Who doesn’t love a farmers market? And, if you’re visiting the Napa Valley, there’s no better opportunity to sample wine-country living at its friendliest and most casual. Chances are, if you’re a short-term visitor staying at a hotel, you don’t need bushels of fresh produce. But don’t let that stop you — there’s so much more to see, buy, and do. In addition to fresh fruits, veggies, and seafood, there’s an abundance of handmade gift items, prepared foods, clothing, fragrances, household goods, jewelry, and more. Plus you’re supporting local artisans and the local economy. Win-win, right?

Here are a few things to do at our farmers markets besides squeezing tomatoes:

  • Buy coffee and pastries for breakfast al fresco.
  • Listen to some mellow live music.
  • Bring the kids for activities like face-painting, story-time, and performances.
  • Watch a cooking demonstration.
  • Buy a hostess gift or bouquet.
  • Stock up on hand-made holiday gifts.
  • Pick up some picnic supplies for lunch.

And here’s the low-down on markets from Napa to Calistoga:

Napa Farmers Market
Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm
May 2 through October, 500 First Street in downtown Napa
(Next to Oxbow Public Market)
Contact: (707) 501-3087 or manager@napafarmersmarket.com

St. Helena Farmers Market
Fridays from 7:30 am to noon, rain or shine
May 1 through October
Crane Park
Contact: (707) 486-2662 or info@sthelenafarmersmkt.org 

Long Meadow Ranch Farmers Market
Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Open year round
738 Main Street, St. Helena

Calistoga Farmers Market
Saturdays from 8:30 am to noon, year-round
Sharpsteen Museum Plaza, Washington Street
Contact: calistogafarmersmarket@ymail.com

Photo credit: Long Meadow Ranch