These fresh flower fields are just waiting to be explored.
It’s not just for Instagram. There’s something magical about wandering through a field of flowers. Clearly, all is right with the world when hundreds of bright blooms are nodding at your ankles — or above your head, as the case may be.
If you think you missed springtime’s floral beauty, don’t fret. These gorgeous summer flower fields are ready and waiting.
1. Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm & Shop
Washington Island, WI
There is no need to hop a plane to France if you dream of lavender fields as far as the eye can see. Fragrant Isle on Washington Island has a full seven acres dedicated to this lovely purple crop that peaks from July to August.
Pick your own bundle. Then browse the shop for souvenirs like lavender soaps, candles and essential oils. Save time to sample the culinary lavender, too — it stars in scones, truffles, macaroons and other treats at Le Café and even some of their signature drinks at the new wine and craft beer bar. Nothing says summer like a lavender rosé wine slushie.
2. Glacier National Park
West Glacier, MT
Glacier National Park is best known for pristine lakes and snow-capped mountains, but during the summer, the alpine landscape unrolls a carpet of wildflowers — nearly a thousand species, from purple asters to glacier lilies.
Some have strange names. Elephant’s head, so-called for its unusual shape, blooms on the Hidden Lake Overlook Trail. Beargrass, not a grass but a white-tipped perennial, speckles the hill above Grinnell Lake. And fireweed, with its signature magenta hue, is all over, easy to spot along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
3. Lompoc Flower Fields
You can’t walk through these commercial flower fields — they’re not open to the public — but you’re welcome to snap photos of them from the rural byways of Lompoc Valley. Summer brings sweet peas, bush daisies, stock and more, planted in precise, parallel rows.
Begin your driving tour at the intersection of Ocean and Floridale avenues, and head west. For extra color, check out Lompoc’s 40 murals, several of which spotlight the valley’s flora.
4. Kanapaha Botanical Garden
The pink and white petals of the Victoria water lilies at the Kanapaha Botanical Garden are dwarfed by the giant lily pads they create. Each summer, as temperatures climb, the leaves grow broader, stretching as wide as 7 feet and transforming the pond into a field of water lilies. Kanapaha currently holds the record for the largest water lily ever grown in cultivation (93 inches). Go in mid-September to see them at their biggest and best.
5. The Never Ending Flower Farm
The flowers here really are never-ending — at least until things get frosty in October. In summer, find marigolds, zinnias, amaranth, strawflowers, sunflowers, snapdragons and the like flourishing at this family-owned farm. Pick your own bouquet and enjoy the scenery. The blend of multicolored flowers in the grassy field is pretty, but the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains make the landscape truly stunning.
6. Sussex County Sunflower Maze
Sunflowers are possibly the happiest summer blossom, so it stands to reason that 1.5 million of them, some over 12 feet tall, is a pretty cheerful sight. See for yourself from late August to mid-September at the Sussex County Sunflower Maze. Photographers (and Instagrammers) will be especially delighted with the sunrise and starlight photo sessions, while kids will love the scavenger hunt. There’s a new design for the maze every summer, kept top secret till opening day. Stay up-to-date during the season with daily pictures and videos on Facebook.
7. Swan Island Dahlias
It’s no surprise the largest dahlia grower in the country has a few acres — 35, actually — dedicated to this showy summer bloom. They’re open in August and September when the fields turn a rainbow of colors: red, white, purple, pink, orange and yellow.
As you stroll among more than 500,000 flowers, glimpse Mount Hood in the distance, lending the right touch of majesty. Serious dahlia-lovers can’t miss the Annual Dahlia Festival in August, featuring food, live music, workshops and other festivities.
8. English Oak Meadow, Chicago Botanic Garden
You could argue that the Chicago Botanic Garden, spanning 27 gardens on 385 acres, is one giant flower field, but to see a breezy blend of annuals and perennials in a natural setting, head to the English Oak Meadow.
This hillside is always colorful, but it really puts on a show with black-eyed Susans, verbena, ornamental grasses, and more in summer. The backdrop of oak trees and birdsong is romantic, and butterflies flitting from flower to flower just add to the charm.