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Nothing says summer like seeing fields of beautiful sunflowers! They make me smile. My Instagram and Facebook feeds light up every July with glorious photos of these golden beauties. I see people stage their baby photos, engagement, wedding shoots (how do they time it?) and so much more. I even took a special photo class on sunflower selfies at the North Carolina Museum of Art last summer. There is something about the intricate center, the way the bees buzz in and out, how they all face in the same direction, that captivates us. So here is the list of the best sunflower fields in NC that you can visit.
Sunflowers are more than just pretty to look at too. They can generate cooking oil and bio-diesel to power equipment. Their seeds are delicious, as humans and squirrels will attest. Bringing sunflowers into your home is like bringing the sunshine in.
Some of the sunflower fields allow visitors to stroll amongst the flowers while others restrict you to specific aisles. Some sunflower fields allow visitors to pick their own flowers to take home — a special memento of their visit. Other sunflower fields do not allow anyone to touch or remove the flowers. It is important to check the rules for each specific field to ensure that you have the best visit and that you leave happy with your experience. Please enjoy these great sunflower fields in North Carolina!
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When is the Best Time to Visit Sunflower Fields in NC?
Harvest season is from late June to August. The sunflowers peak in July in North Carolina. Most sunflower fields will post on their Facebook pages their peak flower period, which depending on the rain and sun exposure is a two week period in early to mid July. Some farms stagger their planting period to provide flowers that last through August.
Sunflower Fields in NC Open to Visitors
Please note that all these hours are subject to change (weather, holidays, special events, etc). Before you drive out, double-check each sunflower field’s website and Facebook page to avoid disappointment!
1615 Kersey Valley Road, Archdale
Hours: 7 am, 9 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:15 pm OPEN UNTIL OCTOBER 14, 2020 (MAYBE LATER!)
Fees: $15 for ages 3 and up (includes 1 stem)
Photographers: $150 per hour for professional photographers private sessions (available when not open to the public), $50 for professional photographers (sunrise, midday, or sunset available)
Picking: Yes! $2 per stem, $10 for clippers or bring your own, bucket $15 or bring your own
Pets: On a leash only.
Facilities: Restrooms and concessions available.
Located outside of Greensboro, the Kersey Valley Sunflower Extravaganza features 350,000 blooms planted on rolling hills. Tickets are for non-professional photos and u-pick during sunrise and sunset or when the Maize Adventure is not open. Otherwise, you can visit during the day with admission to the Maize Adventure, Saturdays, and Sundays. Sign up for text notifications of bloom updates by texting “sunflowers” to 31996!
370 Artesia Road, Hallsboro
Hours: 9 am – 7 pm MUST BUY TICKETS ONLINE – SELFIES IN THE SUNFLOWERS 9/23/20 AND 9/24/20!
Fees: $8.50 per person
Photographers: must schedule in advance, $25 sitting fee
Picking: Yes! Stems available for $1 each. Buy 5 get 2 free. Buy 10 get 5 free. A bucket for $15.
Pets: On a leash only.
Facilities: Portajohns. Concessions and playground area available.
Just west of Wilmington, you’ll find Galloway Farm, where 12 acres of sunflowers patiently await September to bloom! Yay for fall bouquets! Visit Galloway for their Selfies in the Sunflowers. If the flowers bloom at the same time as their amazing maze is open, the price of admission may be higher to include both features plus other activities.
8096 Belews Creek Road, Belews Creek, Forsyth County
Hours: 9 am to Sundown UPDATE CLOSED AS OF 7/23/2020
Fees: $5 per 8 and older, discounts available for multiple groups (state employees, first responders, etc). Veterans and active duty are FREE. Cash or card accepted for all fees.
Professional Photographers: $25 per hour (includes admission) – clients must still pay admission
Picking: Yes! Sunflowers $1/stem; wildflowers $3/6; $5/12.
Pets: On a leash only
Located about half-an-hour outside of Greensboro, Dogwood Farms is the largest U-Pick sunflower field in the state! Dogwood Farms provides visitors with pruning shears and a bucket so you can pick your own flowers. It makes a beautiful setting for professional photos too, with various fields including multiple wildflower fields and sunflower fields. Two barns provide backgrounds as well. Plus they’re open at other times of year to pick various types of flowers and pumpkins.
A special Freedom Flower Event will take place over the July 4th weekend, featuring local vendors and craftsmen. Come celebrate Independence Day and receive $1 off admission if you show up wearing anything with an American flag.
2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh
Hours: dawn to dusk daily — UPDATE DONE AS OF 9/23/2020
Photographers: Need prior authorization
Pets: On a leash only
While the NCMA is closed at this time, the beautiful Museum Park is still open! The sunflowers were planted a little later and are blooming in August. Come out and enjoy these sunny faces!
1426 Claridge Nursery Rd, Goldsboro
Hours: 4-8 pm daily UPDATE CLOSED AS OF 8/14/2020
Fees: $5 per person (2 and under free), includes 3 stems
Photographers: $30 per day
Picking: Yes! $1per stem
This small family-owned farm features a sunflower maze! Whether visitors choose to visit to see the flowers and the animals, schedule a picnic or laid back family gatherings here, this is a great place for the kids to run around.
703 Tarboro Road, Youngsville
Hours: 6:30am-12:00pm, closed noon to 4:30pm, 4:30pm-8:30pm — UPDATE CLOSED AS OF 8/23/2020
Fees: $20 per vehicle (regardless of the number of people)
Parking: Included in the fee
Photographers: no restrictions indicated
Picking: Yes! 1/2 dozen stems for $5, 1 dozen for $10; increments of 6 stems only for $5
Facilities: Portable potties
Located near Wake Forest, a short drive from Raleigh and Durham, expect to find about 50,000 blooms from 10 varieties of sunflowers! While the fields are open, the rest of the facilities will be closed, so bring your own shears and bags to carry your flowers. Find all the details on the farm’s Facebook page.
2100 NC Hwy 33 E, Chocowinity
Hours: variable – see their Facebook page — UPDATE CLOSED AS OF 9/16/2020
Fees: $5 per person
Photographers: need an appointment, contact directly
Picking: Yes! $1per stem or a dozen for $10
Located near Washington, and about 20 minutes from Greenville, Raised in a Barn hosted the NC Sunflower Festival in years past. The farm reassesses their hours each week, so check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.
2585 Dewberry Farm Lane, Kernersville
Hours: 9am-7pm on special U-pick days (announced on Facebook) UPDATE CLOSED AS OF 8/14/2020
Fees: $5 per adult, $3 for 13-3 years old
Photographers: $25 fee
Picking: Yes! $1.50 per sunflower, $0.50 per zinnia
This private residence typically serves as an outdoor venue for weddings and special events but opens to the public for UPick events in the Spring for tulips and Summer for sunflowers and zinnias. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and are scheduled for a two-hour time frame but guests may stay as long as they like. Bring a blanket and have a picnic!
12701 Buffalo Road, Clayton
Hours: Tuesday/Thursday, 10am-2pm; Wednesday/Friday, 2-7pm; Saturday, 11am-3pm; closed Sunday
Photographers: $150 per two-hour sessions reserved in advance for posed portraits, see their policy
Picking: During Sunflower Day(s) only – $1/stem – JULY 2020 ONLY
This small farm located in Johnston County hosts Sunflower Day(s). Expected to be during the first week or two in July 2020, visitors will be able to take self-portraits in the fields with these beauties. For $1 per stem, they can take them home as well.
55 Lanzi Ledge Road, Leicester
About 35 minutes outside of Asheville, you’ll find this lovely field of wild and cultivated plants coming together. Truly heaven on earth. This beautiful facility hosts Community U-Pick Days on July 18 and August 29. Expect to see much more than sunflowers, including all kinds of wildflowers. Currently transitioning from a wedding venue to a more medicinal herb focused and relaxation getaway, expect nothing but awesome from this place!
Sunflower Field Etiquette
Each sunflower field in NC has its own set of rules. Please consider them carefully before you go out to each sunflower field to avoid any aggravation. Some general rules have been listed below:
- Do not go to any sunflower field in NC when they are not open.
- Driveways are made of dirt and gravel – drive SLOWLY!
- Do not smoke anywhere on the property, including parking lots.
- Only bring your pet on a leash if permitted.
- Bring your own pruning shears and bucket if you’ll be picking your own sunflowers.
- Only cut the stems you plan to purchase.
- Leave the bees, butterflies, and other insects alone. They will fly away on their own.
- Walk between the sunflower rows – use the paths.
- Bring your own water bottle.
- Wear sunscreen if you’ll be picking your own sunflowers.
- Don’t forget bug spray since there are often woods nearby.
- Wear flat shoes – you’ll be in fields, sometimes in muddy spots. Save your heels for another time.
NC Sunflower Fields Closed for 2020
Several fields have opted to close this season. We can’t wait to see them in 2021!
75 Hunt Drive, Raleigh
Hours: Sunup to Sundown
Parking: Off Hunt Drive near the soccer fields on weekdays
Professional Photographers: Annual City of Raleigh Park permit required
Pets: On a leash only
Photos of these sunflowers fill my Instagram every year! The city of Raleigh plants these fields every year in the Dorothea Dix Park so they can be enjoyed by everyone. The best part is that once they have wilted, the city repurposes the flowers into biofuel to power some of the city’s equipment.
8711 Old River Road, Burgaw, NC
While they are not open to the public for the 2020 sunflower season, this farm frequently posts specials on their Facebook page for fresh products and garden plants available for contact-less order.
Corner of Providence Road and Ennis Road, Waxhaw
While Charlotte has other sunflower fields in nearby South Carolina, this is the only one in North Carolina. Located off Highway 16, local farmers have planted sunflower fields to bring smiles and good cheer for the last two years. These have traditionally bloomed in August. No word yet whether these are being planted this year.
Final Thoughts on the Best Sunflower Fields in NC:
Nothing changes your disposition and puts a smile on your face like taking a walk through a field of these full face sunshiny beauties! So while we have to keep our distance, enjoy going outside and admiring these sunny flowers. Don’t forget to look for sunflower fields in your own state – I’ve heard there are beautiful sunflower fields in Alabama too!
Have you visited a great sunflower field in NC or in your own state? What did you think? What did you enjoy the most?
Looking for more things to do out and about in North Carolina? Check out these other options:
- Best 6 Lavender Fields to Visit in NC
- NC’s 10 Best Wine Trails
- NC’s Drive-In Theaters are Socially Distant Fun
- Finding The Best Donuts in North Carolina
Annick, The Common Traveler