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Please visit the Bradenton Area responsibly. We encourage all visitors to follow CDC guidelines including wearing a mask and social distancing. For more information on visiting responsibly, click here.

Farmers Markets, U-Pick Veggies, and Fresh Local Seafood—Oh My!

There’s a lot to love about the Bradenton Area, including the farm-fresh produce and local seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. You can shop for locally-grown fruits and veggies at nearby farmers markets, or experience life on the farm as you pick your own—directly off the vine! No visit to the area is complete without enjoying some of the freshest seafood you can find, caught by fishermen who sail the waters daily searching for their catc

Local Farmers Markets

Bradenton has a rich agricultural community. With fertile soil and a lengthy growing season, you’ll soon learn why local produce is readily available at our farmers markets. Stop by and chat with the farmers and artisans as you shop for vegetables at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. This market mirrors the Florida harvest season, and runs from the first Saturday of October until the end of May, with MainlyArt—a group of local artists and craftspeople selling their creations—joining the market every third Saturday of the month! You will also want to visit The Market at Lakewood Ranch, every Sunday of November until April. Held across the street from Lakewood Ranch Main Street, you will have the opportunity to peruse local produce and shop for other handmade items and tasty treats.

U-Pick Veggies (and Fruit!)

There’s an indescribable excitement of visiting a real, working farm and picking your own vegetables and fruit—straight off the vine. Many farmers invite the public to their growing fields during the season, and will even loan you baskets to collect your harvest (and tips what to look for). Check out Hunsader Farms, a family favorite! Pick your own vegetables, pumpkins and strawberries, then stop by the petting zoo for some one-on-one time with the farm animals. Be sure to check the calendar for seasonal events like the Pumpkin Festival! Locals have been visiting Hunsader Farms for decades, and you’ll soon understand why they return every year.

Fresh, Local Seafood

With miles of white, sandy beaches and a lengthy coastline stretching along the bountiful Gulf of Mexico, the Bradenton Area is home to some of the freshest seafood in Florida. It’s easy to find local fish and shellfish, especially in the Historic Fishing Village of Cortez, one of the few remaining ‘working waterfronts’ in the state. Stop in and say ‘Hi!’ to the local fishermen at Star Fish & Company Market, and choose from what’s in season, including grouper, snapper, stone crab, and shrimp. Spending time north of the river? Then visit Seagrape Seafood Market in historic Palmetto. Owned by a marine biologist and a chef, they sell some of the finest seafood in the area, along with the recipes on how to cook your meal. And be sure to ask the owners about their delicious seafood gumbo!

More Farming and Fishing To Be Had

Don't forget, there is so much more to do on your next trip to the Bradenton area!