Free Sunflower Sightings

Nothing says summer like sunflowers, so put the petal to the metal (pun absolutely intended) and visit two of the prettiest sunflower fields you’ll see in the state of NC! 

Dorothea Dix Park

Unless you live under a rock (or simply don’t have social media), you’ve probably heard of the epic sunflower fields at Dorothea Dix Park. Every spring, the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department, also known as Raleigh Water, plants sunflower seeds (198,000, to be exact) over a 5-acre field at Dorothea Dix Park. The city then harvests the sunflowers to produce gallons of biodiesel for farm equipment. The flowers, which can reach up to 5 to 6 feet, are now fully bloomed and ready for pollinators and humans alike. 

Dorothea Dix spans quite a large area, so unless you want to spend a good amount of time wandering around in the heat, here are some directions to make your life a little easier: Put 75 Hunt Drive into your GPS and follow the park’s sunflower signs (or the line of cars)! Park in the gravel lot and you’re there! 

Feel free to enjoy the hammock garden, picnic tables, or a photo op on the giant grass couch while you’re there!

North Carolina Museum of Art

2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

I first stumbled upon the sunflower fields at the NCMA by accident — I had been enjoying the artwork and sculptures on the surrounding trails when I was met with a 2.5-acre cacophony of color that I had no idea was there. Unlike the sea of yellow at Dorothea Dix, these sunflowers share the stage with cosmos and zinnias of every color, a beautiful backdrop for family portraits or summertime picnics. Feel free to BYOH (bring your own hammock) for a perfect view, located near the intersection of the Blue Loop and Meadow trails. The park is open from dawn until dusk, and the sunflowers should be in bloom around late July/early August.

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