The most dependable bloom of springtime flowers in SoCal? It’s in Carlsbad, where the cultivated Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch have been putting on a show for the past 26 years.
Visitors can stroll through more than 50 flowery acres on this working farm, where row after row of the colorful tecolote giant ranunculus (also known as Persian buttercup) flourish in colorful splendor on rolling hills beside the Pacific. It almost feels like a dream, or like you’ve walked into a kaleidoscope: yellow, white, red, purple, salmon, gold, rose, café, flame, pink, merlot, orange—brilliant colors as far as the eye can see. The farm is well set up for visitors, with plenty of places to stop for photo ops.
After you’ve had your fill of admiring the vibrant fields, you can head over to the on-site Armstrong Garden Center to buy freshly cut flowers, or ranunculus bulbs to grow your own flower fields. Food vendors are also on site; don’t even try to resist the kettle corn. And getting lost never smelled so wonderful as in the ranch’s sweet pea maze. If that’s not enough, you can also ride on an antique tractor wagon, enjoy live music, gardening demos, art and photography workshops, and artists selling their wares. It doesn’t matter how much rain has fallen this year—spring is a-bloom in Carlsbad!
The Flower Fields are just off the San Diego Freeway in Carlsbad. Take I-5 to Exit 47 and go east on Palomar Airport Rd., then north on Paseo Del Norte. The ranch is open from March 1 to May 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Entrance is $16 for adults and $8 for children. Free parking. No dogs.