Perfect Day at the Carlsbad Flower Fields: Tips for visiting
Today we’re talking all about visiting the Carlsbad flower fields in Southern California.
Welcome to my guide on visiting the beautiful Carlsbad Flower Fields! We’re sharing the best tips and tricks for making the most out of your visit to this gorgeous location. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned veteran, we have got you covered with everything you need to know.
We moved to Orange County a few years ago. I first came across the flower fields on an instagram image. I clicked the geotag and was pleasantly surprised this gorgeous spot was less than an hour from us! We made a day out of it, celebrating a dear friend’s birthday. After a few tips I’ll share what else we added on to our trip to make the most out of it.
Finding the Flower Fields:
Located in Carlsbad, California, the Flower Fields are an enchanting natural display of vibrant colors and fragrant blooms. The fields are located next to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets (including a Crate and Barrel outlet, my favorite) and are open to the public from early March through early May each year. If you’re traveling by car, take exit 45 on Interstate 5 and follow the signs to the Flower Fields.
Visiting the Flower Fields:
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area, if you’re lucky enough to be here during the right time of year. It’s important to plan your visit in advance to ensure the best experience possible. You must reserve your tickets online before you come. When you purchase your tickets you select a time slot and you can see how many tickets are still available for that time. We recommend arriving early in the day to avoid the crowds and to take advantage of the cooler weather. Additionally, weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends, making it a perfect time for a quiet and peaceful visit. Plus, the earlier in the morning you arrive, the better light you’ll have for pictures 😉
Exploring the Flower Fields:
The Flower Fields span over 50 acres of land and boast an incredible range of flowers, including Giant Tecolote Ranunculus, Poinsettias, and Roses, to name a few. There are numerous pathways throughout the fields, making it easy to explore and experience the beauty up close. Visitors can also take a wagon ride, which is an excellent option for those who want to see everything without having to walk too much.
Here are a list of attractions at the flower fields:
- Tractor Wagon Ride: relaxing tour through the Carlsbad Flower Fields
- Wagon tour costs $8 for adults, $4 for children aged 3-10 (children under 3 are free)
- Tickets can be purchased on-site (pre-purchased online tickets not available)
- American Flag of Flowers: A 300 by 170-foot hillside of red, white, and blue petunias creating an American Flag
- The Artist Gardens & Bird Aviaries
- Gardens that use flowers as an art medium, with displays of spring flowers that showcase how color can be used in gardens at home
- Bird aviaries with singing and soft chirping birds
- Cymbidium Orchid Greenhouse: Beautiful cymbidium orchids available for sale at the Armstrong Garden Center
- Carlsbad Mining Company
- Use the miner’s old method of sluicing water through boxes of sand to find polished gemstones
- $5 per guest for sluicing, with a $1 discount for kids who turn in their completed passport
- Historic Poinsettia Display: Learn the history of the world’s best-selling potted plant – the poinsettia
- 1,500 square foot greenhouse filled with world-famous Paul Ecke poinsettias
- Over 20 rare and unusual varieties on display
- Santa’s Playground: Whimsical playhouses and gigantic mushrooms for children and adults to enjoy
- Sweet Pea Maze: A one-of-a-kind floral maze featuring “old fashioned” sweet pea blossoms
- Demonstration Garden
- Created by the Master Gardeners of San Diego County
- Features 9 vignettes showcasing sustainability practices, including native plants, proteas, meadow grasses, and a pollinator bed
- Includes a small backyard orchard and vegetable bed, as well as a fun and whimsical miniature display
- Illusion Garden: Newest garden featuring 2 new topiaries crafted by Jennifer Coburn
- Butterfly Garden: Renovated garden celebrating butterflies that help make flowers bloom
- Sea of Sunflowers: 5-acre sea of sunflowers overlooking the Pacific Ocean coming in May 2023
The Flower Fields offer an ideal backdrop for stunning photography. Make sure to bring your camera and capture the vibrant colors and picturesque scenery. We recommend bringing a wide-angle lens and a tripod to get the best possible shots. Additionally, don’t forget to ask for permission if you want to take pictures of other visitors. You cannot actually walk into the flowers themselves but there are lots of spots set up for photo ops (benches, etc) in different colored sections.
Food and Drinks:
The Flower Fields offer a variety of food options for visitors, including a concession stand that sells snacks and drinks. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drinks, as there are designated picnic areas available.
- Pizza Trolley – serving authentic, artisan pizzas and fresh salads made from scratch on the trolley. Open 7 days per week.
- Sweet Swirls Ice Cream – serving “cream of the crop” soft serve ice cream. Open 7 days per week in April, and open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in May.
- Strawberry Shack of Carlsbad – serving the famous Strawberry Shake, Dole Whips, and more. Open 7 days per week.
- Kettle Kernels Popcorn – serving the best kettle corn in Carlsbad. Open Thursdays through Mondays.
- Lemonade Stand – serving freshly squeezed, made-to-order lemonade. Open 7 days per week.
- Mexico City Cuisine – serving handcrafted, authentic Mexico City-style cuisine and Santa Maria BBQ. Open 7 days per week.
- Cotton Candy – serving hand-spun cotton candy in various flavors. Open Thursdays through Mondays.
- Kettle Kernels Booth – serving a variety of hot or iced coffees and teas.
Besides exploring the Flower Fields, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the area. You can visit the nearby Carlsbad Premium Outlets, which offers an impressive collection of stores and restaurants. You can also head over to Legoland, which is located just a few miles from the Flower Fields.
Make it a whole day:
Here’s how we spent the rest of our day visiting the flower fields:
- early afternoon: Drive down to the flower fields, grab a treat at the Strawberry Shack, and take lots of photos.
- tacos for lunch: We headed down to The Taco Stand for lunch and it is worth they hype. Highly recommend this spot for tacos.
- hike at Torrey Pines: We made our way to Torrey Pines and hiked down to the water, taking in some gorgeous views along the way.
- dinner at VAGA: On our way home back to Orange County we stopped at VAGA Restaurant & Bar inside Alila Marea Beach Resort. The food was great and the views were even better. we did a quick outfit change in the car to be a tad more presentable for a nice dinner after a hike.
I hope guide has provided you with all the information you need to have a wonderful visit to the Carlsbad Flower Fields! Remember to plan your visit in advance, arrive early, bring your camera, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
A few more photos from our visit to the flower fields:
Carlsbad Flower Fields FAQ
Are the Carlsbad Flower Fields open?
Yes, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are open during their season which typically runs from March through May. However, it is always a good idea to check their website or call ahead to confirm their hours of operation and availability.
Who owns the Carlsbad Flower Fields?
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are owned and operated by the Ecke family, who have been involved in flower cultivation for over a century.
Are the Carlsbad Flower Fields worth it?
Absolutely! The Carlsbad Flower Fields are a stunning display of natural beauty and offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in colorful blooms and serene landscapes. With a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy, it is an experience that is sure to be memorable for visitors of all ages.
Are the Flower Fields open?
As mentioned, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are open during their season which typically runs from March through May. It is important to check their website or call ahead to confirm their hours of operation and availability.
What are the Flower Fields in Carlsbad?
The Flower Fields in Carlsbad are a vast expanse of vibrant, blooming flowers covering over 50 acres of land. They are a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, offering a range of activities and events throughout the season.
When do Carlsbad Flower Fields open?
The Carlsbad Flower Fields typically open in early March and run through early May. However, it is important to check their website or call ahead to confirm their hours of operation and availability.
Where are the Flower Fields in California?
The Flower Fields are located in Carlsbad, California, about 35 miles north of San Diego and approximately 80 miles south of Los Angeles.
Are the Carlsbad Flower Fields dog-friendly?
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at the Carlsbad Flower Fields, with the exception of service animals.
Are the Carlsbad Flower Fields in bloom?
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are only in bloom during their season, which typically runs from March through May. It is important to check their website or call ahead to confirm the bloom status before planning your visit.
Are the Flower Fields blooming in Carlsbad?
The Flower Fields in Carlsbad are only in bloom during their season, which typically runs from March through May. It is important to check their website or call ahead to confirm the bloom status before planning your visit.
How long are the Carlsbad Flower Fields open?
The Carlsbad Flower Fields are typically open from early March through early May, though the exact dates can vary each year. It is important to check their website or call ahead to confirm their hours of operation and availability.
How much are tickets to the Carlsbad Flower Fields?
Tickets for adults are typically $20, with discounts available for seniors, military members, and children. The cost for wagon rides, sluicing, and other activities vary. It is important to check their website or call ahead for current ticket prices and availability.
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