It wasn’t too long ago that public markets were the center of life for many small cities and towns across America. But the growth of suburbs, the public market went by the wayside. Fortunately, it’s making a comeback. 

Many cities across the country are bringing back public markets to showcase the best in local food, crafts, and arts. 

But public markets aren’t just great for locals. They are also some of the most popular tourist destinations in many cities and provide a great glimpse into life and culture. 

In this post, we’re highlighting some of the best public markets in the US. If you live in one of these mentioned cities, set aside some time to visit. 

Pike Place Market

Seattle‘s Pike Place Market is probably one of the best known in the world. Locals love it to browse the best in fresh seafood, flower stands, and antique shops. While visitors can wander the stalls and catch some of the entertainment at the Pike Place Fish Market where employees toss giant fish to the cheers of the crowds. 

West Side Market

West Side Market in Cleveland

Check out Cleveland’s oldest public market: The West Side Market. It’s over 100 years old and has been thriving for the last century. Today, there are vendors who sell their wares including local fresh produce, cured and smoked meats, and handmade perogies.

Certified Farmers’ Market

For almost forty years, Santa Monica’s Certified Farmers’ Market has been selling the very best in local fresh produce. Thousands of visitors shop this market, one of the largest growers only markets, each week. It’s one of the biggest in the state of California, with a wide variety of all sorts of common and exotic produce. 

Market Square

Wall of bright and colorful guitars

San Antonio is a vibrant city. It has an amazing blend of Mexican culture, and you can check that out first hand at Market Square. It’s just beyond the famous River Walk and features a Mexican marketplace that highlights crafts, goods, and food from local artisans.  

Public Market

Nestled into the Fanuiel Hall area of Boston’s downtown City Hall area, you’ll find the Public Market. This is a year-round indoor market that focuses on showcasing fresh seasonal food. There are over 40 vendors who feature everything from honey to baked goods and wine. 

French Market

French Market in New Orleans

New Orleans never runs out of fun. But one of the hidden gems of the city has to be the French Market. Back in the late 1700s, this area was known as a trading post among local Native American tribes, and the tradition carries on to today. Grab some fresh product, a snack, or catch live jazz. 

Chattanooga Market

On Sunday’s in Chattanooga follow the crowds to the Chattanooga Market. This producers-only market has taken the city by storm since it first opened in 2001. The market has over 300 vendors who offer their local and homemade goods. And during the year, the market has all sorts of themed events including Oktoberfest. 

As these markets thrive again, be sure to check if your city has one during the year. And, if you’re planning on visiting any one of these destinations, add a few hours to explore one of these public markets.