Exploring The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

baby sleeping while at the flower fields

When spring rolls around in North San Diego County, you can expect a vibrant display of 50 flower varieties at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. More than just an explosion of color, this place is steeped in 85 years of history, thanks to folks like Luther Gage and Edwin Frazee, who kicked things off with the beautiful ranunculus.

The Flower Fields aren’t just about pretty petals; they represent hard graft and a passion for nature that’s pretty rare these days. If you’re after the perfect family photo backdrop, this place is a solid bet, make sure the kids are awake to enjoy it!

How was the Carlsbad Flower Fields experience?

There are definitely a lot of things to do at the Flower Fields, and we probably did 10% of it. Walking in, there were mini garden mazes for children, a couple of birds in the aviaries, several small food stores for you to munch on, and more mini gardens.

As we walked even further from the entrance, we saw a live band playing called The 63eatles. They were a cool cover band that played early songs from The Beatles.

But the main attraction, of course, was the Flower Fields. And so, we had two choices:

1) Hop on the Tractor Wagon Ride.

2) Walk to the fields.

We decided to walk to the fields with our three-month-old baby, Quinn. I’ll tell you right now, using the stroller was rough. The terrain overall was a bumpy ride. Not to mention, there were hills that we had to go up and down.

My girlfriend shared an Instagram story of her dad walking Quinn using the stroller. Boy did we get a lot of backlashes! We’re not terrible parents, I promise! We’ll be sure to get the adapter one day.

Using a stroller at the flower fields in Carlsbad

The bumpy road and the text from my concerned friend were a reminder that the adapter was a must for the Nuna stroller.

How to experience the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch?

When you get to the fields, there are designated areas for you to take pictures and also enjoy the beauty in front of you. And if you have kids, they’ll love running around and playing in the fields itself.

That’s if you want to break the rules. The majority of the area had caution tape so that tourists wouldn’t ruin the flowers. For me, I just had to take a flower for my perfect photo shot.

“Help Us Protect The Flowers”

Unfortunately, our little one was asleep the whole time, and we were only able to take a couple of pictures with her. I guess babies love sleeping through bumpy roads.

What additional attractions are at the Flower Fields?

There were a couple of other attractions at the Carlsbad Flower Fields that we didn’t spend too much time on.

How is the Tractor Wagon Ride?

The first thing we saw at the Flower Fields were tractor wagon rides. It looked like a lot of fun and the perfect way to see the fields if you don’t feel like walking. However, we (well, I mostly) didn’t want to be stuck in the tractor with strangers in case our baby would start crying hysterically.

Also, the wagon tour cost an additional $6, and the line was long. I didn’t have the patience, plus I was already in a bad mood because parking (which I’ll get into later) was extremely hard.

What’s in the Butterfly Garden?

We saw the Butterly Garden from afar, and we would’ve gone inside if our baby Quinn had been awake. This little area seemed to be an Instagram-worthy stop with a bunch of butterflies flying around vibrant beds of beautiful flowers.

What about the Sea of Sunflowers?

Unfortunately, we did not see the Sea of Sunflowers, and that’s because we went in early April. According to the Flower Fields website, the 5-acres of the sea of sunflowers would boom in the middle of the month.

What are the Flower Fields dining options?

We noticed that there were quite a few places to eat at the Flower Fields. The one we didn’t get to try was the infamous pizza trolley. According to their site, the Pizza Trolley is open from 11 am to 5:30 PM. And what do they serve? I don’t need to answer that.

There were only two things that we ate at the Flower Fields. Kettle Kernels Popcorn and Dole Whip Soft Serve (ice cream).

The Dole Whip soft serve was just as good as the ones we’ve had at Disneyland and in Hawaii! Well, almost as good. There was a long line for the Dole Whip, which speaks for itself.

The good news is that you’re close to the Carlsbad outlet, and across the street, you can walk to the Carlsbad Windmill food hall. There, they have various types of foods for you to eat with your family.

When to visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields?

For this year (2022), the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch opened on March 1st and will go all the way until May 8th. However, the best time to see the most flowers in bloom is from mid-March to mid-April.

They’re open from 9 am to 6 pm and you must book your tickets online at:https://www.theflowerfields.com/

How to park at the Flower Fields?

The parking for the Flower Fields at Carlsbad absolutely SUCKS. There was so much traffic just to get here because it’s right next to the damn outlet and an Armstrong Garden Center. We had to park in the additional parking spot in the back where the roads were dirt. This wasn’t good for our baby or anyone, really, as cars would drive by us, and dust would fly up.

If you’re coming, I suggest you get here early to avoid the traffic, or park in the back like we did and walk. It’s not that bad, but it’s a pain in the ass (mainly the dust).

What is the history of Carlsbad Ranch Flower Fields?

In case you’re curious about the history of the Flower Fields, they’ve been taken care of by numerous people for the past 85 years in Southern California. It began with Luther Gage, who planted fields of Ranunculus. Fast forward to the 60’s Paul Ecke Jr. and Edwin Frazee, planted acres of carnations. Which then transitioned to the current owners, the Eckes, who planted the fields with different types of flowers.

Today, the Flower Fields in San Diego county represent a historical location and a cultural landmark. People come from around the world to see the 50-acre fields of color.

Should we revisit the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch?

Yes, only if Quinn stays awake, so we could take a ton of memorable photos. Other than that, it’s a no for me. Even though there were a lot of things to see, it just didn’t seem like it was worth the drive going here (we drove an hour).

There are tons of nearby gardens locally. Heck, I could go to the Japanese Garden in Long Beach, and I’d be just as satisfied. It really is just the field of flowers that make up the experience. All in all – we don’t need to come back here again once we’ve gotten our “for the gram” shots with Quinn.

I'm a professional marketer from Los Angeles, California. More importantly, I'm a brand new father who can't wait to take my beloved partner and daughter on all sorts of hiking trails. My mantra is that work will always be there, but watching your little one grow happens once in a lifetime.

Leave a Comment