GULFPORT – Usually, if you’ve seen one fresh market then you’ve pretty much seen them all. Fresh, locally grown or organic produce, hand-made trinkets and jewelry, and tourist-looking people with their dogs are common sights at fresh markets, and the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market is no different. But Gulfport also has its unique qualities, if you look a little closer. Here are three things not to miss when paying this market a visit.
Tropicool Gourmet Sorbet will help to ease the creeping sweat beads as the humidity creeps through the market. All-natural fruit pops, gourmet sorbet and ice cream popsicles in delightful and refreshing flavors like white peach raspberry and mint chocolate pistachio make obvious why the line for Tropicool wraps in a winding half circle around the palm tree lined road.
Lacy Fernandez, 25, is one fan of the fruit pops. “I sometimes leave the market only after I get one,” she says.
Chicago Rich strums his guitar to an all too appropriate “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” near Pia’s Trattoria. His mustache tickles the microphone as his gray eyes look out under his straw hat. He has been performing for more than 30 years and will energetically play a variety of genres as you patiently wait in the produce or gelato lines. His almost full tip jar tells to the captivating songs of the guitar and it’s player. The other side of the market also has a solo ukulele player under the shady oak tress and brightly colored houses, and a shy guitar player near the Historic Waterfront to keep you grooving through the market. Be sure to tune in and show your appreciation.
Speaking of Gulfport’s Historic Waterfront, it should be a definite stop on your circle through the market. After swinging through the all-natural coffee, dog treats, candles, soaps, and lotions, take a break and walk across Beach Boulevard to soak up some sea breeze and sunrays. The Historic Waterfront Casino Ballroom in all of its swing-era glory (swing dance lesson are still taught every Wednesday night there) is the perfect backdrop to the glistening Boca Ciega Bay that borders the market to the west. The ever increasing heat and bustling crowds of friendly dogs, chatty locals, curious snowbirds can sometimes feel stuffy in the narrow streets that hold the market while the waterfront’s historic natural feel may bring the natural feel of the surroundings back to mind.
Fresh markets are gaining popularity as people are becoming more aware of the types of products that we are putting into our bodies, and if done properly they can be a valuable resource for our home and body. If the Saturday Morning Market of Downtown St. Petersburg is just too big in size for your tastes, then try the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market. Just be sure to look for those unique qualities.
Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market
9:00 am-3:00 pm – October – May
9:00 am-2:00 pm – June – September
3000 Beach Blvd. South
Gulfport, Florida 33707