The snow is melting, the terrible, frigid weather is retreating, and soon fields of colorful flowers will begin to pop up all over the US. At these 11 spots, you’ll find yourself lost among blooms in every color, shape, size, and texture; from fragrant lavender to bright orange California poppies to pastel tulips straight out of a Dutch storybook. Just remember the cardinal rule of floral tourism: no picking the flowers. Appreciate their beauty, but leave it for the next person to enjoy.
1. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm — Clackamas County, Oregon
Flower lovers come from near and far to attend the annual Tulip Festival at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, Oregon, which takes place in March and April each year. Acres of brightly colored tulips spring from the ground and mark the arrival of a season of renewal. The festival kicks off with an off-road Tulip Trail Run through the fields and around the farm in distances of 5K, 10K, and half marathon. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is also a vineyard, so when you’re done looking at the pretty blooms, you can go wine tasting — or go on a hot-air balloon ride, depending on the weather.
2. Borrego Springs — Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
The largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is mostly desert, but when the conditions are right — when the temperatures and rainfall create the optimal growing environment in the spring– the area erupts in a multicolored array of wildflowers, including blossoms like the desert sunflower, sand verbena, lupine, brown-eyed evening primrose, desert lilies, and yellow desert dandelion. This phenomenon is known as a super bloom and last happened in 2017, though the conditions are looking right for it again this year, and some blooms are already beginning to emerge. Park hours are dawn until dusk.
3. Texas Hill Country
In Texas Hill Country, located in central and southern Texas, the state flower of Texas — the bluebonnet — hits peak bloom in early April and can commonly be found along the side of the highways that crisscross the area. Some Hill Country hot spots that promise good chances of spring bluebonnet sightings include Llano, Georgetown, Fredericksburg, and Marble Falls. If you’re lucky, you may spot fields of red poppies, too — another common Texas spring bloom.
4. Mount Rainier National Park — Washington
Both the meadows and forests of Mount Rainier National Park come alive with native wildflowers when the weather is right in the late spring and early summer — the state park is home to over 100 varieties of wildflowers in a cacophony of colors, but they only bloom for a short time. Hopeful flower followers can check the park’s wildflower status to see what’s blooming and plan their visit accordingly. Meadows with names like Paradise and Sunrise are popular among visitors, who often opt to hike the paths or bike the trails, and promise a good chance of wildflower sightings.
5. Pelindaba Lavender Farm — San Juan Islands, Washington
Pelindaba Lavender Farm, located on Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, covers 25 acres and offers visitors not only stunning scenes (and smells) of fresh lavender but also views of a small nearby lake and the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Bushels of soothing purple lavender bloom each year, and there’s an annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival that takes place every July. Visitors to the farm can tour the organic fields, the nursery, and the onsite essential oil distillery, as well as browse educational exhibits and lavender-based products in the farm’s store.
6. Sledd’s U-Pick Strawberry Farm — Mims, Florida
A small family-owned farm located on the Space Coast of central Florida, Sledd’s U-Pick Strawberry Farm gives fruit lovers the chance to come pick their own strawberries and shop for other delicious produce — but it also offers the chance to get lost in a rare four-acre sunflower maze, where head-high yellow flowers will shield you for around an hour of finding your way out. The farm provides regular updates on the sunflowers’ status on its official Facebook page.
7. Flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch — Carlsbad, California
Open March through May, the 50 acres of technicolor at the flower fields at Carlsbad Ranch are among the most popular springtime destinations in California and beyond, with blooms of thousands of giant Tecolote ranunculus flowers raising the area to life and boldly announcing the arrival of spring each year. The fields have deep roots in the area; an early settler named Luther Gage first began cultivating these lush fields all the way back in the 1920s.
Admission to the ranch costs $18 per adult, $16 for seniors (60 and over), and $9 for children aged 3-10, and season passes are available, too, for those who can’t get enough. Visitors to the fields can also enjoy an American flag made entirely of flowers, wagon rides pulled by an antique tractor, artist gardens, sluice mining, a sweet pea maze, and more.
8. Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte, located in Gunnison National Forest, is considered by some to be the wildflower capital of Colorado. Varieties of flowers found at Crested Butte include bright yellow mule’s ear sunflowers, heartleaf arnica, sneezeweed, purple sky pilot, cool blue columbine, magenta elephantella, and more.
A celebration of the bloom called Crested Butte Wildflower Festival has been held annually since 1986 and gives floral fanatics a chance to take hikes and workshops centered around the wildflowers, with classes on topics like wildflower medicine and wildflower photography.
9. Antelope Valley — Mojave Desert, California
You wouldn’t think of a desert as the first place to find verdant fields of bright flowers, but in the Antelope Valley’s Poppy Reserve on the western end of the Mojave, a sea of bright orange California poppies (the state flower) blooms each spring. Visitors can traverse the park’s hiking trails, and should make sure to stay on the official trails only, as walking in the poppies destroys the environment and could result in a ticket. The poppies open up around mid-morning each day and curl back up in the late afternoon (or if it’s cold), so plan your visit accordingly; the park is open from sunrise to sunset year-round.
10. Holland, Michigan
In Holland, Michigan, six million tulips are planted in parks, gardens, and private fields around the city, usually blooming in wild swaths of vibrant color in April and May.
Popular spots if you’re going the self-guided tulip touring route include Veldheer Tulip Gardens, Window on the Waterfront downtown, Nelis’ Dutch Village, and the Windmill Island Gardens. Windmill Island Gardens is a popular option because it hosts Tulip Time, which includes attractions like playgrounds and displays, Dutch food, windmill tours, Amsterdam street organ demonstrations — and over 100,000 tulips. The experience is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM during this time, and admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for youths aged 3-15.
11. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival — Skagit Valley, Washington
Held every April, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, Washington, is really more like a drive-through tulip tour, as there is no one official site to enter. Instead, blooming tulip fields are spread all throughout the Skagit Valley, where they have been farmed since the early 1900s. Visitors can enjoy taking in the sights of acres upon acres of colorful tulips all across the valley. Two show gardens where over one million spring bulbs are planted — RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town — charge admission. Check out the festival brochure to plan your visit.
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