(Updated April 2022) You’ve seen them on Instagram. The stunning endless rows of golden sunflowers that seem to stretch for days.
I visit the magical sunflower fields in California each summer and have narrowed down my favorite fields and tons of tips and tricks for visiting. Keep reading my post to find exact locations of sunflower fields in California along with important tips for getting the best photos possible!!
The Best Field Of Sunflowers In California: Locations & Photo Tips!
We did find a little patch of flowers that weren’t in too bad of shape, but we drove by miles and miles of totally dead flowers on the way there. The next summer I was a little too early, visiting at the start of June when the flowers were still a little small.
Finally now in 2022 I have this on lockdown and sharing all my tips for you!!
When Do Sunflowers Bloom In California?
Visit a field in early July to make sure you catch the fields at the height of their awesomeness. As mentioned, August 10th 2017 was already too late and we had to hunt for a patch that was still half alive. The next year (2018), I visited in early June and some of the flowers were still a bit small, but at least they were alive and thriving!
This past summer (2020) I visited the last weekend in June and it was PERFECT. The sunflowers were large and healthy-looking, but not too tall yet. That’s why end of June / early July is the best time to visit for the best flowers during peak sunflower season.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Sunflower Fields?
California sunflower season is usually June-July, but if you’re hunting down a sunflower field in California, it’s going to be hot if you go mid-day. The best time of day is sunrise or sunset, and on a weekday to avoid crowds. I remember I was driving back from Lake Tahoe a couple summers ago and passed the Davis sunflower fields and they were PACKED with people at high noon and I knew they were roasting.
Where to Find The Best Sunflowers in California + Tips For Visiting
Woodland, Winters, Dixon are in the Yolo County, California area have the best Northern Californian sunflower patches. Half Moon Bay has a sunflower farm that blooms in September, which is close to the Bay Area, but these grow about 9 feet tall and don’t make for that typical sunflower field photograph but are perfect if you missed the summer season. So, it’s worth the drive up to Dixon for the literally endless miles of flowers.
Here’s my favorite places to find sunflowers in California. I have been to each of these places or have verified flowers by a trusted friend.
11 Best Sunflower Fields In California
Where to find the best sunflower fields California has to offer. Looking for a sunflower field near me? These beautiful sunflower fields in Northern and Southern California with tips for visiting!
Try heading to the famous Field of Sunflowers at 8747 Currey Rd, Dixon first. They are a great starting point! I've shot here multiple times over the years and there is ample parking and tons of space on the grass to respectfully take photos of the sunflower season California has to offer.
In 2022, I went to the Currey Road sunflower fields the field was planted with something else so have a backup plan when visiting sunflower fields.
Kidwell Exit on Hwy 80 nearby has a large field but is usually super crowded as EVERYONE stops here. But, if you are in a pinch or on a road trip and can't go out of your way, this is a good place to stop.
You'll see it far away from the highway! They're like a sea of yellow shining on the way to Sacramento.
The intersection of Road 26 and Road 89 in Yolo County has a patch with a small area to pull off. This was more remote and stunning at sunset! I shot here a few summers ago at sunset and they are my favorite photos.
Be wanted, this field has a ton of bees (more than normal) so please practice caution.
Anywhere around Winters, California – you’ll pass by tons of fields here. Find one you like and pull over at these Northern California sunflower fields!
I know that sounds vague but whenever someone DMs on Instagram asking for sunflower field recommendations and I send them this article, I always reassure them that just driving around the outskirts of Winters means you'll find plenty of California sunflowers.
Andreotti Family Farms in Half Moon Bay is a really cool sunflower farm in California. The off erU-Pick 7+foot tall sunflowers during their season, which is short (usually just a few weeks in September). They sell tickets online so check back to their site starting mid-August to keep tabs on their opening dates. This is the best Sunflower field Bay Area folks have!
PS - trying to get engaged? I once helped a young man get connected with the farm to help throw him a special little picnic moment to pop the question so reach out to them if that's what you're aiming for!
Tanaka Farms Hanna Fields Sunflowers Costa Mesa
Hana Field by Tanaka Farms in Costa Mesa runs until August if you missed the Northern California sunflower season! They may be the best sunflower fields Southern California has because you can also do u-pick here! You'll have to bring your own sheers which is extra fun.
If you're looking for a Sunflower field Los Angeles area, head here!
If you REALLY dropped the ball and missed June, July, August and even September sunflower season, you may be able to swing by Murray Family Farms in Bakersfield. I was on my way to Big Bear a few Octobers ago and was shocked to see their sunflower patch still blooming!
I love this market, I always stop by on my was to Big Bear or Joshua Tree. They have such tasty food!
Located at 13421 Highland Valley Road, San Diego, these Southern California sunflower fields also bloom a bit later, usually around September-October! They sell tickets like the other California sunflower farms so if you don't want to take photos of random sunflower fields, head here.
Located at 9055 Olmo Lane, Dixon, Cloverfield Farms sometimes plants a nice little sunflower patch and they welcome visitors. I personally have not been but I have a friend who went a few years ago and loved this California sunflower field near Davis!
Looking for sunflower fields near Bay Area? Swank Farms is down in Hollister inbetween San Jose and Monterey. They have an annual sunflower festival and also welcome visitors to take tons of photos during their season. They bloom more towards September or October.
Turkovich Wines is a cool little winery in YOLO County that happens to also own a sunflower field. And, every June they offer a really cool tasting package. You can buy Private tastings and Sunflower Field Passes which feature tasting 5 of their wines and then time to see the fields in person! This is such a cool way to merge an afternoon getting to know the the local terroir (via grapes and flowers!)
Where To NOT Find Sunflowers In California
As an avid lover of sunflowers, I’ve made it my mission to track down all the good fields. And over the years, I have been misled by many, many sunflower guides out there on internet. I realized later many of these roundups are written by people who have never been to California sunflower season (you can tell by their stock photos).
These are the flower patches I saw listed on other blogs but don’t actually have flowers (in my real like experience) so I can save you from also waiting your time!
- M3 Ranches /Muller Ranch: This is listed on many sites but I don’t think they operate for the public anymore. I gave them many phone calls a summer ago (and even left voicemails) but never got anything back. We drove by, too, and didn’t see much of in the way of fields. Don’t come here.
- Pedrick Produce: One of my best friends lives in Sacramento and the Chevron gas station (next door to Pedrick’s) is my go-to pee break. I also frequently pop into the market to stock up on local food goodies. I have never ever seen sunflower fields near here, and I’ve got at least once a month.
- Sunflower Patch Near Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm: I’ve seen this listed on so many guides. Guys, there IS a sunflower field next-door to Farmer John’s in Half Moon Bay. It’s Andreotti Family Farms Pumpkin Patch/Sunflower Farm. Clearly someone didn’t realize this “little field next door” was a booming farm that offers sunflower tours. I do encourage you to come back to Farmer Johns in October, he is our favorite pumpkin guy! But buy flower tickets to Andreotti, support them.
Photograph At Sunrise or Sunset (Aka Golden Hour!)
Plan to arrive at sunrise to avoid the rush of people and witness the flowers at their most beautiful moments. There is something magical about the sunflowers all facing East and meeting the sun breaking the horizon. We left San Francisco at 4:15am and made it to the fields at 5:30am for sunrise. Plus, the morning light is the best time to shoot sunflower patches!
If you aren’t up for a long morning drive, you can visit at sunset in the evening, usually around 8pm-9pm during the summer. Whatever you do, I highly recommend you DON’T photography during mid-day. This area is always so sunny and HOT HOT HOT (easily up to 90-100 degrees in the summertime) and you’ll be out in the middle of a field, remember? You’ll be sweating and your photos will have harsh light.
Be Respectful While Visiting The Sunflowers
Most farmers are fine with you stopping by the end of the field for a quick photo shoot, but if you are planning on going deeper into fields or doing a big shoot (like an engagement or longer portrait session or flying a drone), figure out who owns the land and give them a call.
I haven’t heard of anyone saying no, they just like the heads up for any professional photoshoot or droning. On that note, be respectable and don’t wander too deep into fields or drive all over the farm on private property. The sunflower files are private land after all!
Remember- these fields are not public land. Respect the fields & don’t damage the flowers.
Don’t drone… for real. Droning is illegal on private land that isn’t yours. Farmers WILL call the cops on you. (Unless you have permission!)
Dress the part and plan to wear summer dresses, straw hat or Americana-vibing outfits. The ‘gram will be a fan! 🙂 Try one of these pieces!
Don’t pick sunflowers! They aren’t yours! Also don’t bring in real sunflowers (only fake ones)to fields to avoid cross contamination.
Make A Weekend Trip Out Of It!
No matter what flower field in California you’re visiting, light to photograph is best at sunrise and sunset, it may be easier to spend the night in a hotel somewhere. Make a weekend trip out of it!
I recommend you stay overnight in Sacramento, a city that’s slowly growing on me with fun breweries, cute cafes and colorful murals. Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento is the best hotel. We love Kimpton hotels – they are always so unique & well crafted. This one even has a pool (perfect for hot summer days after visiting the sunflowers!) Or, if you want something a little more unique, try the Delta King Hotel which is a hotel on a riverboat!
Before or after your shoot at the sunflowers, swing on by to Araceli Farms, a stunning lavender field that’s open between May and early July each year. My friends and I visited this summer and fell in love with this place. You can take tons of photos here, too!
If you are in the area in February, check out the Almond Blossoms. Or, if it’s August, head to the nearby Mezger Family Zinnia Patch!
I hope this helps you plan your trip to see the sunflower fields! Remember, be respectful to the flowers. If you have any questions, please comment below or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll try to help! If you have any tips to add or comments, drop a note below so everyone can see.
PS – Use #whimsysoul on your photo if you post to Instagram so I can see it!
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I have SO many sunflower photos from over the years! Here’s some past photos that are too fun not to share!
I love your sunflowers. What beautiful photography!
Aww thank you!
Are the farms open now ?? We would love to visit this Sunday.
flowers is there
Hey I am looking to propose to my long time girlfriend and out of all the fields I only saw that anndreotti family farms does proposals, and they are way up north, I live in arizona and was going to take a week trip with her in California since she grew up there.
My question is, do you know of any sunflower farms down in southern Cali that would be a good host to a proposal? Also if you are avaliable I would love to hire your amazing photography skills for engagement photos!
It’s the time of blooming already? I would love to come visit this year
I don’t live up there BUT I was up there the first week of June last year and they were blooming, so I’d guess, YES!
Are the sunflowers in bloom? We would like to visit very early on a weekday June 20 in the morning like 6am for pictorials.Who do I ask permission? Please reply. Thank you!
I don’t live up in Sacramento area and haven’t been yet this year but since it’s June 16th I would think they are in bloom already! I think you’re safe! Use the address I suggested as a starting point to take photos.
Connie- If you see them on June 16th, can you please post here to let us know. We also want to go there to take pictures but don’t wanna drive with kids if they are not full bloom.
I suggest checking out the Instagram Stories for Woodland, Dixon, etc! That’s how I find out what things are like in real time when I want to visit.
What are their instagrams?
My family and I went up on July 4th and loved these sunflower fields. The Field Of Sunflowers was a downer because most of the flowers were spent. However, we drove on Pedrick Road and saw a bunch of other farms which were in full bloom. No (other) tourists, and we had the whole place to ourselves. It was 95F even at 6pm in the evening, but perfect in the shade. The number of bees around each of the flowers is phenomenal. A constant buzz prevailed 🙂
Are the farms open now ?? We would love to visit tomorrow Sunday
Hello, can you please tell me if July 22nd, 2020 that’s tomorrow would be good time to see the sunflower bloom or is it too late? …and also whether it’s open for visiting in spite of amidst of Covid-19?
Love your pictures and all the information. Thank you very much!
They’re all dead now, sorry! Try again next year 🙂
When I studied at UCDavis, I went to visit the sunflower fields, it was really wonderful.
There are no Flower Fields on Highway 26 and 89. I was driving around 10 miles back-and-forth yesterday. Also another flower field had no trespassing signs around the perimeter of their farm. Too many people are showing up possibly
Thanks for an update on this 2022 season! It changes a bit each year so it’s hard to stay on top of it by myself