settings, visitors passionate about produce will still flock to this Market. In addition to the fresh food, some of its restaurants are legendary for the locals. The smell of freshly fried donuts mixes with ripe melons and berries. One of the Market’s draws for Nashville’s citizens is its promise that all the makers in the main building come from the Nashville area, thus supporting local businesses.

A vacation can bring you many memories, and when you plan your next vacation, you’ll likely have a long wish list. However, as you can see, all these Markets are worth a detour. A taste of local produce and the chance to savor the delights of these markets will be worth a visit.

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