Yolo County Sunflowers – A viewing guide to the best sunflower fields
Yolo County has some of the best sunflower fields in California – and early summer is the best time to see Yolo County sunflowers. Our viewing and experiencing guide will help you respectfully enjoy these sunflower fields on a summer tour.
Bright yellow sunflowers just make you smile, they seem so carefree as they paint the hillsides in canary yellow. Despite their cheery nature, even the best sunflower fields are hard-working, especially Yolo County sunflowers. Their seeds are shipped around the world, accounting for more than 40 percent of California’s production.
Yolo County, just east of Sacramento, is the No. 1 seed-producing county in California, and California is the No. 1 seed-producing state in the United States! That’s why, come about mid-June each year, those tens of thousands of acres bathed in yellow are begging to have their photo taken. But you must move quickly since sunflowers are only in bloom in the Sacramento Valley’s Mediterranean climate from about mid-June to mid-July.
Where to find the best sunflower fields and experiences
We’re here to help you track down the top Yolo County sunflower fields, while also being a respectful visitor. In Yolo County during sunflower season, you can learn about the bounty of sunflowers, take part in sunflower-themed events, taste sunflower-themed goodies, and let the kids paint, color, and plant. We took a tour of Yolo County sunflower fields, taking advantage of Yolo County programs to help photo-seekers and sunflower-peepers be kind to the flowers and learn about how hard they work. These flowers are not just a pretty face but are a farmer’s livelihood. So do enjoy, take photos of the sunflowers, but please don’t trample the flowers, trespass, or otherwise make the cheery flowers or their owners unhappy.
> Drive carefully, pull over only when there is a safe and legal place to park. > Park safely on public roads or rights-of-way, not private property, farm roads or irrigation canals. Do not trespass, jump fences, or block farm access. > Stay out of the fields. Enjoy the view and photos from the side. > Do not pick the flowers, break stems and leaves, or otherwise damage the seed heads, plants or irrigation rows or equipment. > Take any litter with you. > Snap all the photos you want and then tag them with @visityolo and #yolosunflowers and the name of any related business or farm when you share them. And do patronize local businesses!
> Drive carefully, pull over only when there is a safe and legal place to park.
> Park safely on public roads or rights-of-way, not private property, farm roads or irrigation canals. Do not trespass, jump fences, or block farm access.
> Stay out of the fields. Enjoy the view and photos from the side.
> Do not pick the flowers, break stems and leaves, or otherwise damage the seed heads, plants or irrigation rows or equipment.
> Take any litter with you.
> Snap all the photos you want and then tag them with @visityolo and #yolosunflowers and the name of any related business or farm when you share them. And do patronize local businesses!
No matter where you drive along the roads of Yolo County – from Davis to Winters or Woodland – you will likely find sunflower fields since their bright yellow flowers stand out so brightly against all the rest of the (mostly) green agricultural fields. Taking photos from the edge of a field alongside a public road (always park safely and off the road and never on private property) is one way to enjoy the fields. Another is from the air in a hot air balloon, and there are a number of companies offering them. But the best way to enjoy sunflowers close-up or in the field is with the permission of the farmer … obtained in advance. One field that has developed a formalized visitors’ “field pass” in 2021 is owned by Turkovich Family Wines on Buckeye Road in Winters. Enjoy a private wine tasting and get a Sunflower Field Pass to its nearby Button & Turkovich fields. Not only will you be surrounded on four sides with some of the best sunflower fields all sweeping off to the horizon, but Turkovich has also set up some pergolas, tables, chairs, and garbage cans. You can sit, enjoy, photograph, paint, draw, or just ponder the beauty for as long as you want.
Yolo County sunflower seeds ship around the world
Remember, Yolo County sunflowers aren’t just pretty faces. California may only account for 10 percent of all the sunflower acreage in the United States, but the Golden State produces 95 percent of the seed used in places like Eastern Europe and Argentina. Of that, 95 percent comes from the Sacramento Valley, with Yolo having nearly half of that. The seeds that are shipped globally become more flowers, which are used mostly for oil.
Sunflowers are actually native to North America and were used by Native Americans. But after being first commercialized in Russia, they managed to get back across the Atlantic Ocean in the late 1800s. It wasn’t until the 1960-1970s that commercial interest grew, and the sunflower industry took off.
Of course, we’re not thinking about commercial oil manufacturing when we spy one of the best sunflower fields magically glowing yellow in the distance. We’re thinking happy Yolo County sunflowers that make great photos. It doesn’t hurt that sunflowers just make us smile, too.
Fields of Yolo County Sunflowers to seek out
Many sunflower fields are not officially designated viewing sites, but we’ve found a few where you can park nearby (see our guidelines above for being a good visitor). Remember that fields are not necessarily planted every year so some of these fields may be barren or have other crops some years. Check out our list, below, of some we found in 2021. And use the map above to help you find them. This is not an exclusive list! Just have some fun driving the rural byways and looking for the bright yellow to pop out at you.
(1) Turkovich Family Wines, Winters – County Road 31 between Buckeye Road and Interstate 5, a block north of the winery; and one mile south on Road 90a next to Interstate 5.
(2) Chiles Road, Davis – On Chiles Road, between 45211 County Road 32B and the Davis Soccer Fields at 26375 County Road 105D. Very accessible and visible from Interstate 80.
(3) Muller Ranch / M3 Ranches, Woodland — 15810 Co Rd 95 and (around the corner) 35472 Co Rd 18A.
(4) County Road 20, Woodland – Several fields along County Road 20 along the 1.5 mile stretch between County Road 98 and County Road 96B.
(5) County Road 98, Woodland – Northwest corner at West Main Street; northeast corner at County Road 25A; east of County Road 98 on County Road 27; and northwest corner at County Road 31/Covell Boulevard.
Discover more things to do on your California road trip
Our Most Recent Travel Stories
Hotel Winters in Yolo County, California, opened in 2019. It offers a taste of casual luxury in the small, charming farm town of Winters and is a perfect base for exploring nearby wineries, restaurants, and outdoor recreation.
Flying in a hot air balloon over Yolo County in Winters, California with Yolo Ballooning Adventures is spectacular and fun. Finish off the sunrise balloon flight with a bubbly rosé at Turkovich Family Wines.
The perfect way to really experience and explore the San Francisco Waterfront — and the Presidio park — is on an electric bike or e-bike. Some of the best overlooks and views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen when biking the Presidio and the waterfront.
Don't Let The Sun Set On You!
Join our subscriber club today and never miss an award-winning story or photograph. Plus you'll receive our monthly newsletter and get full access to FREE downloads of e-books, recipes and more -- no spam, ever, promise.