Farmers markets in the center of California are about as close to the source as you can get. A long-standing favorite of the Central Valley, the Davis Farmers Market is held on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings in the friendly university town which, appropriately enough, is home to a campus originally founded as a center for agricultural studies. The fertile land of Yolo County that surrounds Davis has long been a leading producer of grapes, rice, and alfalfa, and produces 90% of the country’s canned and processed tomatoes.
It seems like everyone in Davis pedals their bikes to be part of this lively community event in leafy Central Park. The scene gets even more festive on Wednesday evenings, mid-March through October, when Picnic in the Park unfurls, with wine- and beer-tastings, booths serving up cuisines from around the world, local bands, pony rides, and other kids’ activities. Check the calendar for full listings.
On every Saturday in December, the market is the perfect place to make short work of your gift-giving list thanks to the local artists and artisans that turn the C Street sidewalk into Crafters’ Lane. Browse all the handiwork while holiday music plays, or save time by purchasing one of the themed gift baskets (for chefs, relaxation-seekers, chocolate lovers, breakfast lovers and more).
A popular offshoot of the Davis Farmers Market, the Sutter Davis Hospital Farmers Market, brings many of the same fresh offerings to the hospital’s main entrance at 2000 Sutter Place in West Davis.
Insider tips: The Farmers Markets’ hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, and from mid-March through October, 4:30 p.m. to sunset. Visit the Market Shed for access to an ATM, as well as Davis Farmers Market swag like mugs, hats, and tote bags.