Best Time to Visit the Flower Fields of Carlsbad

Yellow Ranunculus at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

We recently spent 2 weeks on a 12-hour road trip to Southern California. It involved two days in Las Vegas, 3 different cities in California, 4 theme parks, 10 extended family members, 3 different AirBnBs, and lots and lots and lots of car snacks. Our trip was fun but exhausting, and luckily culminated with a visit to The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch. Oh how I needed to refresh and relax among beautiful flowers! Here’s why we loved the Flower Fields and the best time to visit the Flower Fields of Carlsbad! 

The Carlsbad Flower Fields

Ranunculus Field San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch was started in 1921 by horticulturist Luther Gage. Gage introduced the ranunculus seed to the area, and they quickly because his main growing focus. 85 years later, his original ranunculus farm has expanded to over 50 acres!

Carlsbad Ranch not only grows a rainbow of this “Asian Buttercup” for visitors to walk through and enjoy, the plants are also cut for immediate purchase in their gift shop and harvested for bulbs. Visitors can see an actual working farm when touring the beautiful flowers!

Things to do at The Flower Fields

Father spins son in flower field San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

I was prepared to walk through gorgeous fields of flowers, but had no idea how many different activities there are to do at the farm!

  • Take a tractor ride through the fields

I was glad we had tickets for the tractor ride, because it’s a long (though enjoyable) walk from one end of the flower fields to the other! The tractor ride is not only a fun time saver, a speaker also spouts facts on the flower fields while you ride. Double win!

  • Flower Maze

Corn mazes kind of scare me, if I’m being honest. The corn stalks are creepy when they dry out, and I panick that I’ll never escape! But a flower maze… that’s a totally different story. The flower hedges are fun walk around but don’t lead to claustrophobia.

  • The Artist Garden

Father and Son walk through flower display San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

The Artist Garden is so named because of the gorgeous use of colors and plant variety in small garden plots. Walk around them to get inspired for your own home landscape, or to simply get lost in the wonder of nature.

  • American Flag of Flowers

This was actually Whit’s favorite part of the flower fields ranch tour! We saw the largest living American Flag made out of red, white, and blue petunias on the edge of a giant hill. It’s so large we couldn’t see the entire flag at one time, which left us with a deep respect for the breath and importance of this great country.

 

Walking Through the Flower Fields

red and yellow ranunculus field San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

The main reason to visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields is to walk through the rainbow of ranunculus plants, of course.

For us, it was an opportunity to get back to nature and refresh after a busy week of sightseeing around San Diego. I immediately felt calm and peaceful, yet inspired by the many colors and bright blooms laid out before me.

It’s a photographer’s dream location, and I used my camera like the favorite toy that it is! We ended up staying until they closed because I just. couldn’t. stop. photographing.

Close up of ranunculus field San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

 

Boy smells yellow ranunculus San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

The Best Time to Visit the Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

  • Season

The flowers are grown, bloom, and harvested in cycles throughout the year, but the flower fields are only open to visitors in the Spring. In 2018 the Flower Fields are open from March 1- May 13.

  • Day

The Flower Fields offers special events throughout the week, so check their calendar of events to pick the perfect day for your family to go and have an extra learning experience!

We chose to go on a weekday that didn’t offer any special events, unfortunately, but I was pleased to see it was less crowded than a weekend would have been.

  • Time

Since Southern California can get a bit hot, I would suggest avoiding the middle of the day. The Flower Fields are open from 9am-6pm, so early morning or later afternoon are your best options to avoid direct sun and to get the best photos.

  • Photography

Any photographers interested in a dedicated photo session at The Flower Fields is asked to submit an application.  Approved photographers will be granted time slots as late as 6:30, which will help (but not entirely diminish) harsh shadows in your photos!

For reference, all photos shown here were taking between 5:00-6:00 pm during regular operating hours, not during a dedicated photo session. 

 

Woman smiles in flower field San diego Flowers The Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch

 

For more information on The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch click here!

 

Going to Southern California? You'll need to relax after a day at DisneyLand, Universal Studios, and LEGOland! Come to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. It's 50 acres of rainbow blooms parents and kids will love! Truly one of the best things to do in San Diego as a family!

 

 

Going to Southern California? You'll need to relax after a day at DisneyLand, Universal Studios, and LEGOland! Come to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. It's 50 acres of rainbow blooms parents and kids will love! Truly one of the best things to do in San Diego as a family!

 

 

 

21 comments

  • Anonymous

    Ah! I hear San Diego is beautiful! I love your pics! It needs to be on my bucket list to travel 😉

  • Heather

    I’m headed to SoCal next week, and was looking for stuff to do. This is perfect!!

  • Michelle

    I have always wanted to visit the flower fields, especially during this time. They are so pretty and a perfect photo opportunity and –as you have shows– the perfect getaway for children as well.

    Thanks for sharing! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

  • Daria

    California is a beautiful place to visit and to live. I moved here 2 years ago from a rainy Belgium and I really embrace the change.

  • Cass

    Y’all always look like you have so much fun in all your travels! This place looks beautiful!

  • Margaret Smith

    I love flowers. Your photos are absolutely amazing!

  • Holli shae

    This looks amazing. California is such a beautiful diverse state.

  • Erik

    Right on! Another place to add to the travel log it seems! Great read.

  • Cherishingflo

    First of all just hearing that you walked through 💐 flowers! That’s so beautiful! I’ve never done anything like that! I love California so much. It’s where I wanna end up one day. These pics just remind me why! Beautiful!

  • theintrovertmomblogger

    The place was so beautiful based on the photos you got. A place worth visiting. And I love the flowers too. … 🙂

  • Shash

    Far out, that beats the hell out of the some of the Tulip fields in the Netherlands!
    I just have to say, I love those times when the light, location, experience is just right that you run around snapping photos endlessly (with only a twinge of regret when you realise you have to process them all…)

  • Moni

    Wow, I just love this place! And after Las Vegas you definitely deserve something colorful like this. With no neons and lights but full of natural beauty and tranquility.

    Greetings from Bulgaria,
    Moni

  • Lauren

    Oh my gosh such beautiful pictures!! This is such a helpful post for knowing the right time to visit to catch those gorgeous blooms!

  • Sheena

    Hello Susannah, I live in Northern California, yet, I’ve never been here. This seems like perfect place to visit after a full day of running around. I will definitely pin this blog. I also like the way you organized his blog.

  • Alyssa

    Your pictures are beautiful! The flower maze sounds so fun and my kiddo would love the tractor rides!

  • Ashley

    This looks so amazingly beautiful, of course I say this as I stare out my Snowy window wondering where “spring” is today, but seriously I think I would love it anyway even if I could be growing my own garden of flowers right now! : )

  • Jubilee

    Yay! So fun! I’ve been wanting to visit and these are great idea

  • Michaela

    Beautiful floral shots and of your family! Great ideas for visiting down in SoCal 🙂

  • Danielle Lavoie

    What a beautiful adventure!! I will have to put it on my bucket list 😀

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