This close to the beach, there aren’t many farms or homesteads within a short drive, which is a culture shock to many families relocating to the area. I know from experience that the Franklin / Nashville area has a wealth of local farms and CSA options.
But near 30A, your best bet for fresh and local produce are the farmers markets located across South Walton. Here’s a list of the current markets and when they’re open.
Listed from West to East:
Grand Boulevard Farmer’s Market
Situated in the square of the shops at Grand Boulevard, this farmer’s market features a host of vendors offering fresh produce, honey, crab cakes, baked goods, and ready-to-heat meals.
Despite it’s beautiful surroundings, this is my least favorite market due to the majority of the vendors offering conventional produce and goods. There are a few organic or grass fed items available at times, but it’s not the strength of this particular market. This market offers more ready-to-eat or reat-to-heat meal options.
But it’s a great place to stop if you’re already visiting the area.
Open 9am – 1pm Saturdays.
Seaside Farmer’s Market
My personal favorite market in the area is the Seaside Farmer’s Market. It ticks 3 of the most important boxes for farmers market shopping:
- Beautiful location
- Grass-fed beef vendor
- Organic produce available
Arrowhead Beef is a grass-fed beef farm in nearby Chipley that is typically available for sale at both Seaside and Rosemary Farmer’s Markets. NOTE: This is one of the only ways to find a grass-fed roast or cut of beef that ISN’T steak or ground beef in the area. All Publix stores and Whole Foods Markets stopped offering other cuts of grass-fed beef before around the time of lockdown in 2020.
You can occasionally order grass-fed cuts through For The Health of It grocery store near Blue Mountain Beach.
Things have changed over the past couple years, with the main square now closed to parking and most surrounding parking options are now paid only. There are parallel parking options to be had if you’re lucky enough to find one, and I’ve heard rumors of a western free parking lot which I’ve yet to see for myself.
Not everyone has a wonderful experience. One visitor left this comment a few years back: “After spending an hour in traffic trying to park the car, we found a valet for $15. There were a number of stands…..only 2 with fruits and/or vegetables. Then spend another 30 minutes trying to get our car back from valet. Maybe I’ll give this another try AFTER tourist season.”
However, it’s a
Open 9am – 1pm Saturdays.
Watersound Town Center Farmer’s Market
In addition to hosting a venue for the annual 30A Songwriter’s Festival, Watersound Town Center showcases the area’s only fully covered (roofed) farmer’s market.
The Saturday (and seasonally Wednesday) market offers organic produce, artisan gifts, honey and candles, and a host of other goodies. Like all four markets covered here, Watersound is dog friendly (leash required at all times).
You’ll also find food trucks gathered around on occasion offering everything from seafood to Mexican to cold treats.
Visit the official website here.
Open 10am – 2pm Saturdays year round.
Open 10am – 2pm Wednesdays seasonally.
Rosemary Farmer’s Market
My second favorite farmer’s market in town is in Rosemary. Lining the edge of the grassy public square you’ll find dozens of tents and tables for freshly pressed juices, pastured meats, gluten-free baked goods, mushrooms, honeys, and an assortment of soaps and homemade goods.
We rarely visit Rosemary, so Farmer’s Market visits are a refreshing outing. Our family likes to walk the market and then amble down the gorgeous side streets, taking in all the Mediterranean style villas.
As I mentioned above, Arrowhead Beef is a grass-fed beef farm in nearby Chipley that is typically available for sale at both Seaside and Rosemary Farmer’s Markets. NOTE: This is the only way I know of to find a grass-fed roast or cut of beef that ISN’T steak or ground beef in the area. All Publix stores and Whole Foods Markets stopped offering other cuts of grass-fed beef before around the time of lockdown in 2020.
You can also occasionally order grass-fed cuts through For The Health of It grocery store near Blue Mountain Beach.
Open 9am – 1pm Sundays year round.
Which Farmer’s Market Should I Visit?
There are 4 factors to consider when choosing a market:
When it comes to choosing a market, focus first on location. Where are you staying? If you’re in Santa Rosa Beach, there’s a market within 15 minutes of your location.
Three of the four markets are open on Saturday, while only Rosemary is open on Sunday and only Watersound is open seasonally on Wednesday.
3. Availability of Preferred Goods
Are you looking for organic produce? Most markets have some amount of organic goods. But if you’re looking for grass-fed beef, your options are more limited.
Perhaps you’re more into artisan crafts and gifts. Watersound and Rosemary might be more your speed.
4. Scenery and Local Shops
While Watersound offers the most protection from inclement weather, it doesn’t yet have the surrounding shops and places to see that the other locations offer.
Seaside is the most active location, and my preferred stop just for the Saturday morning ocean vibe.
Ranking the Markets
Each market is worth a visit, even if you’re only here for the week, but my preference, in order, would be:
- Grand Blvd
This ranking is based on availability of quality organic produce and pastured meats combined with the surrounding beauty and proximity of other shops I might want to visit.
So much is going on in Seaside and Rosemary that you can’t miss with either market, and there’s plenty to do even after you’ve seen all that the farmer’s market has to offer.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!
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