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Farmers' Markets

Take advantage of San Diego's year-round gorgeous weather and visit a farmers' market or flea market during your stay. You'll have a chance to mingle with locals and pick up some bargains on things that are hard to find downtown or at the mall. Enjoy the festive atmosphere with live entertainment as you browse the tempting selection of fresh produce, gourmet foods, arts and crafts, fresh flowers, and more. You can find more on www.sdfarmbureau.org.

Before you head out, be sure you wear comfortable shoes and bring a tote bag to carry your purchases. Arrive early for the best selection, and assume that you'll have to pay with cash rather than plastic. A little haggling is expected, but be sure to do it politely, with a smile.

The Hillcrest Farmers Market is one of the city's best, held every Sunday from 9 am until 2 pm. There's farm-fresh produce, of course, but also handmade clothing and jewelry, and other types of handicrafts. Come browse and plan to stay for lunch: there are all sorts of vendors selling top-notch ready-to-eat food, from fresh made crepes to tamales and just about everything in between. Check their website for more information www.hillcrestfarmersmarket.com.

Cedros Avenue Farmers Market. Located at the south end of the Cedros Design District, this upscale market offers organic veggies and herbs, regionally grown fruit, healthy juices, California wines, smoked salmon, to-die-for chocolates, freshly baked bread loaves, and all-natural dog treats. 410 Cedros Ave., at the corner of Cedros Ave. and Rosa St., Solana Beach, CA, 92075. 858/755–0444. www.cedrosavenue.com. Sun. 1–5.

Coronado Farmers' Market. Located in the parking lot of Il Fornaio restaurant, this small market boasts a scenic bayside setting and more than a dozen vendors selling a variety of fresh produce and exotic flowers from local farms. Specialty foods include organic cheese, butter, and premium meats. Ferry Landing, First St. and B St., Coronado, San Diego, CA, 92118. www.sdfarmbureau.org. Tues. 2:30–6.

La Jolla Open Aire Market. Along with the usual fresh produce and flowers, this large market with a county fair atmosphere features paintings from local artists, handmade clothing and jewelry, and a tempting food court serving everything from crepes and tacos to gyros and roasted corn on the cob. La Jolla Elementary School playground, at the corner of Girard St and Genter St., 1111 Marine St., La Jolla, San Diego, CA, 92037. 858/454–1699. www.lajollamarket.com. Sun. 9–1.

Little Italy Mercato. This festive market is one of the largest and liveliest in San Diego. Shop for handcrafted gifts, cheese, nuts, Mexican candy, and olive oil to take home and enjoy a panino or Italian pastry as you stroll the aisles. Date St. (between India and Columbia Sts.), Little Italy, San Diego, CA, 92101. www.littleitalymercato.com. Sat. 8–2.

Ocean Beach Farmers' Market. Voted "Best Farmers Market in California" by Sunset magazine, this popular midweek event features live music, crafts, fresh produce, samples from local restaurants, and more. An adjacent parking lot offers handmade apparel and accessories, holistic products, and llama rides for kids. Newport Ave. between Cable St. and Bacon St., 4900 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA, 92107. www.sdfarmbureau.org. Wed., summer 4–8, winter 4–7.

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