Ever since moving to San Diego in 2014, I have been hearing about the Flower Fields. I’ve seen so many great IG photos, and couldn’t wait to take my family out to see these gorgeous fields of flowers in Carlsbad. We finally went, and WOW, I can say that I am honestly sad I have been missing out the past several years. Here are all the details about the flower fields that you need for your visit:
Availability : March-May
These 50 acres (yes I said ACRES!!) of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers bloom for 6-8 weeks each year here in Southern California, so if you want to see them, make sure to get here while they are still open for the year! They are open this year from March 1st through May 13th, and let me tell you, this field trip (hehe) is well worth it!! I figured, what could be SO exciting about a field of flowers? Maybe I’ll spend 30 minutes there. No way, you can spend HOURS here, and still not get bored! Make sure to put a date on your calendar (between March 1 and May 13th) and make a trip to Carlsbad!
Parking : Free and Plenty of It
The flower fields have their own exit sign off the I-5 freeway. Exit Palomar Airport Rd, head East for about a half a mile, and you will see the large fields on your left. The parking lot is HUGE and free! For younger kids, be sure to bring the stroller, and for adventurous folks, leave the drone at home. (Seriously though, no drones allowed.) There is one main entrance, and a side, “weekend” entrance that we went through since we visited on Easter and it was pretty crowded.
Tickets : $8-$16
There is a ticket booth just before you go inside, and tickets are $16 for adults, and $8 for children age 3-10. If you’d like to go on the wagon ride (which I HIGHLY suggest) tickets for the wagon are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Once you have your ticket you can head through the gates, but be sure to bring along the map they will give you with your ticket, as it is a very large space with many different activities.
Tractor Wagon Ride : $3-$5 (SO Worth It!)
As soon as you get inside, you’ll see the Ecke Poinsettia Barn filled with many colors of Poinsettias. Once you walk through that, you can walk through an “artist’s garden” of various flowers, or jump in line for your tractor ride. While I waited in line, my son stood in the ice cream line, and got his cone JUSTTT as we were about to board the wagon (I actually had to wait to board until he ran over). Once on the wagon, a tractor took us farther down the fields than I would ever have energy to walk myself. I became instantly grateful that we purchased the wagon ride, and we had a really great ride out to the end of the fields. These flowers love full sun, and lots of drainage, so it is kind of interesting to see all of the pipes and hoses that lead out everywhere, and the drainage ditches that are dug to keep these flowers in perfect condition. They are very spoiled flowers if you ask me! Once we were out on the other side of the field, the tractor stopped at an optional drop off point.
Photo Opportunities: Many!!
There are SO many great photo opportunities at the Flower Fields! Out in the field, they have various benches and platforms set up so you can easily see where the best spots are to walk and pose for photos. (Although, I really don’t think there is a bad place to take a photo here.) Whenever you are done with your photo session, you can head back to the drop-off/pickup location and the tractor will pick you back up, and wagon you back around to the beginning. On the way back, you get to see the American Flag field of Petunias, and some other great vantage points that you would never be able to see otherwise. Like I said before, I highly suggest this wagon ride!!
Other Activities : You Can Stay For Hours
I thought there were just flowers here at the Flower Fields, but I was very wrong. There are so many other activities to do here, it’s crazy! One of the most fun things we did was go through the sweet pea maze, which is similar to a corn maze, but a lot more gorgeous. We tried to go pretty fast, and it took us just over 9 minutes, so don’t start it if you have less than 20 minutes I would suggest! They also have a playground and a sand-panning station for kids to sift for treasures. If you’d like to see more flowers, there is a orchid greenhouse, and like I mentioned earlier, the Ecke Poinsettia barn. If you get tired you can always rest inside the barn back by the sweet pea make and watch a movie about the history of the flower fields. (They also provide an audio tour of the history on the wagon ride, but you’re so excited looking at flowers, it’s hard to hear and keep up with.)
Overall I would say this was one of the best experiences I have had in San Diego, and the photos turned out absolutely wonderful! We will be back again and again, hopefully a few more times before this season closes! Want to head out there? Let me know! I would love to come!! Have you been there? What was your favorite activity? I would love to know!