Ahhhh. Spring. The season that signals winter finally coming to an end. And what better reason to get outdoors now that the temperatures are finally warming up then to go and see some beautiful spring flowers in bloom?
The west coast has some spectacular spring blooms from the desert regions to high alpine area's. Southern California's flowers will begin to bloom the earliest of course but is highly dependent on how much rainfall was received over the previous winter months while in the higher latitudes and elevations blooming won't begin until early summer.
Keep reading to see where some of the west coast's most spectacular spring blooms are. They are most definitely worth planning a trip around!
Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve
When: February - May
The largest and most dependable wild flower bloom in California can be found at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Northern Los Angeles County.
Each year you can view the state's official flower, the California poppy explode into a sea of bright orange. Other wildflowers found here including lupine, goldfield and cream cups help to create a mosaic of beautiful colors.
There are 8 miles of trails through these gentle rolling hills including a paved section for wheelchair access. This park is wonderful to visit not only in Spring but year round.
Wildflower blooms are notoriously difficult to predict and are dependent on a variety of climate factors. You can check bloom updates for the Antelope Valley Preserve before heading out there.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset and parking fee is $10.
How to get there: The Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve is located 15 miles west of Lancaster at 15101 Lancaster Road in the Western Mohave Desert.
When: March - May
The Carrizo Plain located in Central California are some of the largest unspoiled grasslands in the state that rewards visitors with a spectacular sight in Spring.
During super bloom you can see a variety of different flowers blooming including California poppy's, Tidy tips, Lupine, Owls clover, Jewelflower and many more. Expanses of yellows and purples paint the mountain ranges here.
Only three hundred years ago this area was a vast grassland where antelope and elk grazed and wildflowers covered the landscape. However these days the only remnant that remains of what was is inside the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
To get there: The Carrizo Plain is located 75 miles inland from San Luis Obispo and about 170 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Take highway 58 east from Santa Margarita for about 44 miles then turn right at Soda Lake Road.
Lavender Farms In Oregon
When: April - August
If you visit Oregon between the months of April and August you will be treated to fields of lavender eye candy set against a backdrop of jaw dropping scenery.
Oregon is home to a number of lavender farms and most of the lavender destinations hold a festival or event that coincides with their regions peak bloom period. You can view lavender events & festivals in Oregon to help plan you trip.
Lavender blooming season in Oregon usually begins anywhere between June and August and is dependent on latitude and elevation. In Southern Oregon lavender obviously begins blooming the earliest in April while in Central Oregon blooming will not start until July.
You can purchase many lavender related products at the farms including essential oils, soaps, candles, perfume and tea or pick your own bouquet of lavender for a small fee.
To get there: Lavender farms are located throughout western Oregon and you can find a location to visit that best suits your travel itinerary. See a list of lavender farms in Oregon now.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
When: April 1-30
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is one of the biggest events in the Pacific Northwest that celebrates millions of brightly colored tulips bursting into bloom.
The tulip fields are scattered throughout the Skagit Valley as are the many events and activities that compromise the festival. You can download a copy of the 2018 festival map which includes the schedule of events.
The tulip fields are grown by Roozengaarde and Tulip Town. Roozengaarde has 22 acres of Tulips fields and 22 acres of Daffodil fields to view and photograph featuring an authentic Dutch windmill. Garden admission at Roozengaarde is $7. Tulip Town has trolley rides which take you on elevated panoramic view tours. Also $7 entry fee.
The Skagit Valley is an important agricultural area in Washington State and even though the Tulip Festival is a great reason to visit the area, there are many nearby places such as La Connor and Whidbey Island that are also worth visiting year round. You can see our driving itinerary for north-west Washington which includes stopping at some of these beautiful places.
To get there: The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival can be found along the I-5, an easy one hour drive north from Seattle and 70 miles south of Vancouver, Canada. You will need a map of the tulip field area as the fields do not have addresses and sites change every year due to crop rotation.
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