Nothing says spring time like strolling through a picturesque field of colorful flower fields. At the Carlsbad Flower Fields, visitors have the opportunity to do just that. Every spring, the fields open for a few months of the most spectacular flower peeping in the state.
Countless rows of beautiful flowers grow on a hillside, with the ocean visible in the distance. It’s one of the most beautiful (and Instagram-worthy!) places that you can be.
We first heard of the Carlsbad Flower Fields because they are only a short drive from where we live in San Diego. Countless people recommended that we visit, and after doing some research we decided to stop by on a sunny Saturday in early April.
If you’re planning a trip to the Carlsbad Flower Fields, here’s a few things you need to know.
About the Carlsbad Flower Fields
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are a popular attraction in Southern California, featuring over 50 acres of colorful flowers that bloom every spring. The Tecolote Giant Ranunculus is the type of flower grown throughout the fields. This beautiful flower blooms in nearly every color of the rainbow, creating row after row of spectacular flowers.
Entry to the Carlsbad Flower Fields costs $18 for adult, $16 for seniors, and $9 for children aged 3-10. If you plan to visit the flower fields more than twice per season, you can also invest in a seasonal pass for unlimited entry.
The best way to get around the flower fields is by walking, though there are tractor rides available (details below). The ground and dirt paths between flowers is pretty level and easy to walk on, but you do have to go up a hill to get to the top of the flower fields.
At the end of the season, many of the flowers are left to die. Fear not, because the seeds they produce are used to plant next year’s crop of flowers. It’s the circle of life!
Best Times To Visit
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are open every spring, approximately from March – May. While you can visit the Flower Fields any time during this three month window, you’ll get the best views during peak flower season.
Peak flower season is between mid-March and mid-April, which means the flowers will be in full bloom. Plan your trip during these times to see the fields in their full splendor. We visited in early April and the flowers were in perfect bloom!
However, there can also be benefits to visiting when outside of peak flower season. For one, it can get pretty crowded during peak flower season. We were at the Flower Fields right when they opened and there was already a pretty long line. Once inside the Flower Fields, you can usually avoid the crowds by walking as far from the entrance as possible.
Avoid most of the crowds during peak flower season by visiting on a weekday or weeknight. These times are usually way less crowded than weekends, so you’ll be able to explore and photograph the fields without too many people in the background.
Visitors also have the option to take a tractor ride through the flower fields. Keep in mind that a tractor ride does cost a little bit extra ($5 for adults, $3 for children 3-10).
We saw quite a few tractor ride groups while we were there, and it looked like a lot of fun. A voice recording explaining more about the flower fields plays as visitors are transported around, stopping periodically to allow visitors to take pictures.
There are port-a-pottys located throughout the flower fields if you need to use a bathroom. There are also plenty of benches and cute places to sit if you need a break–they also make great photo opps!
On the weekends, there are food and beverage vendors on the grounds. There was a gourmet food truck and a beer stand while we were there, and it wasn’t even 11 AM yet. If you visit during the week, it’s likely that there won’t be any food stands or trucks but there are vending machines if you get desperate.
To leave the fields, you pass through the Armstrong Garden Gift Center Shop. Here, there are clean bathrooms that you are able to use as well as a water fountain. You can also purchase fresh cut flowers, gardening supplies, and souvenirs.
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are one of the best ways to celebrate Spring in Southern California. It’s hard to imagine anything better than strolling through colorful flowers in the fresh spring air.
One thing to keep in mind is that since all the paths are dirt, it can get pretty muddy after it rains. It’s probably best to wear boots that you don’t mind getting dirty if you visit within a few days of a rainfall.
Also, we’ve heard that Easter weekend is an extremely popular time to visit the Flower Fields. This means the fields will probably be extra busy around Easter time, so plan accordingly.
If you’re going to walk around all day at the Flower Fields, you’ll probably get hungry. San Diego is only a short 30 minute drive from Carlsbad, and we can’t recommend the Mexican food enough. Check out our post on “11 Best Authentic Mexican Restaurants in San Diego” for the best places to eat.
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