11 of the Most Beautiful Sunflower Fields Around the Country
There's something magical about these sunny summer blooms. They're even more amazing to experience when they're growing as far as the eye can see on big farms that you can visit.
You’ve probably seen vast fields of cheery yellow sunflowers gracing your Instagram feeds before, given that there are currently almost 7 million tags for #sunflower. With everyone practicing social distancing right now, these sunflower fields also a prime spot for an outdoor photo op. Whether planted as a crop or a roadside attraction, sunflowers are a popular summer backdrop for photo shoots and extravagant proposals alike because of their impressive stature and eye-catching golden petals. Luckily, there are sunflower fields stretching as far as the eye can see across every region in the U.S., and many of them are must-see destinations. Here are a few of the most spectacular ones to visit.
1. Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area in Knoxville, Tennessee
If you're headed to (or live in) the Eastern Tennessee area, you'll have to stop by the sunflower fields in Knoxville. The field is a little smaller than usual this year; it's normally 70 acres and the site of a sunflower festival in the middle of July, but it's still a good spot to see the golden blooms. Due to crop rotation, the full 70 acres of flowers are only planted every other year, so if you can't make it this year, mark your calendar for 2021 when the fields will be back in full force.
2. Coppal House Farm’s Sunflower Fields in Lee, New Hampshire
The annual sunflower festival at Coppal House Farm has attracted many out-of-state tourists over the years and for good reason. From a selection of kid-friendly activities like face painting and wagon rides to a day dedicated to those with limited mobility, the festival offers something for everyone. This year, the festival is scheduled for July 25 through August 2, with some additional safety measures in place. The farm recommends pre-purchasing tickets online to guarantee a chance to see the fields. Plus, it will require visitors to wear masks indoors and where social distancing isn't possible, and will have hand-washing and sanitizing stations set up for visitors.
3. McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, Maryland
This 30-acre lot of sunflowers was planted with local wildlife in mind rather than a tourist destination, but it’s still a great spot to stop and breathe in the beauty. Visitors are welcome to park for free and take photographs in the fields; there's just no flower picking allowed, and this year, they're asking any visitors to social distance. The lot is cared for by the state and is part of Mckee-Beshers WMA program which works to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats. You can check the website for the growing status of the sunflowers and a map of the fields.
4. Babbette’s Seeds of Hope Sunflower Maze in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
You can quite literally get lost in a field of sunflowers at this farm in Wisconsin. Though it's closed this year due to the new coronavirus, the sunflower maze is a popular and cheery alternative to the corn maze. Still, Babbette’s Seeds of Hope will be open for sunflower viewing in mid-August (they recommend following their Facebook page for exact dates), and they'll also be hosting a virtual version of the usual sunflower maze. In honor of the farmer’s wife Babbette, who died in 2014, the farm raises money and donates proceeds to hospitals and cancer research. You can also help contribute to the cause by purchasing their sunflower seeds.
5. Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut
The sunflowers at Buttonwood Farm have a purpose that extends far past the viewing pleasure of the 13-acre stretch of yellow. Before starting the “Sunflowers for Wishes” fundraiser (scheduled for July 25 through August 2 this year), the expired blooms were used to feed the cows. Now, the farm sells thousands of bouquets to visitors each year and donates 100% of the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Connecticut. Over the past 13 growing seasons, the farm has donated more than one million dollars to the nonprofit organization. Because of Buttonwood Farm, the city of Griswold is considered the sunflower capital of Connecticut.
6. Sunflower Maze at the Inn Between Restaurant in Camillus, New York
Wine and dine at the Inn Between Restaurant in upstate New York, then step outside to walk it all off in the sunflower fields. With 75-acres of sunflowers sitting next to the establishment, this is no small patch of grass that the restaurant owners planted. At the end of the season, the restaurant harvests the sunflowers for seeds and oil. Visitors and customers can enjoy a trip through the sunflower maze while the flowers are blooming.
7. Colby Farm in Newbury, Massachusetts
With a family focus and a buy-local initiative at its core, Colby Farm is a wholesome stop to add to your sunflower field bucket list. And while the sunflowers may be your main draw to the land, there’s lots more to see of the farm’s 350 acres filled with hay and the 20 acres of vegetables. Many of those vegetables end up in the Colby Farmstand where you can find locally sourced produce, meat, and an array of bakery treats. This year, the sunflower fields will open in late August, and the farm is asking everyone to wear a mask if they choose to visit the store.
8. Please Wash Me Car Wash in Elverson, Pennsylvania
If you type “please wash me car wash” into Google, the first photo you’ll see is of sunflowers, not a car wash. And that’s the point. The Please Wash Me Carwash owner, Rick Frey, noticed that nearby corn stalks were blocking the view of his business from the road, so he planted the one-acre patch of sunflowers to draw customers in, and it worked. For 2020, the field is a little smaller than usual, and the owners are asking any visitors to stay in their cars if possible, and to wear masks and social distance if you choose to get out.
9. Fausett Farms Sunflowers in Dawsonville, Georgia
Open since 1858, this Georgia farm has plenty of family-owned charm and tradition to go around. After 60 years of poultry farming ended in 2011, the 13 acres of sunflowers are a more recent addition, but no less striking. On top of the main attraction, the farm offers mule-drawn wagon rides, BBQ sandwiches, local honey, and more. And for a $10 fee, you can bring your own horse and spend the day riding on the horse trails. The farm is scheduled to open in September this year, when the sunflowers should be in full bloom.
10. Grinter Farms in Lawrence, Kansas
It’s only fitting that the sunflower state holds a spot on this list. The 40-acre sunflower field at Grinter Farms in Lawrence, Kansas, does the title justice. The family who owns the farm keeps an open-door policy. Thousands of people swarm to the field during the bloom season for photo sessions and flower-picking. Admission is completely free, aside from the on-your-honor donation for each bloom you pick. According to The Kansas City Star, Ted Grinter, farm operator, originally planned to use the sunflowers for birdseed, not a bustling tourist attraction, but he says, “it puts smiles on people’s faces.” The farm is planning to be open to visitors later this year, but they're also asking everyone to follow local safety measures and social distance.
11. North Dakota
The best sunflower field in North Dakota doesn’t have just one address, because they’re everywhere. As one of the top producers of sunflowers in the nation, The Peace Garden State gives Kansas a run for their money. However, locating the perfect field of yellow can be a little trickier here. In order to manage and maintain soil health and fertility, farmers rotate their crops, which means the sunflower fields often change locations. To track one down, give the North Dakota Tourism Division a call (they’re used to it). Just looking is typically free, but be sure to get permission from the landowners if you plan to enter the fields to take photos or explore, and be sure to follow social distancing guidelines.
So grab your camera and head to the fields to capture the sunflowers at their peak bloom. Whether you choose to take a destination tour or make a quick stop along the road, now is the best time to visit the abundant sunflower fields across the country. Proceeds from your visit may even support local charities and wildlife preservation.