There is one stop you should make on every vacation. The Farmers Market! Let me tell you about the Best Farmers Market in Asheville, North Carolina and why visiting is about so much more than just the food.
This summer we took a cross country road trip from Albuquerque to the Outer Banks. We made a lot of fun stops and saw a lot of memorable tourist attractions. However, there is something I like to do on vacation that I think makes every vacation better:
Visit the Farmers Market
I am a big fan of my local farmers market (I wrote all about it here). I realized a while back that when I have guests in town, the farmers market here in Albuquerque is an excellent tourist destination. It's the perfect place to see our local culture, buy souvenirs, and find something fresh and delicious to eat.
If you come to my favorite farmers market in Albuquerque right now, you can buy fresh green chile and have it roasted right in front of you. The smell alone is a revelatory experience. You can hear local musicians playing, taste spicy raspberry and green chile jam, and browse a lot of Balloon Fiesta inspired art. It feels like "New Mexico."
So, when we were on vacation this summer, I wanted to stop at all the farmers markets. There was even a small farmers market stand on the island we stayed at in the Outer Banks! It was a lot more fun than just stopping at fast food restaurants and Walmart along the way and a lot more memorable.
One of my favorite mornings of our whole vacation was spent at the best farmers market in Asheville, NC. We weren't even in Asheville for a full 24 hours, but the farmers market was a fun way to see what Asheville is like.
We actually went to two different farmers markets that morning. The North Asheville Tailgate Market, however, was our favorite. It's the best farmers market in Asheville!
We bought fresh peaches and blackberries. We filled a basket with celery and cucumbers. We also bought homemade pecan sandies from the sweetest older woman who emphasized more than once that she ONLY cooks with REAL butter. And she earned her bragging rights because they were the very best pecan sandies.
There was live music, fresh flowers, and a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, and local plants. It was lovely.
There were definitely differences between the best farmers market in Asheville and my favorite farmers market here in Albuquerque. In Asheville, I saw a lot of home canned goods and things like pickled eggs and pickled asparagus. That's something I never see here!
But there's something that seems to be the same at all of the farmers markets I visit wherever I go. There are always the nicest and friendliest people at farmers markets. I can't say for sure, but I think its because the sort of people that go to and work at farmers markets are the sort of people that value community.
Whatever it is, it makes for such an enjoyable experience every single time.
Do you visit farmers markets when you travel? If you don't, I highly recommend you try it! Not only will you likely find delicious, local things to eat, but you'll get a good sense of the culture of the place you're passing through.
And, should you find yourself in North Carolina, do visit the best farmers market in Asheville!