Growing up, the farmer’s markets that I visited were big open warehouse type set ups with booths full of vendors selling produce they grew. Greens, cabbage, carrots, watermelon, etc… So I’m dating myself as farmer’s markets have evolved into a one stop shop for any and everything. The Jacksonville versions range in size and wares, but anyone who visits, always comes away with something. Usually a purchase. If nothing else, some good vibes and communal spirit.
So congratulations to the Orange Park Farmer’s Market for being voted Jax Best Farmer’s Market. I dropped in on a market day and was struck by the intimate setting that featured a large number of vendors. Located at Town Hall Park, you walk up on families dancing under the pavilion with a DJ and announcer revving the crowd. I discovered they market has vendors as far away as Ocala and Savannah making the trek to OP to sell their goods. I mentioned one stop shop? Believe it. Meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, wood working, crafting and that was only on the first aisle! The vibe is familial and inviting. I understand why you, Our Local Experts, named it the best.
Coming in second was the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market. It is located on Beaver street. It’s size reminds me of my youthful experiences. The produce on display rivals anything you might find in a grocery store. You can spend hours wandering up and down the aisles finding deals and basking in the intoxicating aroma of fresh produce.
Riverside Arts Market placed in show position for this category. Many know about RAM, but until you visit for yourself, you won’t appreciate all that is offered in that experience. Amazing views off the St. Johns gets people in the mood to support locals from produce to craft work to goods for kids from 1 to 92. From there, visitors can roll out and embrace even more of the downtown Jacksonville experience.