Having always wanted to see the tulip festivals in Europe or lavender fields in Provence I felt like the Flower Fields in Carlsbad helped satisfy my wanderlust dreams until I could fulfill them. Every year from March 1st to May 13th, 50 acres on the west side of Carlsbad come alive with the beauty of thousands of blooming Ranunculus flowers. I went this past week and was surprised I had not heard more about it in the past. It was at about 85% bloom!
On a hillside just one exit from the Interstate 5 freeway are 8 million flower bulbs lined up in harmony and popping with layered colors.
The Flower Field at Carlsbad Ranch
5704 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Interstate 5 freeway North or South exit Palomar Airport Rd to the east. Turn left just one block to the east at Paseo Del Norte, and immediately to the right is the entrance for the flower fields. Parking is free.
Seniors 60+: $14
Children 3-10: $8
Wagon Ride: Adults: $5/Children 3-10: $3
The flowers themselves are found in a variety of colors ranging from white and yellow to rich purples and oranges. You’ll find roses, orchids, sweat pea blossoms, petunias, poinsettias, and more, but the main attraction is the nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.
The fields are split into sections by color which gives you a unique view over the many different flowers that dot the hillside. It is an amazing view, seeing so many flowers blooming all in unison.
The beauty of the flowers field is the density and brightness of the colors. The farm ensures flowers grow with straight stalks to be cut and sold as flower bouquets. Only 10% are cut in keeping with florist quality and then sold locally and worldwide. When the blooming season is complete, bulbs are dug up and sold.
The type of flower planted here is called the Tecolote Giant Ranunculus, which is one of the finest strains of ranunculus plants in the world. The ranunculus flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family. It’s described as rose-like with layered petal!
You could spend hours on the 50 acres of blooming hillsides which overlook the Pacific Ocean and Carlsbad Outlets. It’s the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon ~ walking through gorgeous colored flowers, lunch and a little shopping! Or you can even make a full day out of it and head to the beach before or after looking at the flowers.
- The 2018 Season runs from March 1 to May 13 and right now it’s 85% bloom so go ASAP before the flowers are gone.
- It is most crowded on the weekends. For the best photos, visit during weekdays around sunset (I was there one hour before closing time on Tuesday and only a few people were there!!!)
- If you’re visiting over the weekend, be sure to get there before or when the Flower Fields open to avoid long lines a the ticket booth and tractor rides.
- There is free parking at the fields.
- You can take photos, but any professional equipment (like tripods) would need prior approval.
- You can’t step in between the rows of flowers, but there are inlets with small benches where you can take photos within the flowers.
- Set aside 2-3 hours to explore the flower fields.
- If you’re planning on walking up to the fields instead of taking the tractor, be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Come with family and friends and enjoy a day taking in the colorful ranunculus flowers!