For years the farmers of Yolo County, about an hour from Berkeley, have grown sunflowers — more than 70,000 acres of them — primarily for the seeds that get exported. Instagram has brought these farms to the attention of photographers, who cannot resist the stunning, expansive technicolor backdrops for images, and now people travel from all over California to use the sunflower fields for impressive DIY photo shoots.
Here are a few guidelines for enjoying and respecting the sunflower fields, along with locations.
When to View The Sunflower Fields of Yolo County
The sunflowers are in bloom from mid-June through mid-July. Follow the tag #YoloSunflowers on Instagram to determine the current conditions of the fields. For clear blue skies, a mid-day venture is your best bet, but know that it will likely be 90 degrees in Yolo County and your little ones will be squinting and sweaty-headed as they examine the flowers. Pre-sunset is a more comfortable time and will produce less shadows on the faces of your subjects.
How to See Sunflower Fields
You’ll see them from the side of the road if you travel on Highway 80 before you get to Davis, CA. The closest destination to the (510) is located at 8747 Currey Rd in Dixon, which is about 50 miles from Oakland. More fields are along nearby highways.
Drive carefully, pull over with caution, and respect all signs that say No Trespassing and similar as you explore the area. Be careful not to break any stems — these beautiful crops are the farmer’s livelihood!
Did you know that sunflowers twist their heads to face the sun? You may arrive at a field full of backward-facing flowers!
Supporting Yolo County
If you venture out to enjoy the views and use a farmer’s land for sightseeing and photos, please spend money in the area. Some of the wonderful resources include:
- Wine. Turkovich Winery which is home to a sunflower field and sells a tasting pass combined with sunflower access
- Fruit. Farm-fresh fruit and other locally made foods are sold at the farmstands. Cloverleaf Farm has U-Pick stone fruit — and sunflowers!
- Food and beer. Restaurants, especially brewpubs, are abundant in the area. Outdoor eating on a summer evening is far warmer out there!
- Flowers. Park Winters is a garden and wedding venue that sells a Pick Your Own Bouquet experience
- Enjoy Davis. Spend the night, bring your bike, enjoy Davis or a river rafting trip/camping nearby
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