They’re baaaack! Yolo County sunflowers are in full bloom, their cheerful displays blanketing the countryside surrounding Davis, Woodland, Winters and beyond with yellow and gold! Yolo County sunflower fields are some of the most photographed spots in all of Northern California, whether by professional photographers or day-trippers posing for the ’Gram.
But first, a little background. Sunflowers, Helianthus annuus, are native to the Americas and were cultivated by indigenous people. California farmers grow about 70,000 acres of sunflowers each year, mostly right here in the Sacramento Valley. Yolo County has the ideal conditions for growing sunflowers and their seeds are harvested and sent around the world to be planted for oil.
Sunflowers are much more than just a pretty face. Their seeds can be roasted and eaten out of hand, or they can be added to granola, baked into brittle, or blended into sunbutter. Their petals, leaves and sprouts can be tossed into salads or sprinkled on sandwiches just like any other green. You can also grill sunflower heads and eat them like corn on the cob.
There are numerous spots across Yolo County to see the sunflower fields. But we recommend celebrating their golden splendor with a Sunflower and Wine Tasting Experience Pass from Turkovich Family Wines in Winters. Following the tasting at the winery you’ll receive your field pass, map, and all the information you need for a self-guided tour. It’s a short drive to their sunflower field, where you can explore at your own pace. Remember, the sunflowers will only be in bloom for a short time, so reserve your pass today! Just there for the pics? You can also book a photography pass too.
Another unique way to take in the sunflowers of Yolo County is through a Pick-Your-Own-Bouquet experience at Park Winters. They have a special sunflower add-on, so be sure to add it when you make your reservation. After browsing the sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, zinnias and poppies, you can arrange your bouquet onsite.
There are plenty of other sunflower fields throughout Yolo County as well. There’s nothing like a drive through the Yolo countryside during sunflower season! Some routes to consider include Country Road 89 heading north out of Winters; I-505 heading north through the towns of Zamora and Dunnigan; along Russell Blvd. between Winters and Davis; and on the roads around the outskirts of Woodland.
Please be advised that the sunflower fields are all on private property, so please view respectfully and do not trespass. Do not park or walk on private property. Also, do not park along irrigation canals or park or drive on farm access roads. Be aware of private property and no trespassing signs. Also do not pick sunflowers nor trample them. They are the farmers’ crops and livelihood.
When you view the sunflowers, remember that timing matters. They face the east in the morning, gradually turning their heads west as the sun makes its way across the sky Then they reset overnight, facing east as they wait for the sun to rise again.
There’s much more going on in Yolo County in addition to sunflowers, so why not make a day (or a weekend) of it? You can indulge in a great meal from a local restaurant, go wine tasting or enjoy craft beer. You can also take advantage of lodging specials in Yolo County.
Have a great photo of Yolo County sunflowers? Use #yolosunflowers on social media and tag us @visityolo!
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