11 Best Lavender Fields to visit in California
2020 got me (and most of us) staying close to home and exploring local. This opened new doors for me and forced me to explore often overlooked places within California. I found seasonal blooms in the Bay Area and had the opportunity to see wildflowers, jacarandas, sunflowers in full bloom and incredible lavender fields. Last year also made me realize that you do not have to go to Provence to frolic in lavender fields. There are many lavender fields in Northern, Central and Southern California that are open to the public during peak season ad to get lost in the intoxicating scent of lavender.
Some of the lavender farms in California allow private photoshoots in the mornings and evenings while others are open to the public only during regular hours. I have listed the ones that allow private photo shoots below.
NOTE: Unfortunately, some of these farms were closed in 2020. Let us hope they reopen to the public in 2021. Keep an eye out and check their websites for regular updates.
Check out other wildflowers and flower fields in California
Other California itineraries and places to visit
Where to find the best lavender fields in California?
There are several lavender farms scattered around California that you can find one close by, whether you live in Northern, Southern or Central California.
I have found some of the best lavender farms in the wine country. Some farms are part of a winery while others operate separately. In fact, 5 of the farms listed below are in the Napa/Sonoma wine country. There are a few in Northern California (around Sacramento) and a few others in Central and Southern California.
Best time to visit Lavender fields in California
June is the peak lavender season. Anytime between mid-May and mid-July is a good time to visit lavender farms in California.
I also suggest checking the farms’ websites or call them in advance for their high season.
After July, most of the lavender is harvested and you don’t get to see the purple flowers dancing in the sun.
Tips to visit Lavender farms in California
Best time of the day
You probably wouldn’t have much choice here as many farms are open to the public during regular hours like 10am – 5pm. However, there are some that allow private photoshoots early in the morning and late evening. If you wish to have a private photoshoot, I suggest visiting during golden hour (early hours after sunrise or right before sunset).
Summer clothing like flowy white dresses or purple outfit matching the lavender would look great for your photoshoot.
Wear a hat for sun protection.
Most fields are uneven and muddy so choose comfortable shoes/sandals to walk around.
Most of the lavender fields in California require you to make reservations in advance and they sell out pretty fast! I highly suggest booking ahead.
Respect the rules
Read/listen to the rules and respect them. Remember that the farms are someone else’s livelihood. Some farms don’t allow you to walk between the plants and please respect that. The farms we went to had a few strategic spots where visitors can take photos with the lavender.
Beware of bees
Bees are everywhere in the fields! Be careful as to where you walk or put your hand. Please respect the nature and that includes bees.
Best Lavender Fields in California
Lavender farms in Northern California and the Bay Area
This is one of the most popular and easily accessible lavender farms located in the Sacramento valley, near Dixon, CA. With timed tickets, you get to spend 2 hours sniffing the lavender and frolicking in the fields. One of the advantages of this farm is that they allow private photo sessions in the morning and evening hours.
Private photo shoot – Yes. $80 per hour
Advanced reservation – Yes, 2hr time slot
This is a gem of a lavender field in the wine country (Sebastopol). Beautiful lavenders are planted on a rolling hill with gorgeous vineyard views all around. They open in April, 2021 and you will need timed tickets bought in advance. They limit the number of people every hour and given the vast area, it gives you plenty of time to be alone with the lavenders. I highly recommend visiting this lavender field if you live in the Bay Area or Northern California.
Private photo shoot – No
Advanced reservation – Yes, 1hr time slot
Lavender Bee Farm is located in Petaluma (in the wine country) and is a small farm with personable owners. It is a beautiful field spanning 3 acres of lavender and other gardens. This farm is only open for a month during the summer lavender season. Unfortunately, they were closed in 2020 so please check online if they are going to be open in 2021. While you are there, also grab their delicious 100% organic lavender honey!
Advanced reservation – Farm tours by reservation only. Call ahead
This is a unique spot in Santa Rosa to snap beautiful photos with lavender. It is not a huge farm but a labyrinth of lavender gardens. The labyrinth comprises 7 circles with each circle featuring a different lavender variety. You can also check the lavender bloom status here. One of the best things about this lavender farm is that it is free and dogs are allowed on leash.
Advanced reservation – No
Wine tasting with a side of lavender? Why, yes! Matanzas Creek Winery offers just that with a terraced lavender garden to enjoy your wine with. Even though we did not have a reservation in 2020, they were kind enough to let us enter the lavender field to spend some time and take photos. Reservations are highly recommended if you would like to access the lavender garden.
Advanced reservation – Yes. For wine tasting and lavender garden
Cache Creek Lavender Festival is scheduled to take place on June 13-14, 2021 amidst the lavender fields in Rumsey, CA. Even though the farm is not that big, it is a fun event with beautiful photo opportunities, free lessons, fun local vendors for olive oil, wine tastings and all things lavender. Note that their 2020 lavender festival was cancelled. Call ahead to check 2021 schedule.
Advanced reservation – No. Please check their website for 2021.
This is yet another lavender farm located north of Sacramento. It is a bit of a drive up north but hey, anything for lavender, right? The good thing is that you can book a private photo shoot and special events here. Note that their lavender harvest festival that is open to the public was cancelled in 2020. Please check their website for 2021.
Private photo shoot – Yes
Advanced reservation – No.
Lavender fields in Central California
Pageo is another dream of a lavender farm. If you want to plan your dream wedding among lavender fields, this is the place to bool. Be sure to visit them in June as they tend to harvest their lavender in July. They also allow private photo sessions during the day and golden hours for a fraction of price compared to other farms.
Private photo shoot – Yes. $30: Morning hours to 4pm. $50: after 4pm.
Advanced reservation – Call ahead to confirm.
Clairmont lavender farm is a beautiful field located in my favorite Santa Ynez Valley. It is a great place to see lavender in the Santa Barbara area and central coast. You could choose to have a picnic or just enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Advanced reservation – Call ahead to confirm
Lavender fields in Southern California
About 90min from LA, 123 Farm is a popular lavender farm in Southern California and boasts to be the largest in the area as well. It can get really busy as most SoCal Instagrammers and families alike flock to this place during peak season. The lavender festival was cancelled in 2020 but the farm was open to public in June and July of 2020. Check their website for hours of operation and open season.
Private photo shoot – Yes. Ranging from $150 – $350 for 2hrs
Advanced reservation – Yes
Tucked in Valley Center, Keys Creek is a quiet picturesque farm about an hour away from San Diego. They are usually open in May and June for the lavender season but were closed in 2020. Please check their website or call for 2021 season. Also contact them for a private photo session and pricing.
Private photo shoot – Yes
Advanced reservation – Call/visit their website
Have I convinced you to visit a lavender farm in California yet? As you can see, there are plenty of lavender fields to visit in California. In addition to beautiful photo opportunities, these farms also sell all things lavender like soaps, oils, dried lavender and honey to get your lavender fix at home as well.
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I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.