California has some pretty spectacular fields of sunshine and exploring them makes for the perfect adventure in nature. They’re found throughout this beautiful US state, but only during certain times of the year.
This list is your inclusive guide to discovering sunflower fields in California. It has everything you need to know, from the best time to photograph the flowers, to what to wear, and what months they bloom in.
15 Best Sunflower Fields in California
Table of Contents
- 15 Best Sunflower Fields in California
- 1. Swank Farms
- 2. Hana Field by Tanaka Farms
- 3. The Pumpkin Station in Rancho Bernardo
- 4. Andreotti Family Farms
- 5. Cloverleaf Farm
- 6. M Three Ranches
- 7. Pedrick Produce
- 8. Turkovich Family Wines
- 9. Berryessa Gap Tasting Room
- Unmarked Sunflower Fields in California
- 10. Sunflower Field Next to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm
- 11. The Freeway Between San Francisco and Sacramento
- 12. Interstate 5 Outside of Sacramento
- 13. Winters, California
- 14. Winters, California
- 15. Dixon, California
- Best Time to Visit the Sunflower Fields in California
- Best Time to Photograph California Sunflowers
- What to Bring When Visiting California Sunflower Fields
- Sunflower Fields in California | Final Thoughts
Time to dive into California’s top sunflower fields. This list has a good assortment of flower destinations, so there’s something for everyone. From family farms to roadside fields and wineries with a view, here are the best places to see these radiant flowers.
1. Swank Farms
Location: 4751 Pacheco Highway, Hollister, CA 95023
Swank Farms is a working farm in Hollister, California. Their U-pick sunflower attraction runs for two weekends in September. The vast field features seemingly never-ending rows of beautiful sunflowers that make the perfect backdrop to any photo shoot.
Apart from the sunflower fields, they also have other fun attractions like a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, farm animals, floral arranging activities, and much more. There’s also a farmers market each Saturday where you can pick up fresh produce grown on the farm.
This is a great place to spend the afternoon enjoying wholesome entertainment of all sorts.
⇒ Read more reviews on Tripadvisor.
2. Hana Field by Tanaka Farms
Location: 427 Anton Boulevard Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hana Field by Tanaka Farms offers a fun U-pick sunflower activity. It’s only open for two weekends, usually the last weekend of August and the first weekend of September, so make sure you time your trip wisely.
Visitors are allowed to pick their own sunflowers, zinnias, and snapdragons. Of course, you’re also allowed to take all the pictures you want.
If you’re keen on more fun, head to Tanaka Farms afterwards. This Irvine property is associated with Hana Farms and is located less than 10 minutes from the flower field. They offer all sorts of family-friendly activities that change with the season.
February to June is all about strawberries. July to August focuses on watermelons. In October you can go pumpkin picking and in December they put on an epic Christmas lights festival. While you’re there, don’t forget to purchase some fresh produce from their farm stand to take home with you.
⇒ Read more reviews on Tripadvisor.
3. The Pumpkin Station in Rancho Bernardo
Location: 13421 Highland Valley Rd Escondido, CA 92025
The Rancho Bernardo Pumpkin Station is in Escondido, a city in San Diego county. Every summer the farm plants thousands of sunflower seeds. When October comes, they’re nice and tall.
The farm allows you to cut your own sunflowers for just $2 per stem and sheers are provided. While you’re in the field, you can get some shots next to the giant yellow flowers.
If you’re looking for fun autumn activities, combine your sunflower stop with other attractions the farm offers. Go pumpkin picking, take a hayride, wander through the corn maze, and see the animals at the petting zoo.
⇒ Read more reviews on Tripadvisor.
4. Andreotti Family Farms
Location: 800 Cabrillo HWY North, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Andreotti Family Farms is a fourth-generation establishment. It was started in 1926 and has been run by the same family ever since. It features a beautiful sunflower field with late-blooming flowers. Their peak season starts in the middle of September and goes into the beginning of October.
There is a fee to enter the farm which gives you access to the sunflower fields and all the pictures you want to take. You can also pick your own flowers (for an additional fee) to bring home with you. The sunflowers grow to a height of two to three metres tall, which makes them perfect for photos.
Right after the yellow blooms fade, the farm takes on an autumn theme. There’s a pumpkin patch and a maze made from wilted flowers.
5. Cloverleaf Farm
Location: 9055 Olmo Lane, Davis, CA
Cloverleaf Farm is located next to the I-80 on the westbound side near the Kidwell Road exit ramps. This organic orchard and fruit farm produces peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs, and plums.
Next to the farm is an expansive sunflower field that goes on as far as the eye can see. It’s a roadside sunflower field on private property, so you’re not allowed to enter. However, you can still get some amazing pictures of the flowers since they grow right up to the highway.
6. M Three Ranches
Location: 35472 Co Rd 18A and 15810 Co Rd 95, Woodland, CA 95695
M Three Ranches are in Yolo County, just a short drive outside of Sacramento, California. They specialise in all sorts of crops, including tomatoes, peppers, garlic, cucumber, grapes, walnuts, almonds, and sunflowers.
Sunflower season starts mid to late June. It’s recommended to contact the ranch by email before you visit to ask for permission. As long as you’re respectful of the crops, the owners will provide you with an address where you can photograph the flowers legally.
7. Pedrick Produce
Location: 6850 Sievers Rd, Dixon, CA 95620.
Pedrick Produce is a family-run produce market that sells everything from fresh fruit and veg to dried goodies and fresh tamales. His small business has been catering to Northern California for over 30 years.
Their radiant sunflower field is on private property, but you’ll still be able to snap a few pictures from the road. Alternatively, you can use this link to contact them and ask for permission to access the field.
8. Turkovich Family Wines
Location: 304 Railroad Ave, Winters, CA 95694
Turkovich Family Wines is an intimate winery in Yolo County. In June, they offer a handful of private events with a sunflower theme. One event combines a wine tasting with access to the nearby Button & Turkovich sunflower fields.
Enjoy some fine wine and then head over to their radiant sunflower field afterwards. Have a stroll through the field and learn more about the flowers from your knowledgeable guide. Other events hosted by the winery include a sunflower painting class (with wine, of course) and sunflower floral workshops.
Make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. These activities are popular and spaces can fill up fast.
9. Berryessa Gap Tasting Room
Location: 15 Main St, Winters, CA 95694
Berryessa Gap Tasting Room is located in a rural, scenic area of Yolo County. Their sunflower season goes from mid-June to late July. The winery hosts sunflower-themed wine dinners and art events.
If you’re a fan of wine, head to this cosy winery in downtown Winters and enjoy an afternoon sipping wine and admiring beautiful sunflower artwork. Make sure to enquire with the winery and book your spot in advance.
When you’re finished, you can purchase some sunflower oil to take home and enjoy a scenic drive to admire the nearby sunflower fields.
Unmarked Sunflower Fields in California
California has its fair share of unmarked sunflower fields as well. These plots of land feature sunflowers grown on private property. Some fields have areas where you can pull your car over and get out, while others you’ll only be able to see on a scenic drive-by.
Just remember to be respectful. Refrain from picking the flowers (unless you have permission) and obey any signage.
10. Sunflower Field Next to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm
Location: 850 Cabrillo Hwy N, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
This quiet sunflower field is located in Half Moon Bay next to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm. It’s on private property, so make sure to take your pictures from the perimeter of the field.
When you’re done, you can head over to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm to pick your own pumpkin. They come in a wide variety, ranging from Cinderella and Fairy Tale pumpkins to Speckled Gourds and Atlantic Giants. The farm will surely get you in the autumn spirit.
11. The Freeway Between San Francisco and Sacramento
Location: Along the California I-80
The drive between San Francisco and Sacramento, following the I-80, contains some gorgeous fields of sunshine. This is an already beautiful drive that’s enhanced by sunflower fields in summer. July is the best month for viewing the flowers.
12. Interstate 5 Outside of Sacramento
Location: Along California’s Interstate 5
Some big and bright sunflowers line Interstate 5 outside of Sacramento. As you drive by you’ll see glowing fields of large yellow flowers.
13. Winters, California
Location: Intersection of Road 89 and 26 in Winters, California
This sunflower field is on private property, but there’s a pull-off parking area that you can stop at for a roadside flower photoshoot. Sunset offers a magical time to admire and photograph the flowers. Their peak blooming period is typically in early July.
14. Winters, California
Location: Intersection of Road 27 and Road 89 in Winters, California
This is another winner in Winters for sunflower viewing. It’s very remote, so you might get lucky when you visit and have the whole place to yourself. It’s on private property though, so make sure not to enter the field. You’ll still be able to photograph the flowers from the outskirts of the property.
15. Dixon, California
Location: Currey Road
You’ll find some expansive fields of flowers if you drive along Currey Road in Dixon, California during sunflower season. The best time to visit is in July; by August the blooms have passed their peak and have begun to wilt.
Best Time to Visit the Sunflower Fields in California
California is a sprawling state, with gorgeous golden flowers found in both the Northern and Southern regions. Sunflower season is very dependent on the weather, mainly the temperature and the amount of rainfall. Since these factors change based on which area of the state you’re in, the exact month they bloom can vary slightly.
Typically, the flowers peak near the end of June or the beginning of July. However, you’ll also find some late-blooming sunflowers in September and October as well.
If you go too early, the sunflowers can still be on the smaller side. But if you go too late, the flowers can look slightly wilted, or might be already harvested. Because of these factors, timing is everything.
Best Time to Photograph California Sunflowers
The best time to photograph sunflower fields in California is during sunrise or sunset, also known as the golden hour. Try to aim for the first hour after sunrise or the last hour of light before sunset. The soft, warm glow that the sun casts on the fields during this time of day makes for effortlessly stunning photos.
Avoid peak afternoon hours. The sun will be blazing down and the light is generally too harsh for high-quality photos.
Many farms welcome sunflower fanatics taking pictures inside their fields. A good handful also have a U-pick policy, meaning you can pick your own flowers (for a small fee) to take pictures with. That way, you’ll also have a nice sunflower souvenir to take home with you.
Some sunflower fields on this list are on private property and not open to the public. You’ll still be able to take pictures from the edge of the field next to the flowers. Be respectful of the boundaries and don’t pick any of the flowers.
And remember, just because you see other people doing it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to follow along. These crops supply the farmer’s income.
What to Bring When Visiting California Sunflower Fields
If you want to be fully prepared for your sunflower expedition, there are a few things to bring with you to the flower fields.
Outdoor Shoes/Boots – If you’ll be going into the sunflower field to take pictures, the terrain might be muddy. Bring along outdoor footwear you don’t mind getting dirty. Closed-toed options are best.
Bug Spray – All sorts of little critters like to hang out in sunflower fields. Avoid itchy bites and having to swat away bugs by spraying yourself with an insect repellent beforehand.
Sunscreen – The California sun is hot! Protect your skin with sunscreen so you don’t have to worry about red marks and burns the next day.
Smartphone Camera Gadgets – If you’re planning on taking pictures of yourself with the sunflowers, some nifty smartphone camera gadgets will make sure you capture yourself in all the best angles.
Sunflower Fields in California | Final Thoughts
The sunflower fields in California are pretty spectacular. They’re found all over the state, and blossom at slightly different times depending on their location.
If you want the full sunflower experience, visit one of the larger farms and combine your trip with a U-pick activity. Or, for something more private, visit a roadside location. Even though you can’t go into the field, the flowers are tall enough to see from the perimeter and use as a backdrop for an incredible photoshoot in nature.
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