Flower Fields Attracting Visitors Throughout Southwest & Counterfeiters

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snc00067_1The wife and I visited the Carlsbad Flower Fields for the first time last Saturday. (Last year we got a birds eye view of the Flower Fields when visiting the Museum of Making Music.) If you are like us and always thought it was good enough to just see the Fields from a distance when driving by on the I-5 or visiting the adjacent Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Museum of Making Music, I’d think again. Not only did we get to enjoy the beautiful scents of the flowers but we also got to visually appreciate the amazing details of the flower petals.

The Carlsbad Flower Fields is the only place in the world for the public to visit a commercial grower of Ranunculus flowers. During your visit you will see workers out in the fields cutting the flowers and preparing them for shipment around the country. It’s interesting to watch how quickly they can cut, wrap, and place a price tag as they prepare the the flowers for distribution.

My wife and I got an early start by arriving a half-hour after it opened in hopes of avoiding the crowds. When I drove in the parking lot, I got a little nervous because buses from Corona, CA and Salt Lake City, UT had just dropped off their passengers. Fortunately, they didn’t need to hop in the ticket line so it only took a few minutes for us to get through.

That was just the first sign of how popular this destination has become. While we were waiting in the ticket line, the staff mentioned they’ve been having a problem with bloggers posting counterfeit 2 for 1 coupons on the internet. (I’ve heard of counterfeit tickets and coupons for high-priced events but for a $10 entrance fee?) Apparently, the only real 2 for 1 coupons were provided to the community newspapers in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Once inside, you’ll get to enjoy over 50 acres of flower fields. Most of the amenities, and crowds, are just inside the entrance. You’ll see a small LEGO display of flowers, vendors providing crowd favorites like Kettle Corn, Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade, and Strawberry Shortcake, and displays about how San Diego became the #1 producer of  floriculture in the United States.

A little farther inside, the wife and I browsed through the All-American Rose Garden looking for the winning roses in the years we were born. (The winning rose selections go back to 1940.)

Then we ventured into the Sweet Peas maze. It’s in a very small area and looked quite simple. However, it became quite an adventure and ended up being a team building exercise with fellow guests stuck in the maze. We passed advice to one another as we found ourselves constantly being one row shy of where we needed to be to exit the maze. (It was fun to watch couples enter the maze locked hand-in-hand but end up going separate ways as each started to express different opinions on where they needed to go to extract themselves from what seemed to be an endless puzzle. Happily, all eventually made their way out and were back hand-in-hand at the finish line.)

Once you go past the Sweet Peas maze, the crowds get lighter as you explore the rows of colorful flowers. Head up the hillside and you’ll get to enjoy magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. As you exit the Flower Fields through the Armstrong Garden Center, be sure to buy the freshly cut flowers to enjoy at home.

To learn more about the Carlsbad Flower Fields and get advice on how to make the most of your visit (especially to avoid the long ticket lines), check out the Flower Fields profile on my San Diego travel web site.

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