With autumn’s harvest approaching, local apples, oysters, and cranberries give farmers and food artisans plenty to celebrate and craft into edible delights. Here is a list of destinations you can’t miss, all just a day trip away!
Boston Public Market
A crown jewel and relative newcomer to the farmers market scene, the Boston Public Market is a lovely indoor mix of more than 40 local farm stalls, food vendors, florists, and craftsmen, with plenty of coffee, beer, and wine on offer to keep things lubricated. Before you go, be sure to check the calendar for The Kitchen, where vendors host cooking and product demos.
- 100 Hanover St.; year-round Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Portsmouth Farmers’ Market
With all manner of farm produce—from eggs to meat to homemade jams—plus art and handicrafts, the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market has everything you need to justify a day trip to the Seacoast. Bonus additions, such as live music, book swaps, and demonstrations, make it a worthy precursor to dinner at charming local haunts!
- Portsmouth City Hall, 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through November 5
Coastal Growers Market
This year-round Rhode Island market features all of the fabulous local food and farm vendors and adds a slew of local artisans—from glassblowers to yoga instructors—to the mix, resulting in one great market. Throw in weekly live music and seasonal festivals like their Halloween Spooktacular, and it’s hard to beat Coastal Growers for crowd-pleasing weekend fun.
- Casey Farm in Saunderstown, Rhode Island; Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until October 29; winter market begins on November 5
This fest showcases farmers, local restaurants, food trucks, specialty food producers, fisher folks, and organizations focusing on healthy food and fitness from New England. The festival also features lively chef & DIY demos, a seafood throw-down competition, diverse music and performances, family fun zone and more.
- Rose Kennedy Greenway, Atlantic Avenue at India Street, Boston; September 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; free entry
What the Fluff? Festival
This festival celebrates the 1917 invention of Marshmallow Fluff in Union Square. The 11th annual event features musical performances, a cooking contest, fluff-themed games, activities, antics and fun for every age, and Fluff treats of every sort.
- Union Square, Somerville; September 24 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; rain date is September 25; free entry
A charity-driven competition that pits more than 40 award-winning chefs and restaurants against each other in a delicious battle for the title of best chowder, soup, and bisque. Your ticket buys event entry and a chance to help Community Plates fight food insecurity at this zero-waste event. Don’t worry if chowder isn’t your style—you’ll find Italian, Mexican, and ice cream fare, as well.
- Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, Connecticut; October 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12
In addition to the dozens of oysters to be slurped and craft beers to be savored at this family-friendly weekend festival, the famous Sunday Shuck-Off pits competitors from all over New England in a speed race to shuck 24 oysters as quickly as possible. Amateur and professional shuckers alike are welcome to enter the competition, and the winner earns entry in the National U.S. Oyster Shucking Contest in Maryland.
- Main Street in Wellfleet, Cape Cod; October 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and October 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $10 per day for adults, free for kids under 12
Harvest on the Harbor
Maine’s biggest food festival is packed with events like celebrity chef dinners and beer tastings from some of New England’s most coveted craft brewers. Flagship events span the weekend, and tickets include discounts and benefits at Portland restaurants and retail shops.
- Various venues in Portland, Maine; October 19 to 23; ticket prices vary; see website for more information
Head to the Berkshires for a full weekend celebrating the past and present of New England cider production. With a wide range of events hosted by cider houses, orchards, and restaurants throughout Franklin County, opportunities to eat, drink, and learn abound. But don’t think it’s all about cider—vinegar workshops, cheese tastings, and orchard rides are also among the offerings.
- Franklin County, Massachusetts; November 4 to 6; ticket prices vary; see website for details and a schedule of events