Market day in Willits reflects an ancient cultural tradition of meeting in a central place to buy and sell produce while also trading news and information. For the folks of Willits in Mendocino County, Northern California — it’s also another reason to throw a party. As if they needed a reason!
Willits Farmers Market is every Thursday, 3-6 p.m. To celebrate its return to the outdoors, a few hundred people in a festive mood congregated at City Park May 6, 2010 for a memorable community event. (Don’t miss the slideshow below!)
Visitors may follow the signs from Main St. (Highway 101) at the corner of Commercial Street at the north end of town. It’s just a a block or so to N. Humboldt St. City Park is a sprawling venue with lots of grassy lawn, play areas for kids, a heavily shaded block for produce booths, and public restrooms. Great stop for travelers!
What you will find for sale depends on the season. In addition to whatever fruits and vegetables are being harvested during the spring-fall times of the year, there will also usually be honey, cheese, fresh fish and meats, and baked goods.
You can also expect an abundance of imaginative and useful local handicrafts. Information booths supporting local gardening and community service organizations will also sprout up around the park.
Since this is a place for village merriment, you can expect to see children and pets, musicians, and shared picnic blankets. Willits is a town of just 5,000 people, but it is the hub of an outlying rural area that reaches at least 15,000 people.
For more photos, see Willits Farmers Market, Part II.
Willits is also called “the heart of Mendocino County” because of its central location. The fabled Skunk Train operates between here and Fort Bragg on the coast. It’s a lovely ride through redwood forests and other memorably scenery.
Since Main St. of Willits is also Highway 101, Willits is a hub and popular stopover/stay over for North-South travel between Washington/Oregon and the San Francisco Bay Area.
If you’re traveling in Mendocino County on a Thursday, this is a good time to stop in Willits for provisions and a chance to meet local people.
Willits Skate Park is just a few blocks away. As is a train museum, a public library with free computer and Wi-Fi access, and many other interesting attractions. A real must-see is the cultural heritage county museum. Learn more from the Willits Chamber of Commerce.
Willits is a central and relatively inexpensive hub for exploring all of Mendocino County. Get more travel ideas from Visit Mendocino.
If you’re traveling to the Coast (Surely, you’re going to the Coast!), learn about all the interesting things to see and do there from the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce.
Tell your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media about the Willits Farmers Market. You could earn a bumper crop of gratitude.
Need driving directions? You can get from anywhere to anywhere with Google Maps.
To read more Examiner travel articles about Willits, visit cakechow.com and enter Willits.
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