Sonora Farmer's Market

Saturday mornings in Sonora (California Gold Country) are where you'll meet new friends, old friends, and buy your fresh fruits, pastries, veges and breads.

A visit to California Gold Country's Sonora offers many unique shopping experiences. But the standout event for summer fun is the weekly Certified Farmer's Market held each Saturday morning in downtown Sonora. Tucked behind the main row of shops, just follow the crowds to Theall and Stewart Streets where you'll find a big parking lot with colorful tents and a buzz of people swarming through the outdoor mall to enjoy fresh produce (some is organic). One of the perennial favorites on our visit was strawberries. Monster, red delicious berries drew quite a crowd as people lined up and down the block to purchase their container of the fresh-picked choice berries.

When visiting, if you don't see the crowds, then follow the sound of live entertainment with local bands strumming, singing and performing favorites that please the early to mid-morning crowd. Ranging from a group of fiddling school children to local mountain bands, the music really brightens up the festive atmosphere at this event that locals say is a must-see. Once a week, the residents of Sonora and nearby towns like to attend the market and outdoor fair to socialize. Neighbors and acquaintances all greet each other and chat casually in the sunshine, soaking up the rays before the day warms up and hits the 90's. While the weather in Sonora does get hot in the summer, fortunately it is mostly a dry heat that keeps things quite tolerable and even pleasant for those accustomed to it.

What you'll find at the fair are crafts such as pottery, paintings, garden tools, jewelry and other items offer visitors an opportunity to purchase locally made gifts to take home as souvenirs.

This historic Gold Country city features many events that attract guests for overnight and week-long vacations. You can stay at hotels such as the Inns of California and walk several blocks to the Farmer's Market for a leisurely, enjoyable morning stroll. The hotel includes an outdoor pool, large rooms, decent beds, great air conditioning and is located across the street from a popular coffee drive through serving lattés, espressos and smoothies.

The foods sold include nuts, berries, lettuce, onions, apples, honey, jams, olive oil, cheese, pastries and breads, plus fresh cut flowers. The produce and foods are the drawing card at this market, where quality and freshness are apparent as guests sample the products sold. While the Certified Farmer's Market in Sonora is but one of hundreds throughout California, it is one of our favorites for its neighborly approach. A visit to the Saturday morning event puts on the best face of this Sierra foothills city in Central California, and makes you want to pack up and move to a city filled with charms.

Sonora's Certified Farmer's Market. Fresh produce, crafts and live entertainment. Address: Theall and Stewart St., Sonora, CA. Time: 7:30 - 11:30 a.m. Tel: (209) 532-7735.


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