The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch Spring to Life

Feast your eyes on 70 million vibrant ranunculus blooms, now through Sunday, May 8.

Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
View Gallery 8 Photos
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Need a reason to visit Carlsbad? We'll give you a few million. Just in time for spring, over 70 million Tecolote Giant Ranunculus flowers have bloomed into a scene out of a fairytale at Carlsbad Ranch.

Open to the public now until Sunday, May 8 – which, by the way, is Mother's Day – the floral attraction is brimming with pink, red, white, yellow, and orange Tecolote Giant Ranunculus flowers. Also known as the Persian Buttercup, these stunners are characterized by large, double-petaled blooms and tall, straight stems. Some are picotees, which are flowers whose edge is a different color than the flower's base color.

More than 50 acres are dedicated to raising the ranunculus bulb crop, with about five acres devoted to other specialty flowers. We suggest planning your road trip as soon as possible because typically, the largest and most dramatic flowers open in unison a few weeks into the run. Nevertheless, peak season is considered late March to early May, depending on the weather. If not for the photo opp, go for the mood boost. Flowers are scientifically proven to trigger your brain's happy chemicals, which make you feel good.

In between bloom-gazing, there's other fun stuff to do for adults and kids alike, including a stroll through the Sweet Pea Maze, blueberry picking, tractor rides, and pop-up musical events. Returning this spring after a two-year hiatus will be yoga classes, flower arranging workshops, wine-tasting events, and tea parties. And food vendors will be selling kettle corn, lemonade, fresh strawberries, and pizza.

Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Photo: Marcie Gonzalez/The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

In addition, the Master Gardeners of San Diego County have curated a number of unique walk-through displays, like the Alice in Wonderland-inspired illusion garden and a five-acre sea of sunflowers known as the butterfly garden.

The Flower Fields you see today are the outcome of almost 85 years of floral cultivation that started with early settler and horticulturist Luther Gage. Gage introduced ranunculus seeds into the area and began growing them in his South Oceanside fields. Not long after, Gage's neighbor, Frank Frazee, did the same.

At the age of 16, Frazee's son quit high school to work full-time growing his father's expanding operation. Through a number of moves and executive decisions, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, which is a working ranch, has become one of San Diego County's most recognizable and highly anticipated events.

If you're looking to turn the visit into an overnight staycation, here's a list of nearby places to lodge:

  • The Cassara Carlsbad sits on 12 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and directly above the fields. The hotel features a modern Mediterranean atmosphere that incorporates the colorful ranunculus flowers located steps away, plus a spa, a family pool, splash pad with interactive water features, and 6,835 yard public golf course.
  • The Lodge at Torrey Pines overlooks the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course with views of the Pacific Ocean. The AAA Five Diamond-rated resort also has world-class dining and a full-service spa.
  • The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa boasts coastal breezes and panoramic ocean views. Plus, you'll be able to lounge around while sipping on floral-inspired cocktails and locally sourced cuisine at its on-site restaurant 20|Twenty.
  • North of San Diego in Carlsbad, the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa has an award-winning resort spa, eight sparkling pools, and two championship golf courses.
  • The family-oriented Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is a four-minute drive to Carlsbad Premium Outlets and eight minutes from Legoland California. Guests can enjoy the zero-entry pool and waterslide, an activity center with family-friendly games and offerings, and an on-site restaurant 7 Mile Kitchen
  • A hacienda-style resort nestled between San Diego's seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar, the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is a AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel and 2020 Condé Nast Readers' Choice Award winner. Expect 10 acres of lush gardens, quiet courtyards, adobe fireplaces, and a full-service spa.
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Photo: The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Freshly cut flowers, potted plants, and bulbs are available for purchase at the nearby Armstrong Garden Center or online. Tickets to the Flower Fields are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and military, and $10 for children ages three to 10.

Click the link below to buy tickets, send a loved one flowers, or check on bloom status (as of writing, there are 20 acres of full blooms in the Northern Fields).

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, 5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, 92008; (760) 431-0352; open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Proud Member Of FFC
Get Our Newsletter