Located in a section of town that was once part of the Port of Olympia, the Olympia Farmer's Market is housed in a new building that does honor to the traditional building practices of the old port side warehouses and related buildings. The market has been a part of Olympia since 1973, and therefore has become an institution that is well respected and the new building helps give them a wonderful new face.
While fairly small, an amazing variety of items may be discovered here, including artwork of various types (unique post cards, wood working, paintings, iron work, and more were available during a recent visit), and of course the typical farmer's market local food of all kinds.
The building itself is a mostly enclosed open air structure - the ends are open, but there are enough walls to keep blasts of cold wind and hot sun off of visitors to the market, as well as those selling here.
As you walk through the market, take a close look at the ground beneath your feet, as the paving stones are memorial stones as well, so that you are in fact walking on the very history of Olympia as you walk this historic ground.
The north side of the building features a small ampitheatre structure where various entertainment may be found, including live music. Slightly south of this there is usually someone doing face painting and/or balloon animals for the children.
The structure is equipped with solar panels on the roof and thus complies with the latest efforts to make such public structures as environmentally sound as possible.
The market is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm, April through October. Pets are not allowed in the market.
What to buy: There is a maker of goat cheese that is somewhat expensive, but is extremely good. They are on the south side of the building, towards the middle. The are called Blue Rose Dairy and are located in Winlock, somewhat south of Olympia. While expensive, their cheese really is more of a dessert than anything, and one of their free samples will tell you as much. I particularly like their Lemon & Honey cheese. It is expensive, but a very small amount goes a very long way.
There is a fruit preserves maker that is usually on the southwest side of the building. They have some wonderful jams and jellies, and are also willing to let you sample some of their great products.
The locally made artwork and memorabilia will probably be of interest to those from outside the northwest.
What to pay: This depends entirely on how much you want want is there. Prices are a bit higher than, say, grocery stores or mass produced markets. However, the items here are also unique and/or hand made or usually hand processed, including the food. Thus, the question is how much are you willing to pay for something unique?
If you want good fresh fruit & veg this is the place to come and get it, also there are alot of crafts in which people have spent alot of time making themselves and selling them at a very good price.
What to buy: fresh fruit & veg, fish, hand made arts & crafts
What to pay: what you like, you pay for what you get