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Image: Dan Moore

Our growing season may not be the nation’s longest, but the fertile high-country soils around these parts yield a bumper crop of climate-appropriate produce and ranch products. At the Minturn Market, Eagle County’s longest-running and “original” outdoor market event, summer Saturdays bring the best of these to a quaint and historic town 15 minutes west of Vail. During this season’s edition, open from June 26 through September 4, visitors can stroll through an assortment of approximately 145 vendors and outdoor entertainment. Hours are 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

The Vail Farmers Market & Art Show, one of Colorado’s largest markets, takes place in Vail Village every Sunday on East Meadow Drive in Vail Village. The Vail market showcases local and regional artists and artisans and some of the most lovingly cultivated farm and food products in Colorado. More than 120,000 visitors stroll East Meadow Drive every summer, visiting more than 100 tents or any one of multiple entertainment venues. The Vail Farmers Market runs every Sunday, mid-June through September, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Considered a locals’ market because it specializes primarily in foodstuffs, the Edwards Farmers Market is an old-fashioned farm and food market. Its central location in downtown Edwards offers convenient, free on-site parking, and pets are welcome, provided they’re under control. This market runs every Saturday from June 12 to September 11 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

All three markets are truly community events: locals and visitors gather, mingle and celebrate the bounty of the Colorado sun and soil. Unique and unusual craft offerings, especially at the Minturn and Vail Village markets, provide less perishable options, but the real attractions are some of the best food offerings a summer weekend in the Vail Valley can provide. Come for the people and dog watching, but stay for the great food and welcoming atmosphere. Even in a temperamental growing season, they’re never in short supply.

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