The Top 12 Most Beautiful Sunflower Fields in the U.S.
There's something magical about basking in the warm glow of a sunflower field. Their natural beauty makes them popular tourist destinations, plus many of these farm's proceeds are donated to support local charities and wildlife preservation. Here are some of our favorite fields from coast to coast.
The chances are fairly high that you’ve seen these fields of yellow gracing your Instagram feeds before. With more than 5 million tags for #sunflower, Instagram is a gold mine for sunflower inspiration. According to Google Trends, search for the term sunflower has been increasing over the last five years, and we fully expect to keep seeing more of these showy flowers in full bloom over the next few months.
In addition to their bright, yellow-gold petals and impressive stature, sunflowers have another quality that make them an ideal photo subject: They all face the same direction. This plant behavior is the reason behind their name since the flowers follow the sun across the sky throughout the day. When you make a visit to any of these sunflower fields, you’re almost guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and an excess of glowing photos on your phone or camera.
Whether planted as a crop or a roadside attraction, sunflower fields are a popular summer backdrop for photo shoots and extravagant proposals alike. And as it turns out, they’re more common than you may think. There are sunflower fields stretching as far as the eye can see across every region in the U.S. Here are some of our must-see destinations.
Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area—Knoxville, Tennessee
If you're headed to (or live in) the Eastern Tennessee area, you'll have to stop by the 70 acres of sunflowers in Knoxville. Their Sunflower Festival happens on July 13 and features a guided tour of the area and a talk by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. These yellow beauties are only planted every other year here due to crop rotation, so if you're wanting to check out the festival now's your chance!
Coppal House Farm’s Sunflower Fields—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. Plus, it all goes toward a good cause—10 percent of all profits from the festival are donated to the local Make-A-Wish Foundation.
McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area—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. 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.
Muller Ranch—Woodland, California
If you’re considering a getaway to Napa Valley, you should add a stop to visit the sunflower fields at Muller Ranch, about an hour drive away. Better yet, make a weekend out of it. Through the Yolo County Visitors Bureau, you can book tickets to their Sunflower Weekend on June 28-29, which includes comfortable hotel accommodations, farm tours, and photography workshops in the fields.
Babbette’s Seeds of Hope Sunflower Maze—Eau Claire, Wisconsin
You can quite literally get lost in a field of sunflowers at this farm in Wisconsin. The sunflower maze is a popular and cheery alternative to the corn maze, and it's just one of many family-friendly activities that Babbette’s Seeds of Hope has to offer. Wagon rides, raffles, and sunflower picking are also crowd favorites. In honor of the farmer’s wife Babbette, who died from cancer 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.
Buttonwood Farm—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, the expired blooms were used to feed the cows. Now, the farm sells thousands of bouquets to visitors each year and donates 100 percent 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.
Sunflower Maze at the Inn Between Restaurant—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.
Colby Farm—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—making this a wholly fulfilling stop on your family road trip.
Please Wash Me Car Wash—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. Tourists now flock to the fields for quick photos, a driving break, and a car wash.
Fausett Farms Sunflowers—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.
Grinter Farms—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 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). Looks are typically free, but be sure to get permission from the landowners if you plan to enter the fields to take photos or explore.
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.