Love fresh produce? You don’t have to give it up on vacation. Everything from zucchini to asparagus, spring peas to corn and watermelon to strawberries begins sprouting up during the spring and summer. And if you’re not quite ready to put on the overalls and bring in the harvest yourself, the next best thing is to visit a local farmers’ market, where fresh produce abounds. We’ve picked out our five favorite farmers’ markets across the States, so no matter where your summer vacations take you, you’ll have plenty of tasty treats to bring home. And we’ve even found a great hotel near each spot so you can be sure to beat the crowds.
1. Copley Square Farmers’ Market, Boston (pictured above)
A farmers’ market is a particularly nice summer treat in Boston, which certainly has some cold months. The Copley Square Farmers’ Market, located in the historic and upscale Back Bay area, is open May through November and features several dozen vendors selling local goods.
Where to Stay: After a thorough renovation several years ago, the historic Copley Square Hotel features cutely decorated (if small) rooms and a long list of freebies, such as Wi-Fi, morning coffee and tea, and a nightly wine reception. Not only is the hotel steps from Copley Square, but it is also within walking distance of Fenway Park.
2. Pike Place Market, Seattle
Pike Place is one of Seattle’s main attractions. Featuring numerous produce, meat and fish stands, the market also has plenty of craft kiosks for buying local artwork and gifts. It is open seven days a week, and though most stands close around 5 pm, several fine-dining restaurants in the nine-acre historic district are open late.
Where to Stay: Inn at the Market is aptly named. It is one of Seattle’s best-known and most popular hotels, in large part due to its unbeatable location: It’s in the heart of downtown Seattle, just half a block from Pike Place Market.
3. Union Square Greenmarket, New York City
Who says you can’t find farm-fresh produce in New York City? The Union Square Greenmarket is one of the prime spots to get straight-from-the-farm produce, as well as fresh meat, fish, preserves and baked goods. The market features over 140 stands and has about 60,000 visitors per day.
Where to Stay: The W Union Square overlooks the market, and features all the perks of a W hotel: a hip vibe, interesting decor by hotel designer David Rockwell, a popular nightclub and the high-end chain’s signature “whatever/whenever” service.
4. Eastern Market, Washington, D.C.
Located in Capitol Hill, the Eastern Market is the oldest and one of the largest fresh produce markets in D.C. With two outdoor markets and one indoor market, this year-round hot spot is hopping with visitors six days a week (it is closed on Mondays). Stands offer fresh flowers, fresh seafood and everything in between.
Where to Stay: The Liaison Capitol Hill is part of the Affinia brand, known for its upper-mid-range hotels that offer hip decor, comfy beds and a long list of freebies. If the weather’s nice, guests may enjoy the 30-minute walk to Eastern Market; otherwise, it’s about a 7-minute drive.
5. Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, San Francisco
The Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market is an indoor/outdoor market, with the indoor vendors occupying part of the iconic Ferry Building, located on the San Francisco Bay. The market is open three days a week and each day features specific vendors and specialties: Tuesdays offer largely organic produce, Thursdays feature artisanal street food and Saturdays host local restaurants that bring their tasty dishes to the streets.
Where to Stay: Le Meridien is just a few blocks from the market, and many rooms offer gorgeous views of the harbor and city. The surrounding neighborhood is relatively quiet (the hotel is located in the Financial District), but the stylish rooms and happening lobby bar make it a fun, and lively, pick.
You can’t return a bad vacation. That’s why Oyster.com, “The Hotel Tell-All,” and partner of The Travel Channel, comprehensively visits, photographs, reviews and rates each hotel we feature. Basically, we uncover the truth, before it’s “uh-oh” time.