You could spot it from space and it attracted selfie seekers for hundreds of miles (well, at least until the Museum of Ice Cream opened a month later). Yes, the super bloom of 2017 was epic. But while this year won’t bring another “Flowergeddon,” a weekend trip to Carlsbad, California, will cure what ails any Angelenos yearning for a botanical outburst.
Located just 87 miles south of L.A., Carlsbad is home to 50 acres of radiant ranunculus that grow in color-coordinated rows. (It’s also home to Legoland—arguably just as colorful, but decidedly less fun for frolicking.) The blooms here are commercially grown, so you’re guaranteed some bud sightings worthy of your journey down the 5. And because the city is so proud of its flora, it’s brought back the Petal to Plate celebration for a second year. Through April 15, Carlsbad will become a haven for flower fanatics, with blossom-focused food, cocktails, and spa treatments at local restaurants and hotels. Here’s how to create your own weekend super bloom.
For the main attraction, stop by the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, which are open to the public through May 13. In addition to rows of ranunculus, there’s a rose garden, a cymbidium orchid greenhouse, and a labyrinth made of sweet peas (like a corn maze, but better smelling). 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad
The flower festivities at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa run the full month of April, so don’t stress if you can’t visit before the 15th. Sit by one of the hotel’s eight pools and sip bloom-infused cocktails, like the Rosebiscus—Ketel One Citroen, hibiscus syrup, rose water, and lemon juice. Then, head to the spa and pick between a lavender exfoliation treatment, a rose and neroli facial, a massage with floral essential oils, and a pedicure with jasmine exfoliating polish. 2100 Costa Del Mar Rd, Carlsbad
Do I have any flowers in my teeth? It’s a legitimate question if you’ve just dined at Twenty/20 Grill at Sheraton Carlsbad, where they’ll be serving hibiscus coconut shrimp ceviche with tangerine and chive flower, plus a Lavender Lemon Spritz cocktail that’s made with lavender-infused simple syrup. At Campfire Restaurant, where the décor is wholly committed to an off-the-grid feel (stacks of fire logs, light fixtures wrapped in canvas…even a 12-foot teepee), mixologist Leigh Lacap has created the Trophy Pole—a gin concoction that’s made with honeydew nasturtium syrup and topped with a pansy. Also, be sure to order the s’mores for dessert; they’re served with miniature coals for DIY marshmallow roasting. There’s nothing particularly flowery about ‘em, but they’re a nod to the great outdoors, so we say they fit the theme. Twenty/20 Grill, 5480 Grand Pacific Dr., Carlsbad; Campfire Restaurant, 2725 State St., Carlsbad
If your “weekend” falls on a Wednesday, head to the State Street Farmers’ Market in downtown Carlsbad for bunches of gerbera daisies, calla lilies, and tulips, as well as squash blossoms for cooking. Regardless of the day, you can always stop by Flourish by Blues and Shoes, a downtown shop with enough floral dresses and kimonos to fill your closet until the next super bloom. Finally, rent an electric bike from Pedego Carlsbad (they’ve got baskets for your bouquets) and take off on a coastal cruise to peep the wildflowers that grow along the beach. State Street Farmers’ Market, 2907 State St., Carlsbad; Flourish by Blues and Shoes2971 State St., Carlsbad; Pedego Carlsbad, 355 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad
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