The mother of all area markets, this Saturday morning staple smack-dab in the middle of downtown draws crowds of locals and visitors, offering something for everyone, including produce and flowers, meats and artisanal products, handicrafts, live music, pop-up restaurants, and even activities for the kiddos. We suggest arriving early to beat the crush and have your pick of veggies from Lowland, Thackeray, and Ambrose Family farms, among others, as well as free-range eggs, raw milk, and meats from Celeste Albers’ Green Grocer stall. With your shopping list complete, you can leisurely choose from freshly prepared fare, such as Alexandra the Greek’s warm and savory gyros, Yardbirds’ fried chicken and waffles, or baked goods from Rococo. Then spread a blanket in the square and settle in for grazing, people- and dog-watching, and enjoying local live music. (On April 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., island-rock outfit HoneySmoke will kick off the first market of the season with their bluesy jams.)
Post-feast, wind through the avenues of tented booths to peruse a veritable gallery of jewelry, blown glass, baskets, turned wood bowls, and art prints, plus an array of olive oils, salts, spices, honeys, candles, soaps, and bath salts. End on a sweet note with an ice-cream sammie from Wich Cream, a brand-new vendor that turns out cool treats using ingredients sourced from local farms.
Season: April 4-November 28, Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Marion Square, corner of King & Calhoun sts., Charleston
More Info: (843) 724-7305, www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com
Parking: This market draws a big crowd, and that makes parking downtown on Saturday mornings more of a headache than usual. Try to snag a metered spot on the street, or pay to park in a nearby garage. And, of course, if you live in walking or biking distance, skip the car altogether.
Vendors: Browse offerings from more than 100 local purveyors, including farmers, artisans, and producers of prepared and packaged foods.