Don’t miss out on Carlsbad’s picture-perfect flower fields

A field bursting with colorful flowers.
Giant Tecolote ranunculuses bloom at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.
(Marcie Gonzalez / The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch)
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The jury’s still out on how many wildflowers we’ll see this spring, but in the many-colored, carefully cultivated Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch, the bloom is on and the cash register is about to begin ringing.

The fields — 55 acres of giant Tecolote ranunculuses in Instagram-ready yellow, orange, pink and red — will open to the public for visits starting March 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

A man is surrounded by red, orange and yellow ranunculus flowers in a field in Carlsbad.
Fred Clarke, right, general manager at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, poses for pictures in April 2020, when the fields were closed to visitors because of the pandemic. This year, the fields open March 1.
(Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Timed tickets are available now through the Flower Fields website; advance purchase is required. (Photographers, take note: Drones are forbidden, tripods are allowed.)

The fields, which have been devoted to ranunculuses since the 1960s (and poinsettias before that), are visible on the inland side of I-5 about 90 miles south of Los Angeles. The flowers are also known as Persian buttercups.

The bloom typically continues through early May. Other features of the fields include tractor wagon rides and a poinsettia display. Flower Fields management describes the operation as a sort of hybrid — part working ranch, part tourist attraction, with frequent events such as wine tastings, teas, yoga sessions and even the occasional blues musician (Bill Magee, on the calendar for April 2).

Adult tickets are $24.95 (which includes a $2.95 service fee) and $2 less for seniors over 60 and military. The charge for children ages 3-10 is $11.34 (including service fee). Pets and bicycles are not permitted.

The address is 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad.