Few cities can hold a candle to Boston when it comes to the rich heritage “The Hub” boasts of—and how its existence is tied up with the very life and progress of the United States. From the time that Mayflower docked at the historic Plymouth Harbor, and the subsequent early settlements by the liberty-seeking immigrants, Boston has scored many firsts—blazing the trail on intellectual, political, and social fronts. But it’s not just these, in 2018, U.S. News and World Report, named Boston as the best United States Summer vacation destination.

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Even today, Boston is one of the leading summer vacation destinations in the United States. And since summer is the time outdoor markets spring to life—as a result of the shopping interests of travelers, we reveal some of the best outdoor markets in Boston and the little-known shopping tips that would make a visit to the markets more rewarding.

Best Outdoor Markets In Boston

There’s just so much to do in Boston—even with only 48 hours in one's hands. One of these is to visit an outdoor farmers market. And for those who are wondering, there are 16 outdoor farmers' markets around Boston. Of course, the outdoor market that someone will want to go to will depend on what he or she wants to buy from the market. And that’s the approach we want to take. Consequently, for those who want to enjoy some fresh farm produce, our best pick will have to be Copley Square Farmers’ Market. Located conveniently in the neighborhood of Back Bay, and rated the best farmers’ market by Yelp, Boston’s busiest and largest farmers’ market— has just about any food item that a Boston visitor may need— especially for those who are into fresh, healthy, and organic.

  • What Are The Operating Hours For Copley Square Farmers Market? Copley Square Farmers’ Market operates from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm every Tuesday and Friday.

Of course, there are other fine fresh produce farmers’ markets that can be great alternatives to Copeley. Roslindale Farmers Market, located on Adams Park and the Birch St Plaza can be a wonderful option. For artwork, Salem Flea Market is our best pick. This Saturday-only market is where to find beautiful paintings, drawings, antiques, and memorabilia. Salem Flea is located on Derby Square and operates on the third Saturday of every month from May through to September. An exciting alternative for art lovers will have to be Greenway Artisan's Market located on the picturesque Rose Kennedy Greenway. This open-air artisan market operates every Saturday—and as from June—every first and third Sunday from May through to October.

For home goods, we’ll go with SoWa Open Market. So, for those thinking of sprucing up the look of a living room, this is where to get gorgeous hand-blown glass planters of all shapes and styles—as well as block-printed textiles among many other cool home enhancements. This market, located at 530 Harrison Avenue—operates every Sunday from May through October. For vintage: stuff like furniture and clothing, the Somerville Flea in Davis Square would be the place—for stepping back in time to the good old days.

Insightful Tips For Shopping At Boston Outdoor Markets Every First-timer Should Know

Of course, most of these will be standard tips. This is because almost all farmers’ markets in the country operate the same way. Farmers (or businesses) — bring their products or produce to the market for specific hours and on specific days. As a buyer, it’s good to always compare the products on offer. For instance, if buying carrots, don’t end the search right at the first stall. There’s always a chance that just close by—are carrots that are bigger, crunchier, and more vibrantly colored. Checking out a farmer’s market website in advance can reveal some crucial need-to-know info. For instance, one will know the farmers or firms that will be attending the market and the kind of products that’ll be on offer. Then, of course, it’s important to know the days of the week the market operates and the hours of operation. Going to a market only to discover it’s not open on that specific day can be embarrassing. One can feel quite wasted.

On arrival at the outdoor market, it’s important to engage the vendors. If it's farm produce, ask about when the produce was harvested, the variety of the farm produce, and what’s special about it. Ask also about any advice on eating or cooking that particular farm produce. It’s also crucial that one has money in form of hard cash. Some vendors will not accept credit cards. Don’t even think of crypto. Knowing about the weather—and the crops in season—also come in handy. It’s important to dress in a way that blends with the crowd. For those who are driving, information about parking space availability and parking fees is crucial.

That’s it. Boston is like the cradle of America. Touring the outdoor markets within it—is a nice way to interact with real Bostonians— and what they make, sell, or grow.