Your Guide to Santa Cruz County’s Outdoor Markets

With an average of 262 days of sunshine each year in Santa Cruz County, artists, makers, and vendors of all kinds come together often to share their goods under the open sky. There are several plein-air markets to discover around the county, where art, craftsmanship, and design take center stage, from jaw-dropping art to dazzling jewelry, alluring botanicals, and beyond. With scenery ranging from West Cliff Drive’s iconic ocean views to the spectacular redwood surroundings of Felton, don’t miss an opportunity to shop for goods that are locally handcrafted and uniquely Santa Cruz at one of the Outdoor Markets!


Situated under Santa Cruz’s iconic Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse is the West Cliff Outdoor Market, where artisans and makers can be found slinging their wares alongside stalls offering delicious fare to eat, all overlooking classic Santa Cruz scenery: surfers at Steamer Lane. From Engrafft’s thoughtfully-designed clothing that makes art wearable to ocean-inspired jewelry from LEEBA, as well as Illustrated Playing Cards featuring Santa Cruz among a variety of cities from around the globe, the West Cliff Outdoor Market is brimming with creative energy from local artisans. Check out upcoming market dates so you don’t miss out on the fun. Food trucks and music make this a lively market event, while its unique West Cliff location provides spectacular views to enjoy while you peruse the goods on offer!


Every third Sunday of the month, the Makers Market heads to Downtown Santa Cruz! Located on Pacific Avenue between Lincoln Street and Cathcart Street, the downtown thoroughfare is transformed into a bustling street market. Some of the usual artisans to peruse include Desert Moon Design, whose table glimmers with the sparkle of sustainably-made jewelry, Love Cultivated, whose artisan provisions are made with the magic of time-honored traditions, and Janina Church Art, whose gentle watercolor strokes evoke the ethereal nature of Santa Cruz. They are joined by over 40 different artists, jewelers, florists, bakers, and makers of all kinds, who take over the street to flaunt their creations. There’s no better market to snag something local, handmade, and distinctively Santa Cruz! 


Once annually, the Santa Cruz Mountains Makers Market puts on an extraordinary market event in the redwood-lined town of Felton. Vendors come from all over the Santa Cruz area to peddle their goods while live music plays, bringing people together to build community. This once-per-year outdoor market is an event you won’t want to miss!


Head out on a hunt for a special find at the Antiques Faire in Downtown Santa Cruz! Vendors set up shop every 2nd Sunday of the month on Lincoln Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street. Explore the eclectic array of unique antiques, collectibles, vintage clothing, secondhand goods, and more!

Many of the makers and artisans who frequent these Outdoor Markets also take part in local art, wine, and beer festivals and holiday affairs, so keep an eye out for these events that happen seasonally. Artisans and makers also show off their work at local farmers’ markets, which happen multiple times a week throughout the county. There are a number of opportunities to shop for gifts, admire the intricate handwork of the creators, and support local artisans and makers. For something that is truly unique to Santa Cruz, head to an Outdoor Market, where you can browse handcrafted goods from local artisans, all while you soak up the California sunshine!