For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated display of natural color and beauty. This extraordinary spread of natures beautiful color will leave you simply awestruck. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a fifty acres dazzling rainbow of beautiful ranunculus flowers set on a hillside overlooking the striking Carlsbad, California Coastline. This display of nature brings the famous field back to life. The 1500 square foot greenhouse is filled with world-famous Eck poinsettia, the sweet pea maze, Santa’s playground, an orchid greenhouse, and many themed gardens, is a place to must visit.
This annual burst of colors, which has become part of the area’s local heritage also, is one of the nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California.
Where is it located ?
Located in North San Diego County, a region with rich history of growing flowers ever since 1940’s. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is located less than one half-mile from the ocean, within five minutes of several prominent hotels and restaurants, and a short drive from two international airports (San Diego and Orange County).
History of this beauty (Special indeed)
The flowers which we see today, trace their roots to cultivation efforts that began more than 85 years ago, when a grower by the name of Luther Gage, settled in the area back in early 1920’s . He planted ranunculus seeds in a patch of land in South Ocean side, and those seeds brought forth a business he called ‘Luther Gage Gaint Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs”.
The beauty has continued blooming each year, attracting thousands of visitors. Last year more than 260,000 people visited The Flower Fields during its 10 weeks run.
Tickets and Season Passes
2019 Season: March 1 through May 13
Prices : $16.00 for Adults, $14.00 for Seniors 60+, $8.00 for Children ages 3 – 10,
Children ages 2 and under are Free.
Season Passes: $35.00 for Adults, $30.00; Seniors 60+,
$18.00 for Children ages 3 – 10.
Wagon Rides: $5.00 for Adults,
$3.00 for Children ages 3 – 10.
Parking here is free.
P.S We bought our tickets online , to avoid the queue at the entrance. And for the wagon ride, we got the tickets on spot. So, good to carry some cash with you.
Group tours (minimum 20 adults)
Advance reservations required for all group tours. Minimum of 20 adults.
Guided Tour with wagon ride: $29.00 per person
Guided Tour without wagon ride: $24.00 per person
General Admission – self-guided with wagon ride: $21.00 per person
General Admission – self-guided without wagon ride: $16.00 per person
Tour length: The adult guided tour is approximately 30 to 45 minutes; expect your total visit to take approximately 90 minutes. However, you are free to take pictures, shop and stay as long as you would like.
Wagon ride: Tour groups will be able to take a 15 to 20-minute tractor driven wagon ride. The wagon ride has a loading ramp enabling easy access for the handicapped. The ride includes an audio commentary of the history of The Flower Fields® for our visitors’ enjoyment. Group tours and wagon rides must be booked in advance!
P.S. We and kids (age 3 and 8) , wanted wagon ride. On weekends this queue can be long. We went on Sunday, the wait was of approximately of 25-30 mins.
Though you can very well take a beautiful stroll to the fields, there are various spots to get clicked , throughout. Posing endlessly, is fun.
Self-Guided Walking Tour includes:
- Meet and greet with a Flower Fields staff member
- Receive guide map with, the detailing of gardens and exhibits
- Fast and easy entrance into The Flower Fields
Guided Walking Tour includes:
- History of The Flower Fields
- Planting process and growing cycle
- Description of the varieties of flowers grown
- Short walk up a gentle slope (at your group’s pace)
- Browse and shop at the Armstrong Garden Center and Gift Shop
What to wear
It’s a working ranch field, so wear something comfortable, though I personally recommend floral print clothes . It will surely add colors to your photographs. Take sunglasses , a hat will be good idea. Also bring a sweater, or a light jacket, as it may get breezy walking up the hills. Do not forget your cameras.
Where to eat
Vending machines are available during the weekdays and food vendors are on site on the weekends. Picnicking is also encouraged. There are benches, tables and chairs where you can enjoy your food amid the floral backdrop.
Various food vendors with popcorn, Pizza, Soft drinks are there.
Wagon Ride 🚜
After waiting patiently for good 20 mins we boarded our blue wagon. It’s equipped with audio tour, which was hardly audible.
More to Explore
1. American Flag
This brilliantly hued American Flag waves in the wind. Red, white and blue petunia strategically planted on a 300 by 170 foot hillside pay tribute to the United States.
4. Kids Attractions
It was fun to find the solution to this one-of-a-kind living maze! Kids were excitedly finding the path, through this “old-fashioned” sweet pea blossoms. And we were happily following them.
Carlsbad Mining Company
This mining activity is a good fun for kids. They can find their polished gemstones using the miner’s old method of sifting sand in water.
Price : $4 per child , for my 3 years old, the lady at the counter gave a small glass full of sand with gems within for $1 .They both were happy finding their gemstones.
Children can have a free delighted time here, parents may also relax on the side benches. This has playhouse and gigantic mushrooms that were part of Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead years ago. You can see the ‘Guard Shack’, ‘Doll House’, ‘Crooked Treehouse’ and colorful mushrooms, that so many of us remember from our very own childhood! We were tired until now so kids played and we sipped some juice, looking at them.
So , all in all it was a beautiful day which got engraved in our hearts forever .
But, there were few questions which were revolving in my mind while , driving back home..
I googled the answers after coming back home , and would love to share those with you …