Best Tips for Visiting the Carlsbad Flower Fields 2020

Flower Fields in Carlsbad
Flower Fields in Carlsbad

2019 is going to be the perfect year for a superbloom of stunningly colorful flowers at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch! Winter 2018-2019 saw a lot of rain and a result, the Fields will open early this year. Read on for tips from a local on visiting the Flower Fields.

When to Go

The 2019 Flower Fields season runs March 1st to May 12th. 50 acres of flowers bloom for 6-8 weeks each year, so be sure to plan your visit ahead of time.

  • Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are VERY BUSY at the Flower Fields, so avoid visiting on the weekend. Plan to arrive around the time the Fields open.
  • Avoid opening and closing days of the season as they tend to be the busiest.
  • To see exactly how in bloom the flowers look this week, search Instagram for #CarlsbadFlowerFields and similar tags.
  • Don’t go on event days! Unless you’re going for a specific event (see the calendar here) you will want to avoid these days.

Flower Fields Basics

You can find full information on the Carlsbad Flower Fields site but here’s the basic rundown.

  • Costs: the 2019 price of admission is $18 for adults, $17 for AAA members, $16 for Seniors 60+, and $9 for kids 3-10. Parking is free.
  • Hours: Open 9 AM – 6 PM.
  • Rules: No drones, smoking/vaping, alcohol, hoverboards, cars, bicycles, or pets are allowed.
  • Buying Flowers: the Armstrong Garden Center at the Fields sells flowers. Don’t worry, you can’t miss it as you exit.
  • Eating at the Fields: there are food trucks/vendors on the weekends and vending machines on the weekdays. We recommend eating at the Outlets beforehand.
  • What Else is There to See? Besides flowers, there are gardens, an American flag flower section, tractor rides, an orchid greenhouse, a sweet pea maza, a demo garden, and more. See the full lsit here.


Since the Flower Fields are typically busy all season long, parking is a hassle – about 160,000 people visit the fields each season. There is no charge for parking in the Flower Fields lot, but it will be a challenge to find a spot. The parking lot is not set up well and there are no Fields employees directing traffic so it can be a bit chaotic. Here’s how you can avoid the parking hassle:

  • Park across the street! Do this at your own risk as you may get towed, but there are two plazas of restaurants on the corner of Paseo Del Norte and Palomar Airport Road. We always park here in the back of the lot and have never had any issues. The short walk is way better than spending an hour stalking people to their parking spots! Estimated walk time: 6 minutes, 0.3 miles.
  • Use Uber! If you live close enough, take an Uber or Lyft ride from home and get dropped off across the street from the Fields! If you’re driving from farther away, park your car and Uber from a nearby location such as Poinsettia Park. Estimated walk time from Poinsettia Park: 28 minutes, 1.4 miles.
  • Take the Train! Jump on the scenic ocean-side Amtrak or Metrolink train and get off at the Carlsbad Poinsettia Station. Consider taking a >$10 Uber to get there quickly.
    Estimated walk time: 30 minutes, 1.5 miles.
  • Park at the Outlets. The Carlsbad Outlets aren’t far from the Fields and it’s an easy walk. To avoid getting towed we recommend parking in the back of one of the large lots and purchasing something at the Outlets just in case you need to prove you really shopped there. We recommend stopping by Starbucks for a frappuccino beforehand.
    Estimated walk time: 6 minutes, 0.3 miles.

What to Bring

  • Sun Protection – lots of sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats are always a good idea. You may want a light jacket for the breezier mornings.
  • Comfy Shoes – you will be walking quite a bit, so be sure to wear something comfortable. If you want to take cuter photos, bring a pair of shoes just for walking and then change.
  • Food – there isn’t much food available at the Fields, so we recommend bringing a picnic or eating beforehand.
  • Water – bringing your own water will be cheaper and easier! You’ll get hot walking around and there aren’t many water stations in the Fields.
  • Your Camera & Batteries – if you have an actual camera, bring it but be sure to bring charged batteries and a memory card with you.
  • Allergy Medicine – for those of us who are allergic to flowers and grass, this could kill the whole day! Take some Claritin before you come so your photos aren’t ruined by red noses and puffy eyes.

Suggested Photo Ops & Poses

There are over 50 acres to explore, and plenty of photo ops available. Be patient with other people and you’ll get your picture! Note that the Flower Fields have official guidelines for professional photographers. Here are some suggested poses for that perfectly Instagrammable shot:

  • Follow Me– these work great for couples, parents and their children, and friends. Basically, one person walks ahead and puts their arm out behind them to hold that person’s hand and lead them to the fields. You can only see the first person ahead, their arm, and the background.
  • Sitting/Standing with the Flowers – you may need to get a bit into the field itself to truly be surrounded but it will be so worth the photo!
  • Looking Out at the Flowers – this is a great opportunity to showcase a beautiful silhouette and great hairstyle. If you have children consider holding them on your hips or back while you both look out at the flowers. Couples may want to be do this holding hands.
  • Standing Facing Each Other – this is a great one for couples. Stand in front of a field of flowers and face each other. Ladies, put your hand on his chest while your man puts his hands on your hips. Don’t forget a kissing photo while the female lifts her leg up at a 90-degree angle!
  • Use the Props! Use the windmills, tractors, and flower-laced benches to pose for your photo.

Check out some photo examples below from Instagrammers we love!

Overall, the Flower Fields will be sure to be a beautiful couple of hours for your day. We recommend staying for about 2 hours, depending on what activities you do and how many photos you want to take.

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    March 2, 2019 at 7:54 am

    […] get to take beautiful family photos and profile-picture-worthy selfies in the Fields! Check out our guide to the Carlsbad Flower Fields before you go to avoid hassles with parking and learn pro […]

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