The California Fields Samantha Brown Recommends For The Most Beautiful Spring Flowers

Exhale the remnants of winter's bitter, icy breeze and take a deep breath of the cool, coastal California air. Southern California locals may live in a permanent season of sun and clear skies, but that doesn't stop the natives from rejoicing with the rest of the country at the first blooms of spring. While this road trip destination-filled West Coast state may not receive four seasons, there is some semblance of the changing weather. It's undeniably evident in the swapping of winter squash for apricots at local farmer's markets and a few extra florals budding on cherry blossom trees. Of course, the greatest gift of all is the flowers! From desert sunflowers and colorful lupines to desert poppies, springtime invites California to show off its beauty in the form of thousands of wildflowers every year in March.

In San Diego's North County region, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch explode in a vibrant collision of pinks, whites, blues, and greens in early spring. According to travel expert Samantha Brown, Carlsbad's flower fields are among the top 12 best places to view spring wildflowers in the U.S. and Canada. Samantha Brown isn't the only one obsessed with these Insta-worthy flower fields. Carlsbad's magical flower display also received a shoutout from The Telegraph, making its way onto their list of The 20 Most Magical Places to See Spring Flowers. Next time you're craving a fresh-cut flower or two, head to Carlsbad for one of the most extravagant flower festivals across the U.S.

Indulge in the ultimate floral fantasy

San Diego's flourishing flower fields are the living outcome of almost 85 years of planting and tending to the 50 acres of wildflowers that bloom on these coastal hillsides. Founded in 1925 by local horticulturist Luther Gage, years of careful, intentional floral cultivation led to one of California's most historic and colorful attractions. Over the years, the color palette of the field has expanded from 2 to 13 curated bright shades of petals. Today, the land supports the enduring production of California florals, an agriculture site, and a working ranch — each co-existing in perfect harmony. Located 30 minutes from downtown San Diego County and just 10 minutes from Carlsbad State Beach, the fields are perfectly situated in the heart of San Diego's stunning North County. Weekdays are the best time to visit as the weekends tend to draw crowds of locals and day-trip visitors from neighboring regions to enjoy the fresh scent of wildflowers.

The blooms are open to the public from March 1 through Mother's Day, with peak season ranging from late March to early May. The fields are home to thousands of Tecolote Giant Ranunculus, a member of the buttercup flower family native to Asia Minor. While picking flowers from the fields is prohibited, guests can purchase fresh-cut flowers, bulbs, and potted plants from the Garden Center. Benches and picnic tables are scattered throughout the fields, creating a picturesque setting to picnic among the florals.

Spend an idyllic day at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Carlsbad's enchanting flower fields are divided into multiple sections, each housing a unique floral attraction. For the weary traveler who prefers to take in beautiful vistas without ever having to move a muscle, consider a relaxing wagon ride through the fields, giving you an up-close view of the captivating flower aisles. Orchid fanatics will be enthralled by the property's Cymbidium Orchid Greenhouse, an indoor life-size flower box housing hundreds of orchids. There's no reason you should wait until December to indulge in the Christmas spirit, and the team at the Carlsbad Flower Fields couldn't agree more! Their Historic Poinsettia Display features a dazzling exhibition of over 20 rare varieties of the iconic Christmas flower. 

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Rand have gotten inventive with a springtime version of everyone's favorite fall activity, resulting in an adorable Sweet Pea Maze. The fragrance of sweet pea blossoms permeates this sweet-smelling labyrinth, making it a favorite among flower field guests! Honey bees aren't the only insects that play an integral role in the growth of flowers — butterflies are just as essential. The Butterfly Garden demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between flowers and butterflies, boasting beautiful beds of brightly colored buds to celebrate this sacred cycle. After a day well-spent among the fragrant florals, pick up a strawberry shake from the Strawberry Shack — per Brown's recommendation! It's the perfect way to cap off a sweet Spring day at California's favorite floral attraction.