Instead of doing all of your shopping at the supermarket, why not take the family to one of Tampa’s great outdoor market venues? You’ll get both fresh air and fresh food while supporting the local growers and artisans, and have fun doing it.
Don’t forget to bring a few reusable shopping bags to make it easier to carry all your goodies home.
Saturday Morning Market, St. Pete
Take a trip to the downtown St. Pete Saturday Morning Market when the weather cooperates, and leave with an armload of one-of-a-kind artisan breads, arts and crafts, handmade soaps, organic vegetables and fresh fruit. Take the whole family, including your furry friends: well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome! Bring your appetite — grab some guava pastellitos (a traditional Cuban pastry filled with guava paste and sometimes cheese) and iced coffee while you’re there and call it done!
The Saturday Morning Market is open from fall through spring, starting in October. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday. Find it in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot in downtown St. Pete, right near the water, between First Avenue South and First Street.
Tampa Downtown Market
Open on Fridays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. (except during wet weather), take a trip to one of Tampa’s best natural food and artisan crafts markets. It’s not all fruits and veggies, either; fresh flowers, local cheeses, raw honey, homemade pieroghi, and beaded jewelry are among the many products available! Pick up a fresh, sugar-free smoothie to cool off while you browse the stands.
The Tampa Downtown Market is located in downtown Tampa, between Twiggs and Market streets. For the closest parking, use the lot at 600 North Franklin Street, although parking is also available on Twigg and Kennedy. Parking lot rates range from $4-6 depending on the hours of your visit.
Fresh Market at Wiregrass Mall, Wesley Chapel
Pick up some fresh, homemade jelly and a fresh loaf of bread, pretty flowers for your table, and then head to the nearby shoe store for new sneakers for the kids! The Fresh Market is just a step away from bookstores, restaurants and department stores at the Shops at Wiregrass. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. every first and third Saturday in the month, you and your family will enjoy fresh food and live music while you shop or just enjoy the weather. Wiregrass is an outdoor mall, so parking is ample and free, but close-up metered parking is also available.
The Shops at Wiregrass are located at the intersection of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel. During winter, Fresh Market times and hours vary, so check the website for a schedule.
If the weather’s cooperating, Tampa’s outdoor markets are a great way to enjoy the best of the area’s crafts, artisan goods and produce. You’re bound to make it a regular part of your weekend activities!’