When it’s spring in Southern California, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a place you won’t want to miss.
There are tons of places to experience the California Bloom, including the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve and Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore. You might even be able to see what spring has brought in your own front or backyard.
But there’s something different about walking onto a nearly 50-acre property that’s exploding in vibrant, multicolored (13 different colors, to be specific) Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.
I first learned about The Flower Fields while browsing around on Instagram a year or two ago, but put off going until this year when a friend shared a photo of the flowers in bloom.
After seeing that photo, I was sold. Plus, I thought it would be a nice place to continue indulging in this year’s #CaliforniaBloom.
Things to expect
There’s a $14 entrance fee for adults ($13 for seniors aged 60+ and $7 for children aged 3-10), a price I think that’s worth it. (There’s also the option to get a season pass for $30 for adults if you’d like to go at least three times. I would do it if I lived closer!) If you’d like to ride the wagon inside, there’s an additional cost of $5 for adults and $3 for children aged 3-10.
The flowers bloom for about six to eight weeks each year from early March through early May, according to The Flower Fields website. I went somewhere in the middle of that time frame, and still saw some rows of flowers that weren’t in bloom, so it’s probably safe to go in mid- to late-April so you can see more flowers.
Apart from the ranunculus flowers, one of my favorite parts of the fields was the American flag of Flowers. At 279 feet long and 147 feet wide, this floral flag requires 18,989 red, white and blue petunias to create the American flag. The Flower Fields has planted the flag every year since the 9/11 attacks as a tribute to the memory of the lives lost that day.
It’s hard to see from the ground, but at an angle, you see a semblance of the American flag.
Another fun place on the fields is the Sweet Pea Maze, where you can walk alongside sweet pea blossoms. Even without trying too hard, you’ll most likely make it out without getting too lost.
Click here to read about other attractions – including Santa’s Playground and the Cymbidium Orchid Greenhouse.
A little history
The beginnings of The Flower Fields can be traced back to nearly 100 years ago when a horticulturist named Luther Gage settled in the area in the early 1920s. He began growing ranunculus flowers next to the vegetable farm of a man named Frank Frazee, who also began growing them in the early 1930s.
Frazee taught his son Edwin how to grow these flowers. If unique colors or full flowers bloomed in certain years, Edwin would save the seeds and plant them the following year.
In 1965, Edwin eventually moved to where The Flower Fields are today and continued to grow ranunculus flowers.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of The Flower Fields, click here.
Take some time to visit!
The Flower Fields is a must-see during the spring if you can get to it. If you enjoy admiring nature’s creations, you won’t regret carving out part of your day to visit 🙂