Visiting the Carlsbad Flower Fields: Everything You Need to Know

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What are the Carlsbad Flower Fields? Are the Flower Fields in Carlsbad worth the visit? One of the best things to do in the Spring in Southern California is visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields in North San Diego. If you love color, flowers, and beautiful landscapes with fun activities, you will love this beautiful flower field.

The Carlsbad Flower Fields is a 55-acre stretch of a gorgeous landscape filled with colorful Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers located near Legoland in San Diego. It’s a trek for a day from Los Angeles, but it’s the perfect Southern California day trip to make as soon as Spring has sprung. And, once we got that peek at the vibrant flower fields from the 5 freeway, we got so excited we forgot all about the traffic.

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In this article, we share our experience at the Carlsbad Flower Fields, their admission and hours, types of flowers grown in the field, activities for visitors, and tips for making your visit enjoyable in 2024.

What Are The Flower Fields in Carlsbad?

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Rows and rows of colorful flowers.

The Carlsbad Flower Fields cover 55 acres with vibrant Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, attracting over 150,000 visitors annually in San Diego County. Originating in the early 1920s, when Luther Gage planted the first seeds, the fields found their permanent home in Carlsbad Ranch thanks to Edwin Frazee’s passion for cultivating these flowers. Despite a common belief, Armstrong Center does not own the Flower Fields but partners with them for retail operations. Ownership lies with the Ecke family following the 1994 inclusion in the Carlsbad General Plan to preserve the site.

What You Need To Know

When does the Carlsbad Flower Fields Open?

The Carlsbad Flower Fields typically opens in early March to mid-May and are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last entry at 4:30 p.m.

Location of the Fields

  • The address for Carlsbad Flower Fields is 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Google Map It
  • The Carlsbad Flower Fields are behind the Armstrong Garden Center and the Premium Outlets.
  • There are two ticket entrances: one next to Armstrong and the second near the overflow parking area.

Parking at Carlsbad Flower Fields

the flower fields entrance to the parking lot from Palomar Airport RoadPin

Google Maps will take you around Palomar Airport Road and have you enter from Paseo del Norte, but you don’t want to do that. Look for Armstrong’s “Open Year Round” sign by the ramp off Palomar Airport Road.

  • Parking at Carlsbad Flower Fields is shared with Armstrong Garden Center and the premium outlets, which is often challenging on weekends.
  • Designated parking for the Flower Fields is near Armstrong Garden Center, with additional overflow parking on an unpaved road.
  • Avoid Google Maps’ suggestion to enter via Paseo del Norte off Palomar Airport Road. Instead, look for Armstrong’s “Open Year Round” sign on Palomar Airport Road for parking access.
  • Overflow parking for the Flower Fields is on the right as you drive in; continuing straight leads to shared parking for Armstrong and the outlets. No parking traffic direction was observed during the visit.

Tip: Do not wash your car before heading to the Carlsbad Flower Fileds in case you end up parking in the overflow parking area.

Cost to Enter

Tickets must be purchased online before arrival. Check online for specials and discounts: The Flower Fields site

  • Adults: $23.00 ticket + $3.08 service fee
  • Child: $14.00 ticket + $1.88 service fee

Best Time Time for Visiting Carlsbad Flower Fields

The time to visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields’ is between late March and early May. The flowers are in bloom, making for the most beautiful sight. We also suggest mid-day after the flowers have woken up.

The weekends are usually busier than the weekdays. If you can manage to go during the week, you can avoid the weekend crowds. You can check the bloom status on their website. We suggest following Carlsbad Flower Fields on Instagram for the most up-to-date blooming status.

Exploring Duration at Carlsbad Flower Fields

Be ready to walk. Navigating through the sprawling 55 acres of the Carlsbad Flower Fields will require walking. Given the expansive fields with countless blooms and engaging activities, allocate two to three hours to this location, minimum. This should give you plenty of time to wander the fields, capture those special photos, and enjoy the colorful and happy surroundings.

The Flora at Carlsbad Flower Fields

  • The Carlsbad Flower Fields features the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus, an annual flower blooming for 6-8 weeks with delicate, fragrant petals known as Persian Buttercups.
  • Around mid-April, five acres of sunflowers bloom.
  • The greenhouse features orchids, a poinsettia display, poppies, California native wildflowers, and various other plants.

Fun Fact: Before the fields were covered in Ranunculus flowers, it used to be where the Ecke family grew poinsettias.

Current Bloom Status

The Flower Fields’ official website is your go-to resource for the latest Bloom Status. Look for the yellow button at the top right-hand corner and stay updated on whether the fields are in their prime bloom.

Is it worth the visit?

Yes. The Flower Fields in Carlsbad are worth the visit. Once in those fields, you’ll be surrounded by colors, smells, and beauty that elicit a joy you didn’t expect before stepping in. I was smiling from ear to ear; I couldn’t believe I hadn’t visited sooner. You’ll get to walk around and bask in the beauty of the Carlsbad Flower Fields, but there are also activities and plenty of opportunities to take Instagram-worthy photos!

The best part is that Carlsbad Flowers is family-friendly, and everyone of all ages can enjoy the experience.

While sitting in terrible traffic, we wondered if it would be worth it. It was our biggest question. After spending a few hours wandering through those incredible fields and having those frustrations melt away, we felt it was worth the trip. We are glad we made an effort to visit the Carlsbad Flowers. Will it be worth it to you? You will have to visit and find out.

Activities at the Carlsbad Flower Fields

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Here are some of the activities you can do at the Carlsbad Flower Fields:

  • Stroll through the flower fields and enjoy the colorful blooms. It was sort of a surreal experience and one that, in photos, seemed too good to be true.
  • Take a guided tractor wagon ride around the flower fields.
  • Don’t miss the American made of flowers on the south side.
  • Visit the sweet pea maze and see if you can find your way out.
  • Visit the Artist Garden and Bird Aviaries, Don Miller’s Garden, Ilusion Garden, and Butterfly Sculpture Garden.
  • Take your chance to mine for gemstones at the Carlsbad Mining Company stand.
  • Take a selfie or family photo at the various photo-op locations throughout the fields.
  • Try to attend one of their many special events, workshops, or activities, like Flower Crown Workshop, Flow Yoga, Bayou Festival, and more.
  • Book a luxury picnic overlooking the Carlsbad Flower Fields for a special lunch.
  • Check their activity calendar and book the sunset wine-tasting activity to experience the flower fields at sunset.
  • There are 2 acres of blueberries here at Carlsbad Flower Fields. For a limited time, u-pick blueberries are available. Signs will be posted outside when this activity is available.
  • Take a break and enjoy some refreshments at the various food vendors on site.
  • On your way out, you can visit the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop to buy Ranunculus flowers and bulbs or souvenirs and gifts.

Tips for Visiting the Flower Fields in Carlsbad

1. Plan to spend a few hours there.
We’d suggest giving yourself at least 2-3 hours to ensure you see everything. Of course, you can plan to spend the day there as well.

2. Check out the activity calendar.
Many activities are happening at the Flower Fields, from sunset wine tasting to yoga classes, picnics, and more. Stay up to date with their online activity calendar. You may want to attend and book one of these activities in advance.

3. Avoid the weekends.
It tends to be more crowded on the weekends, so if you want a less crowded experience, try to go during the weekdays.

5. Wear comfortable shoes.
You will walk these fields for a while, so ensure you have comfortable shoes. We’d say that closed-toe shoes are even better because these are dirt paths. Your feet are going to get quite dirty if you wear sandals.

6. Wear sunscreen, bring a hat and don’t forget your sunglasses.
The sun can be quite intense in California, and this is outdoors. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.

7. Bring your camera or phone to take photos and ensure they are charged.
The views are incredible, and you’ll want to capture every moment. Ensure your camera or phone is charged, and bring a battery backup if necessary.

8. Respect the barrier tape and guidelines.
Although the flowers are pretty, and you may be tempted to step behind the tape for a good photo, remember that the barrier tape is there for a reason. They are trying to protect the flowers. Respect the flowers and the rules set out by the staff at the flower fields.

We saw a few people take down the tape barriers to take photos. Security came around and had to tell them to get out. Don’t be that person.

At the flower fields, you’ll find benches, chairs, and paths strategically placed so you can take a closer look and also get better pictures.

9. Don’t forget to take a wagon ride.
While the wagon ride is an additional cost, it is a fun way to tour the flower fields, enjoy the breeze, and get a different view of the area. However, for that perfect photo, you’ll need to sit on the right side of the wagon as you ride.

10. Bring water and a snack or lunch.
The Carlsbad Flower Fields does have food trucks and vendors on-site, including a few vending machines. To save money or time, or if you have dietary restrictions, consider bringing a lunch or snack. It’s also smart to stay hydrated in the sun.

Where to Stay in Carlsbad, CA?

Planning an overnight stay or to explore further? Carlsbad is known as the Village by the Sea, and it’s a great destination with many things to do for a quick getaway. Right across the freeway from The Flower Fields you’ll find: Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach

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Kathy Ava

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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