Florida Guide > Shopping
Webster Flea & Farmers Market
At first glance, fifty miles seems an inordinate distance to travel to shop. And, under normal circumstances, I would be the first to agree. However, Websters is far from normal. Its' proper title is Webster Flea and Farmer' s Market, situated in the small town of Webster (surprise, surprise) about fifty miles north west of Kissimmee and seventy from Orlando.
It is Florida' s oldest and largest market, set in fifty acres and occupied by up to fifteen hundred vendors. It is open on Mondays only from six in the morning till about two in the afternoon, depending on the time of year and the weather. In the summer months when it is hot and humid, the market is noticeably quieter but come November, when the snowbirds and traders from the northern states arrive along with the more favourable weather, the market is alive and exciting. Row after row of wooden tables are set out selling. . . . . . everything. Collectibles, antiques, puppies, guns, fruit and veg, furniture, cars, clothes, beer, breakfast, lunch.
It would be nigh on impossible to walk up and down all the rows of goods on offer and not buy anything but if you just want to look, it' s fun and soothing just strolling aimlessly, taking in what' s on offer and listening to the banter between potential buyer and seller. Bartering is the norm and nobody takes offence if you try to get the price down, it' s part of the fun.
The fruit and veg are fresh and reasonably priced provided that' s not all you buy. A hundred mile round trip for two apples, no matter how nice, would be a bit extreme. On top of your expense of the round trip, it costs three dollars to park and with a breakfast and/or lunch on top, it could prove to be a fairly expensive shopping trip but it is an experience not to be missed. It is entertainment with a capital E and you will be surprised at the sight of goodies you never realised you needed or wanted.
You will need sustenance and The Speckled Butterbean Restaurant does a mean breakfast buffet till eleven in the morning before switching to its' lunch buffet. There is also a full menu available offering a variety of light snacks and hearty meals. It is a delightful traditional southern style restaurant with friendly service in cozy, welcoming surroundings.
Other eating places offer a variety of hot dogs, fish and chips, snacks, ice cream and popcorn to name just a few of the temptations on offer.
If you don' t have a GPS or map, head west on the US-192 till you reach Highway27. Turn right onto the 27 and drive for seventeen miles, then turn left onto Highway 50. Carry on for 20 miles, turn right onto Highway 471 and 4 miles later will find you in Webster. Follow the traffic, nothing else is happening. Many of the stalls stat packing up around noon, so don' t leave it too late to get there.
There is something about Websters that is enchanting, go on your first Monday on holiday because you will almost certainly want to go again. Happy shopping.
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Page added on: 23 November 2010
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