5 Farmer’s Markets Worth Riding To
By Jenny Willden
Utah’s flourishing market scene is in full swing for summer, making now the perfect time to peruse somewhere new. Whether you’re shopping for ultra-fresh veggies, locally produced cheese, or wickedly good pastries, there’s a market for you. But your visit doesn’t end with edibles, our city’s ever-growing handmade culture makes finding a special gift or artwork as easy as strolling through the park.
Unfortunately, crowded parking lots at popular markets can turn a relaxing day into a stressful experience. Avoid the hassle and visit the eco-friendly way—by bike. There are more than three dozen weekly summer markets in Utah, but I’m highlighting my five favorites here along with nearby bike routes to get you there, or to ride while visiting. Bonus: most markets offer free front row parking for guests on two wheels.
Downtown Salt Lake City Farmer’s Market
Dates: Saturdays from June 8–October 19. Tuesdays from August 6–October 22.
Hours: Saturdays 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Tuesdays 4:00 p.m.–dusk.
Location: Pioneer Park, 350 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City.
Since its 1992 inception, this market has grown rapidly to become one of the West’s largest and most loved community markets. Experience Salt Lake’s best people watching while stocking up on locally grown peas, carrots, crisp apples, and the popular lemon spinach. Unique Utah goods like espresso-rubbed cheese, handcrafted balsamic mustard, and fresh mango salsa are available for sampling, or diversify your lunch on the food fairway, a single aisle packed with ethnic cuisine and ice cold drinks. The park’s south and west sides house crafted items like steampunk jewelry and artistic dishware made from flattened glass bottles. Dogs are welcome, and bringing one is the quickest way to make new friends…or get a date. Seriously single ladies and gents, this works.
Biker Benefits: Cycle to take advantage of the bike valet, a secure location for parking your ride while you shop. The service is free, but tips are appreciated.
Nearby Rides: Many routes get you to the market, but visit bikeslc.com to find the safest path. After shopping, ride the new Cycle the City route, which begins at Pioneer Park. The 13.5-mile loop takes you past Salt Lake landmarks like Memory Grove, the State Capitol, Temple Square, the City and County Building, and others before looping back to Pioneer Park.
Wasatch Front Farmer’s Market- Wheeler Farm
Dates: Sundays, June 2–October 27
Hours: 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Location: Wheeler Farm, 6351 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City. If you prefer pastures to people, this is your market. Though not nearly as crowded as the Downtown Salt Lake Market, Wheeler Farm’s is still teaming with life and plenty of vendors. Just-picked berries, beets, heirloom tomatoes, and leafy greens are abundant, but my favorite offering is the fresh, flavorful salsa made onsite by Salsitas Mendoza. The famous Farm Breakfasts, which are served from 9:00 a.m.– noon, include locally produced sausage, eggs, and juice paired with pancakes or scones for just $5.
Biker Benefits: Free bike valet service at info booth.
Nearby Rides: It’s a quick, mostly flat ride along 700 East to reach this Market from downtown locations, and once you’re there you can also choose to ride or run for Meet Me at the Market. This free social walk, bike, or 5K run begins at 9:00 a.m. and participation qualifies you to earn rewards like free breakfast, t-shirts, and more.
Park Silly Sunday Market
Dates: Sundays, June–September 22
Hours: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location: Main Street in Park City. The Farmer’s Market is located on 5th Street, next to the Post Office.
Fresh air and cooler temperatures are a great excuse to drive to this bustling open-air market and street festival. Come to shop, but remember there’s much more to see and do! Bounce houses and rock climbing for kids, a beer garden and Bloody Mary bar for grownups, live music, fitness classes, and booths peddling an array of wares from cocktail-scented soap to leather dog collars. You can also buy artisan jams, Utah honey, and the bestselling olive oil and Redman salt bread from Park City-based Red Bicycle Breadworks in the farmer’s market area.
Biker Benefits: Free parking is available, but often full. Instead, ride your bike and park it with the free bike valet. Located on lower 9th Street next to the Main Stage, in the Swilly Garden.
Nearby Rides: The 30-mile Rail Trail begins in Park City proper near White Pine Touring, and the downhill and flat grade makes it ideal for families or beginners. The trail follows what was once Park City’s main railway line and begins with two miles of asphalt riding near town, but quickly changes to a gravel path through farmland with llama sightings along the way. You can road bike the paved miles, but a mountain bike is needed to complete the trail.
Salt Lake City People’s Market
Dates: Sundays, May–October
Hours: 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Location: Jordan Park, 1000 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City.
Known for a relaxed vibe in a gorgeous location (just outside the International Peace Gardens), the People’s Market is the perfect spot to chill on a Sunday. Market Manager, Cagney Smullin, says this market offers a “good mix of local produce, artisan, non-profit, and local business vendors.” You’ll find home gardeners here selling extra produce alongside face painters and crafters. Take a walk through the International Peace Gardens to see 28 countries represented with flags and cultural icons amidst diplays of blooming flowers.
Biker Benefits: A free bike valet is available.
Nearby Rides: The 42-mile Jordan River Parkway Trail passes by Jordan Park and is loved by cyclists and runners for its shade, river views, and scenic sites. Along the Salt Lake City section alone you’ll encounter nine city parks and three golf courses. The recently completed Legacy Parkway Connection lets you lengthen your ride north without leaving a paved path.
Wasatch Front Farmer’s Market-Millcreek
Dates: Friday evenings, June–August
Hours: 5:00–8:45 p.m.
Location: Changes weekly, but all are within Millcreek Township.
This evening community market, held in conjunction with Millcreek Outdoor Movies in the Park and the Venture Outdoors Festival, entertains adults and children alike. Outdoor recreation is an emphasis here along with pony rides and garden classes. Listen to live music while shopping local vendors slinging kettle corn, tamales, and Hawaiian shaved ice that you can snack on during the free family-friendly movie after sunset. See this week’s location and movie online.
Biker Benefits: Park your bike for free at the Info Booth bike valet.
Nearby Rides: The not-yet-completed Parley’s Trail, which will eventually connect to the new Sugar House streetcar, passes by or near many of the Millcreek Market locations. It winds through quiet neighborhoods between Sugar House and Tanner Park before linking to a one-mile paved trail that traverses the hills of Parley’s Historic Nature Park. After completing this segment, add on by riding north to to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail or south along Wasatch Boulevard.
Detours Alki Beach Basket
Tote your farmer’s market treasures in this handlebar-mounted, collapsible basket. The quick-release clip lets you take it off for shopping or carrying Fido, and the drawstring top closure prevents apples from escaping on bumpy roads. An included removable wallet stashes cash. Built for cruisers, but I use this basket on my road bike. $69 detours.us
Sure, a kickstand would be an unattrective annoyance on your carbon-fiber road bike, but ya gotta admit, parking your childhood Huffy without leaning it on something was pretty awesome right? Meet UpStand. This grown-up stand attaches to your bike’s rear skewer with a magnet then folds to stow in a pocket or bag in seconds. Why didn’t I think of that? $39 upstandingbicycle.com
Lifeproof Bike + Bar Mount
Say sayonara to fumbling with your phone stuffed in a jersey pocket. Secure it and monitor your ride stats with the Lifeproof Bike Mount. Yes, you need a Lifeproof case to use it, but it’s a worthy investment for outdoorsy folks. The case protects your phone from water, dirt, and shock while allowing full access to the touchscreen and buttons. And this mount locks your phone in place while a quick-release lever frees it fast for photo opps or phone calls. Be smart and only do so when safely stopped! $40 lifeproof.com
Jenny is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She loves adventure and is happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Llama racing and deal finding are her secret superpowers. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or on Google+.