It might be early in the season, but there are still so many reasons to linger.
There’s the energy in the air, and live music, too, plus the chance to run into friends, maybe make some new ones.
And, of course, there are all of the food – the locally made cheeses, ice creams and ice pops, and – this time of year – the vibrant leafy greens, stalks of rhubarb and red radish bulbs.
From early May to the beginning of June, farmers markets around the region open for the season. Here’s a look at 7 of the best and biggest farmers markets in the Inland Northwest.
Kendall Yards Night Market – Wednesday nights in summer, Kendall Yards is the place to be. Started in 2015, this bustling market in the Kendall Yards development regularly features live music and all kinds of options for fresh fruit and produce as well as baked goods, mushrooms and locally made mead and tea. One of the best parts: over-heated shoppers can cool off inside the businesses in the bustling neighborhood. The market also boasts spectacular views of the Spokane River, downtown skyline and Centennial Trail. Wednesday, 4-8 p.m., through early October. Summit Parkway just east of Cedar Street in Kendall Yards. (509) 321-5888.
Thursday Market in the South Perry District – Founded in 2006, this hip and happening market offers a distinct neighborhood feel. People hang out here – shopping, then staying on for the live music, cheap pints at The Shop and slices of pizza from Veraci’s mobile wood-fired oven. Some shoppers spill into nearby businesses, which can get super-busy on market nights. It’s a party on Perry on Thursday nights in summer. Thursday, 3-7 p.m. through October. 924 S. Perry St. (509) 720-8449.
Spokane Farmers Market – This longtime market, established in 1998, sprawls out over a grassy field located just south of downtown and in the shadow of Interstate 90. There’s lot of variety and, because it’s spread out and roomy, the market doesn’t feel cramped. There’s music most mornings, but there aren’t a whole lot of other distractions here. The area isn’t surrounded by shops or eateries like some of the other in-city locations, so this market tends to attract shoppers who are looking for less of a party and more of a serene experience. Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., through October. 20 W. Fifth Ave., between Division and Browne streets. (509) 995-0182. Note: The first Wednesday market of the season is June 14.
Moscow Farmers Market – Located in historic downtown Moscow, this bustling market takes over Main Street and Friendship Square with 100 stalls of produce, plants, fresh-cut flowers, baked goods, and arts and crafts – among other specialty items. Established in 1976, this is the region’s longest-running farmers market. And it seems to draw everyone out – from University of Idaho college students to community members, couples, families and visitors. There’s a good selection of organic produce, live music and a festive feel. Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., through October. Friendship Square, downtown Moscow. (208) 883-7036.
Farmers Market at Sandpoint - Set in a tree-lined park, this lively and well-established market – it was founded in 1988 – offers shoppers a grass-roots, fun and funky feel. There’s plenty to purchase or admire – from pottery, fresh-cut flowers, baked goods and, of course, fresh fruit and produce, including a good selection of organics. Plus, it’s located in a charming lakeside town. Wednesday, 3-5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., through mid-October. Farmin Park at Third Avenue and Oak Street, Sandpoint. (208) 597-3355.
Kootenai County Farmers Market – Nestled in a wooded parcel between Coeur d’Alene and Hayden, the Saturday farmers market is among oldest in the area, having first opened in 1986. Along its tree-lined paths customers can purchase a wide variety of produce, plants, meats, baked goods, artisan crafts, cheese and prepared food. Lines form at the popular booths before the opening bell, so don’t be surprised to see empty produce bins if you come later in the day. On Wednesdays, the fun moves to downtown Coeur d’Alene. Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., through September. Fifth Street between Sherman and Front avenues, Coeur d’Alene. Saturday, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. through October. Southeast corner of U.S. Highway 95 and Prairie Avenue, Hayden. (208) 772-2290.
Liberty Lake Farmers Market – Founded in 2002, this market sets up shop each week in the city of Liberty Lake’s Town Square Park, behind city hall. Each week brings 40 to 50 vendors offering produce and plants, crafts and coffee, meat and mushrooms. There’s live music, too. Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., through Oct. 4. Liberty Square Building parking lot, Town Square Park, 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake. (509) 879-4965.