Where to See Wildflowers

On the Central Coast, we’re wild about wildflowers! With all the rain we’ve been getting recently, California is finally showing it’s true colors — orange, yellow, and purple flowers are blooming almost everywhere! This beautiful time of growth is something you don’t want to miss during your time on the Central Coast. Lucky for you, we’ve highlighted the best spots to stop and smell the roses, or poppies in this case.

Shell Creek Road

As you make your way Eastward through Santa Margarita on Highway 58, you’ll understand why Shell Creek Road is one of the most popular spots to view wildflowers. As you travel further into the countryside, you’ll be surrounded by miles of blooming flowers like goldfields, tidy tips, baby blue eyes, owl’s clover, poppies, and several varieties of lupine. Pull over, pack a picnic, and take time to appreciate nature’s abundant beauty.

Photo: (c) @laurenfortunato

Carrizo Plain

Carrizo Plain, the largest native grasslands remaining in California, brings a whole new meaning to California’s “Golden State” nickname during wildflower season. Once, John Muir wrote that in walking across the valley during March, April, and May, one foot step would press about a hundred flowers. This year, Muir’s observations certainly hold true. Already, Goldfields, Fiddleneck, and Filaree, Baby Blue Eyes, and Hillside Daisies are popping up, covering Carrizo in a blanket of vibrant color. Located 60 miles East of San Luis Obispo, the beauty of Carrizo Plain in the springtime is well worth the drive.

Photo: (c) @thebubblyblonde

Montana de Oro

In the springtime, Montana de Oro is literally a “mountain of gold,” appropriately named after the poppies that bloom along the coastline there. A beautiful place year-round, this state park becomes even more photogenic come March and April. There are many trails throughout the park that will allow you to view the vibrant flowers, but the Point Buchon hike certainly is special. On your next wildflower excursion, drink in views of the Pacific as it kisses the poppy-covered coastline. It doesn’t get much more Californian than that!

Photo: Emmy Lou