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Where to See California's Spring Flowers in Every Region
Travel

Where to See California's Spring Flowers in Every Region

Poppies, lavender, and sunflowers adorn the state’s fields and farms, inviting you to admire them in full bloom.

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5 min read

May 12, 2021

As winter fades and temperatures warm up, the Golden State puts on a spectacular display of colorful spring flowers. Poppies, lavender, sunflowers, and other California spring flowers adorn the state’s fields and farms, inviting you to admire them in full bloom. Pack a picnic for an outdoor date, plan a spring hike filled with flora and fauna, or go on the solo trip of a lifetime. Whatever you decide to do, don’t miss out on seeing the California flower fields in spring.

Super blooms don't happen every year, but the Golden State always puts on a kaleidoscopic show for its admirers.

How to Find The Golden State's Most Stunning Spring Flowers

Flowers that bloom in spring are especially abundant after a season of heavy rainfall. But the best way to see vibrant California spring flowers is to follow bloom forecasts. As soon as you see the blooms peaking, hit the road to see the beautiful wildflowers and fields in person.

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Here are a few tips to keep in mind when exploring flower fields in California:

  • Don’t pick the flowers. As tempting as it is to take a blooming souvenir home, picking the flowers harms the roots and is strictly frowned upon
  • Stay on official lanes. Unless you’re checking out wildflowers in unincorporated areas, chances are the fields you’re visiting have marked paths. Stay in the lanes to avoid harming the environment in any way
  • Beware of insects and rattlesnakes. After all, the fields are dense areas full of plantlife, so running into pesky creatures is inevitable
  • Leave the area clean. If you plan on having a picnic or photoshoot at the fields, make sure you don’t leave anything behind that would disturb the environment


Top Destinations for Northern California Wildflowers

Owl's clover and lupine wildflowers call the Shell Creek Road Meadows home. Don't miss out on the colorful display of California natives.

Shell Creek Road Meadows

The flowers in April cover the Shell Creek Road Meadows in vibrant hues of oranges and yellows. The sprawling scenery and diverse range of flowers make Shell Creek an excellent place to learn about California wildflowers. You’ll see goldfields, California poppies, and baby blue eyes dominating the grounds, though you'll also come across other wildflowers throughout the meadows.

Coastal wildflowers beautify the countless sandy stretches in Half Moon Bay. Don't forget to bring a camera to this awesome photography spot.

Half Moon Bay

The string of beaches south of San Francisco makes up the coastal city of Half Moon Bay. Every time spring rolls around, the green areas above the beaches turn into blooming flower fields; the Bay Area is dotted with yellow, white, and purple sprouts. The coastal wildflowers against the backdrop of crashing waves make for a stunningly unique landscape you won't want to miss.

Can't-Miss Northern California Flower Fields

Approximately 70 different species of sunflowers are native to North America. Watch them in full bloom at the Dixon flower fields during springtime.

Sunflower Fields, Dixon

You’ve probably seen the endless rows of sunflowers in San Diego's flower fields on your IG feed. But did you know that most of those gorgeous photoshoots are actually taken at the sunflower fields in Davis and Dixon?

Dixon, Woodland, and Davis are within reasonable driving distances from each other. These stunning expanses are worth adding to any adventure, as they're some of the best flower fields in Northern California. Be sure to keep an eye out for “private property” signs along the road and only explore the California sunflower fields you have access to.

You might think that wildflowers wouldn't bloom in the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the country, but you'd be surprised.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is more temperamental when it comes to California spring flower sightings. But, when the conditions are right, nothing beats the sight of never-ending fields of flowers against the desert landscape. Death Valley's wildflower season usually extends from mid-February into July. You’re more likely to see spring flowers at lower elevations, so make your way to Badwater Road, Green Valley Road, and Titus Canyon Road. 

But once in a while, a phenomenon known as the “Death Valley Superbloom” occurs—the area is covered in sunflowers, phacelia, desert gold, Bigelow’s monkeyflower, desert sage, and other wildflowers. Sadly, this intense bloom only happens about once every 10 years. With the last one taking place in 2016, we are almost halfway through a super bloom hiatus.

Southern California Wildflowers Worth the Drive 

Wildflower season generally lasts from mid-February to May, with a variety of wildflowers creating an ever-changing display.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Also known as the Lancaster poppy fields, this state-protected reserve harbors the most consistent blooms of the Golden State’s official flower, the California poppy. Already famous and brimming with visitors every spring, the preserve boasts gorgeous landscapes that are almost too amazing to believe. Visit the California poppy field during early spring to capture the orange flowers in full bloom.

Joshua Tree National Park is home to different species of wildflowers, including the desert paintbrush, Mojave aster, and Utah firecracker.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree is undoubtedly one of California’s coolest places to visit. The national park houses unique rock formations, great views of the surrounding valley, and gorgeous desert plant life. Visit during spring to see colorful sprouts of wildflowers blooming from cacti, under rocks, and over unlikely places. Though not technically a flower field in Southern California, Joshua Tree offers enough sprouts to make it on the list.

Southern California Flower Fields You'll Love

Located in the beautiful foothills of SoCal's Cherry Valley, 123 Farm features gorgeous lavender fields and produces organic products.

123 Farm

SoCal’s largest organic lavender field, 123 Farm is located in the picturesque Cherry Valley. Visit the California lavender farm in late spring to get the best views of the purple fields. Don’t forget to drop by the on-site Flower Market to get culinary and beauty products made from the plants grown at this California lavender field.

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch have transformed the rolling hills of San Diego County into the most spectacular displays of natural color.

Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The famous rows of flowers in Carlsbad are found at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Only open during the spring, this field of flowers in California attracts visitors from all over with its lively display of seasonal sprouts. Have fun taking pictures, picking blueberries, admiring the colorful hues, and seeing the spring tulips at this real-life wonderland.

Lompoc's gorgeous blooms include both seasonal wildflowers and commercial flower fields. Make sure to experience the springtime blooms.

Lompoc Flower Fields

Make your way to the “City of Arts and Flowers” to see spectacular patches of color in the farm fields of Lompoc. Featuring both commercially grown and California spring flowers, the Lompoc Flower Fields are home to larkspur, delphinium, and sweet pea. 

Visit late in June to take part in the Lompoc Valley Flower Festival, which celebrates the area’s floral heritage. The festival features rides and games, arts and crafts exhibitions, delicious food stands, a parade, and of course, gorgeous sights of California spring flowers. If you find yourself driving around Santa Barbara County, make a detour around Lompoc—this flower field in Southern California is not to be missed.

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