Spring is one of my favorite seasons in Texas. The temperatures are mild and the wildflowers are in bloom all across the Lone Star State. For Texans, that means that the bluebonnets in Texas are in full bloom!
These beautiful blue and white flowers are the state flower of Texas, and like everything in the Lone Star State, we take great pride in them! I would be willing to bet that every home in Texas has a picture of their family in these beauties.
Honestly, there is nothing like seeing a rolling field blanketed with the blue and white flower of Texas. Native Texans and visitors flock to these seasonal beauties in order to capture the perfect picture.
To help you learn more about the Texas state flower, we thought we would put together this post to provide you with a list of our favorite places to find bluebonnet fields and some tips when visiting.
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Bluebonnets in Texas
When do Bluebonnets Bloom?
It can sometimes be a little tricky to know exactly when bluebonnets in Texas are going to bloom. For you see, there are several factors that go into this. Lucky for you, I am not going to go into a ton of detail, I am just going to try and provide you a short and sweet answer.
If the winter season was mild, and there was a decent amount of rain, then the bluebonnets may start blooming in late February or early March. Normally though, you can bank on them being in bloom in late March and into April.
Take note that the blooming season of bluebonnets is short-lived. Once the flowers start blooming, they generally last for about 4-6 weeks.
Can I Pick Bluebonnets?
Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. While it is not illegal to pick bluebonnets, it is considered RUDE!
Texans love taking pictures of their kids and their family in the field of bluebonnets. How can we all enjoy them if everyone picks them?! Not only that, but in order to preserve the flowers and ensure they return year after year, they need to complete their maturation cycle, which occurs six to eight weeks after they flower. Once they mature, they will turn brown or yellow and start to dry. This is when they should be mowed down to ensure that the seeds germinate and the bluebonnets return next year.
So, long answer short…You “can” pick them but people DON’T pick them.
If you want some bluebonnets to take home, visit the local floral shops in the areas we mention below. Many will have bluebonnets you can purchase. Of course, if you live in a temperate climate, you can buy seeds and grow them yourself next year.
Where to Find Bluebonnets in Texas
As we said above, you have to hit the bluebonnet fields at just the right time. We usually start seeing bluebonnets in the southern half of the Texas Hill Country in mid-to-late March, and the more northern cities in mid to late April.
Keep that in mind when planning your trip to the bluebonnet fields.
Ennis Bluebonnet Trail
Ennis is one of the small Texas towns that love to celebrate bluebonnet season. Known as the “Official Bluebonnet City in Texas,” Ennis hosts a fun festival and a great bluebonnet trail.
Since they are the “Official Bluebonnet City,” they do a great job of keeping the public informed of when the flowers are blooming. Just head to the Ennis Tourism website to check the status of the blooms.
The bluebonnet trail is in peak form in the month of April, especially around the third week of the month.
Ennis kicks off the bluebonnet season with their annual Bluebonnet Festival. The Ennis Bluebonnet Festival is a fun small-town festival that takes place each year in April. This weekend event is free to visit and boasts numerous vendors.
Here you can find arts and crafts, fun carnival-style food and rides, and, of course, bluebonnet souvenirs. In addition to the vendors, the festival also hosts live entertainment, making it a great way to enjoy the spring weather in Texas!
After attending the festival, grab a map and head out to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail. The 4-mile Ennis Bluebonnet Trail allows you to see fields covered in beautiful Texas bluebonnets.
Each year the bluebonnets will appear on different trails, so be sure and visit the Visit Ennis website noted above as they will provide you with information on the best trails to visit for that year.
Be respectful while on the bluebonnet trail. Remember, you can pull off on the side of the road, just don’t block any driveways, road, or fire hydrants.
Also, be mindful of fencing. The fence is there for a reason and indicates that it is someone’s private property. Whatever you do, don’t trespass on private property.
Another Texas town that loves to celebrate the bluebonnets in Texas is Burnet (pronounced burn-it). Burnet has gorgeous landscapes covered in bluebonnets that have earned this Texas town the title of “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.”
Like Ennis, Burnet also has an annual Bluebonnet Festival, which attracts over 30,000 people annually, according to the Burnet Bluebonnet Festival website. Burnet’s bluebonnet festival takes place the second weekend of April and houses numerous vendors, a food court, carnival rides, and a Biergarten!
If you are planning to visit, be sure to come on Saturday so you can see the Bluebonnet Festival parade or participate in the 5K or 10K runs.
Be sure to stop by the Visitor’s Center on Highway 29 to take a selfie with one of the two eight-foot tall bluebonnets before heading out to find the perfect field of wildflowers for your photos.
Some of our favorite areas include taking Highway 29 west out of town Buchanan Dam. This is where you will find the abandoned Bluebonnet Dance Hall and Tavern. Don’t miss the drive to Inks Lake State Park also as this is often an area with lots of blooms.
Don’t just go for the Bluebonnets though. The Highland Lakes of Texas is full of fabulous things to do anytime of year!
On the banks of the Colorado River and Lake LBJ sits the small town of Kingsland, TX. The town’s official slogan is, “where the rivers flow and the bluebonnets grown.”
Some of the best pictures here are on the abandoned railroad tracks where the bluebonnets often grow in and around the tracks.
In addition to the abandoned railroad tracks, there is abandoned farm equipment and old barns strewn throughout the area that make interesting backdrops for your bluebonnet photos. Just keep your eyes peeled and remember to be respectful of private property.
Marble Falls is a small Texas town perched on the bluffs of the Colorado River and centered around Lake Marble Falls.
While driving through Marble Falls, don’t miss the Blue Bonnet Cafe for some great home cooking and a piece of their famous pie! Once your stomach is full, then head over to the Visitors Center to grab a map of Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail, which Marble Falls is a part of.
We would recommend hitting up the 400 acre Turkey Bend Recreation Area or Muleshoe Bend while in Marble Falls. When heading out, take Highway 281 to see even more wildflowers.
Fredericksburg is an awesome town to visit any time of year, but it is especially amazing during the wildflower season.
I mean, there are so many things to do in Fredericksburg that you can easily stay busy for weeks. Combine the Fredericksburg, TX wineries with the fabulous shopping and restaurants, and you have a great little weekend getaway.
You can start your bluebonnet hunt at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. Here, not only can you see beautiful bluebonnets in Texas, but you can also learn all about the home of the 37th President of the United States.
Just east of Fredericksburg on Highway 290 you will find Wildseed Farms. Wildseed Farms grows acres of Texas wildflowers in order to harvest their seeds. This is a great place to stop and buy a couple of bluebonnet souvenirs, including a packet of bluebonnet seeds if you would like.
You can also do the Willow City Loop while in this area. The Willow City Loop is located just off of Highway 16, right outside of Fredericksburg.
Please take note if doing the Willow City Loop, this area gets VERY crowded and the land surrounding you is private property, so DO NOT get off of the road.
Those in the know of Texas small towns realize that Llano is a hidden gem in Texas. If you go, be sure you know how to pronounce the name of the town, it is LAH-no.
Llano has a 1927 single-screen theatre, a cool record store, and a small museum outlining the town’s history. You can also find some great eating establishments and some small-town shopping.
Of course, you are reading this post to learn about the bluebonnets, so let’s get to it. Highway 29 both east and west of Llano are usually lined with bluebonnet fields. In addition, Highway 71 northwest of town also has numerous bluebonnet fields.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park
Lake Mineral Wells State Park is a fabulous place to enjoy a day out in nature here in the gorgeous Lone Star State. This fabulous state park offers you opportunities to go rock climbing, hiking, picnicking, and enjoy a great Texas lake.
During the spring months, this is also a great place to catch the rolling fields of bluebonnets. I especially love capturing the wildlife here (specifically the deer) enjoying the bluebonnets also.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Just a short drive southwest of Fort Worth, you will find land with evidence that dinosaurs once roamed this area of North Texas. Dinosaur Valley State Park provides evidence of dinosaur existence in this area. For you see, you can walk directly in their tracks (literally) in the bed of the Paluxy River.
The state park allows you to enjoy a day fishing or paddling on the river, swimming, hiking, and geocaching. While you are enjoying the park, take note that the primary flower in bloom in the area during spring is the Texas bluebonnet.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
The San Antonio Botanical Garden has 11-acres of a Native Texas Area that is a great place to see plants and flowers native to the area, including bluebonnets.
Since you are paying to enter the Botanical Garden, be sure to make a day of it and see their beautiful conservatory and the other gardens that are housed here.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin
Located just outside of Austin, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center definitely lives up to its name. Here you can not only view bluebonnets in Texas, but you can also learn about the conservation and the preservation of them. There is an admission fee, but take note that your money is going to a good cause, the conservation of our native species of plants.
Beautiful bluebonnet blossoms abound in Brenham. Just driving through town will show you numerous bluebonnet fields. You can follow the “Wildflower Watch” blog that is provided by the Brenham Visitors Center so that you know exactly where to visit and when.
There are large displays behind the Wal Mart and Home Depot on Wood Ridge Boulevard. Brenham is also noted on many blogs as having ample amounts of safe parking in order to get out and view the bluebonnets.
While you’re here, be sure to indulge in the state’s favorite ice cream, Blue Bell, which is made right here in Brenham, Texas!
One of our favorite road trips in Texas is to venture off the beaten path and explore the Big Bend area of Texas. This remote area of Texas is full of diverse landscapes and, believe it or not, several areas to see bluebonnets.
While in this area, explore Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Tuff Canyon, and River Road to search for the Chisos bluebonnets that bloom in this area. Bring your camera and your telescope to this area as this area is a dark skies area in Texas, making it great for stargazing.
Top Tips When Visiting Bluebonnet Fields
Be Respectful and Courteous
Throughout this article, I have mentioned the fact of being respectful. Bluebonnet fields in Texas are a big deal. There are often many people wanting to use the same field for their photos, especially on the weekends.
Be mindful of others, and always ensure that you have a safe space to park and to take your photos. Every year, you hear reports of accidents happening because people were not being safe while visiting the bluebonnet fields.
We always plan our route to include several different spots. That way if we get to one area and it is too crowded, we can always move on to another spot. This ensures we get the experience we wanted without being stressed.
Also, keep in mind that many of the fields that you see are on private property. While the owners want to share the beautiful bluebonnets with you, they don’t necessarily want you trespassing on their land. If you are given permission to enter their property then be respectful. Don’t stomp down the bluebonnets and don’t pick them without permission.
Try to find public parks or botanical gardens to enjoy the bluebonnets in Texas. This ensures that you have permission to be there and usually provides safe parking for you.
Wear Close Toe Shoes
You will more than likely be walking in tall grass and over uneven terrain to get to the bluebonnet fields. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes to ensure that you don’t damage your feet.
Be prepared for your outing. Most of the bluebonnet fields will require a bit of a drive, so download your favorite songs about travel, pack a picnic and some water, and hit the road. You might also want to bring a towel or blanket to sit on, and of course, don’t forget the bug spray!
Final Thoughts on Bluebonnets in Texas
Well, there you have it, some of our favorite places to see bluebonnets in Texas. Whether you are choosing to follow a bluebonnet trail or are venturing out on your own, the bluebonnet fields are definitely a treat for any nature lover. Just remember to always be respectful of those around you and don’t violate people’s private property.
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.