This Breathtaking Ranunculus Farm in California is Calling Our Name

More than 50 acres of colorful blooms? Yes, please!

One glance at the red, yellow, pink, and white stripes of blooming ranunculus at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in California, and you might think you've landed in a fairy tale. A closer look at these ruffled, petal-packed, rose-like blooms might further reinforce the magical feeling you get from this wonderland of color. This breathtaking display is very real, and soon will be happening at the 50-acre flower farm this spring. Ranunculus flowers have a six- to eight-week lifespan and peak season for the flowers is generally around mid-April. The site will open to the public on March 1 and will remain open until May 10, making it the perfect destination for a memorable spring break trip.

flower fields
Visitors can explore the Flower Fields on several different walking paths. Courtesy of The Flower Fields

Not only are the fields blanketed with beautiful blooms, but it is also steeped in history. It got its start about 100 years ago when settler and horticulturist Luther Gage planted masses of ranunculus seeds in Carlsbad's neighboring town, South Oceanside. These cool-season plants did very well in the area's mild, yet sunny coastal climate, so the business thrived even though these flowers weren't yet popular. Seeds were saved and replanted from year to year, and over time, plants naturally popped up that had more petals or a different color than the rest. Many of the original varieties are still planted at The Flower Fields today.

colorful flower fields
Thousands of ranunculus flowers in a variety of shades fill the farm's fields. Courtesy of The Flower Fields

The ranunculus at The Flower Fields bloom in varying shades of purple, pink, gold, and white. From the sky, the fields of blossoms look like painted stripes down the hillside. And as if the scene could get any better, standing at the top of the hill will give you a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean and a panoramic view of Carlsbad.

Admission for a day at the fields is $18 and tractor-drawn wagon rides through the fields start at an additional $16. On the weekends, The Flower Fields offer pizza and barbecue, with a stage featuring live music from local blues, swing, and rock bands to top it all off. And if you’d like to take some of the beautiful blooms home with you, the gift shop sells fresh-cut flowers.

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