ON A HOT DAY in July, sweat beads up on your forehead as you reach for a juicy, ripe peach and take a big bite — there is nothing more replenishing or refreshing. The first taste of the season brings the sweetest flavor to the soul and lingers on your tongue all summer long.
Eastern Shore farms serve as a main hub for organic produce across the Chesapeake Bay. Local Chesapeake farmers’ markets offer delicious homegrown goods from the region with everything on display from local fruits and vegetables, fresh dairy, curated meats, just-caught seafood and confections to handmade crafts and decor.
You also get that feel-good experience of spending your money to support family-owned, small businesses rather than big national chains. The following Chesapeake farmers’ markets reveal the rewards of buying local.
Havre De Grace Farmers Market
Havre De Grace, MD
Located at Hutchins Park overlooking the Bay, this market offers a diverse selection of produce, crafts and artwork. Open Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to noon, this place has a quaint small-town vibe.
Where to Dock: Tidewater Marina
Kent Island Farmers’ Market
Just minutes from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, this market is located outside of Cult Classic Brewing that serves locally distilled spirits, craft beer and wine. Open Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the vendors sell heirloom fruits and vegetables, as well as naturally raised beef. They also have an olive bar with homemade oils and vinegars.
Where to Dock: Bay Bridge Marina
St. Michaels Farmers Market
St. Michaels, MD
Located in the heart of St. Michaels’ charming waterfront, this Chesapeake farmers’ market is open Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is conveniently located in walking distance from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and St. Michaels Museum. The producer-only market creates opportunities for farmers through local outreach and participates in the Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and senior voucher programs.
Where to Dock: St. Michaels Marina
Baltimore Museum of Industry Farmers’ Market
Overlooking the city’s spunky Inner Harbor, this farmers’ market is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Baltimore. The outdoor stands are open every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. offering tons of fresh goods. The market is temporarily held in the parking lot of neighboring restaurant Little Havana and will resume its normal residence in the spacious Baltimore Museum of Industry parking lot where you can also enjoy local history and explore the nearby attractions.
Where to Dock: Inner Harbor Marina
Cambridge Farmers Market at Long Wharf
This waterfront marketplace in historic Cambridge overlooks the Choptank River next to Cambridge Yacht Basin. Open on Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., local Dorchester vendors display their organic wares and crafts near the picnic area at the Long Wharf Park.
Where to Dock: Cambridge Yacht Basin
Riverwalk Farmers Market
Located in the heart of downtown Milford, this market partners with tons of vendors each year to provide top-notch goods. Offering everything from fresh produce, meats and seafood to canned goods and handmade toiletries such as goat milk soaps, Rusted Acre lotions and bath bombs. Open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where to Dock: Cedar Creek Marina
Bethany Beach Farmers Market
Bethany Beach, DE
Tucked away in a charming beach town, this farmers’ market offers a variety of locally sourced produce, baked breads and fresh flowers. Located at the corner of Garfield Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue, the waterside market is near the beach and boardwalk.
Where to Dock: Indian River Marina
Fenwick Island Farmers Market
Fenwick Island, DE
Just outside of bustling Ocean City, MD, this area transitions into the quiet, family-friendly Fenwick Island. Open twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to noon, the market is a main source of keeping Sussex County small farms alive and well.
Where to Dock: North Bay Marina
Old Town Farmers Market
There’s a reason this area is named Old Town. This classic farmers’ market has been in business for more than 260 years, making it one of the oldest in the country held continuously at the same site. Located directly under Market Square Plaza, the market runs from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and usually partners with more than 70 vendors during peak season.
Where to Dock: City of Alexandria Marina
The Onancock Market
About a block off the water in downtown Onancock, this market was established in 2012 to provide a venue of commerce for local farmers, artisans and watermen. The open-air stands present their wares every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.
Where to Dock: Onancock Wharf Harbor
Yorktown Market Days
Now in its 15th season, this is one of the main farmers’ markets in coastal Virginia with a spectacular waterfront view. Offering tons of produce and homemade goods such as soaps, candies and gourmet dog treats, as well as a drive-through market. Open Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Where to Dock: Riverwalk Landing
Old Beach Farmers Market
Virginia Beach, VA
This open-air market is located near the heart of Virginia Beach’s resort area, about six blocks from the ocean. Open Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon, vendors offer fresh meats such as pork, bison, chicken, turkey, sausages and charcuterie, as well as savory pastas and salads from local chefs.
Where to Dock: Rudee Inlet Station Marina
Chincoteague Island Farmers and Artisans Market
Chincoteague is known for its beautiful landscapes and wild horses that make this market a lovely place to visit. Located on Church Street, the vendors encourage you to pick through an array of food and goodies including jewelry, plants, carvings, artwork and crafts from local artists. Open Saturday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the market hosts an art-filled flea market every second Saturday of the month.
Where to Dock: Marina Bay Hotel & Suites