The Cassara Carlsbad hosted us and provided complimentary tickets to the Carlsbad Flower Fields. All opinions are my own.
Is it just me, or is everyone visiting flower fields this year? I’ve seen other bloggers in the pacific northwest and also a blogger friend in Michigan visiting tulip fields. Then, I’ve noticed more and more of my feed filled with the Carlsbad flower fields, which is how learned about the Cassara. which is part of the Hilton Tapestry collection. They offered to host my kids and me for the weekend before the flower fields close for the year. Lucky for me, it also happened to be Mother’s Day weekend. I jumped at the chance to visit Carlsbad, but I had no clue just how amazing our stay would be.
5 Tips to Take the Best Pictures at the Carlsbad Flower Fields
1. Stay at the Cassara Carlsbad
If you want great views of the flower fields, I highly suggest you stay at the Cassara. I’m not just saying that because they hosted us. Honestly, They are right above the flower fields, so you get the most spectacular view of the fields without even having to deal with the crowds. They have an amazing walkway that walks along the length of the flower fields. Since it’s just directly above the fields, you can see the entire fields and there is also a great view of the ocean from up there.
Our hotel room even had a balcony that overlooked the fields too, not to mention it was a family suite which allowed my kids to have their own space and an adult space for me too. I was able to get some really amazing shots right from the hotel balconies and as I walked along the walkway just below the hotel’s adult pool. Honestly, the views were so good from the hotel that I didn’t even feel the need to park at the fields and walk through. I preferred that I didn’t have to deal with all of the crowds and could instead enjoy the gardens from up above.
If you do want to visit the fields from the hotel, they actually offer a shuttle service right from the hotel to the Carlsbad flower fields. They also offer ticket packages along with your stay. These offers generally run from early March through early May.
2. Choose an Overcast Day
Although you can get lovely photographs on sunny days, it’s really hard to capture people in photographs on sunny days because there are so many shadows that can fall on your face and really affect the quality of the photo. If you can shoot on a partly cloudy or overcast day, you can shoot at any time of the day and still get decent photos.
3. Wear Neutral Colors
You want the flower to be the star of your shoot, so you don’t want to wear prints, or too bright of colors. I would suggest white, black or other neutral colors. I love the photo my son took of me in a black dress overlooking the Carlsbad flower fields. the flowers are definitely the star of the shot and the black goes so well with the bold colors.
4. Arrive During Golden Hour
If you do choose a sunny day, I’d encourage you to try to shoot first thing when the fields open (9am) or right before they close (6pm) to get the least direct light. Going around 5 pm in March would actually be ideal because that is around the golden hour at that time of year. Even while we were there, I took the best photos around 5pm because the sun was low enough so the light was diffuse and didn’t blow out faces or create too harsh of shadows.
5. Hire a Professional Photographer
To be honest, you will be happiest if you hire a professional photographer. You will need to pay for their ticket and also their hourly rate, but you will also get photos you will love that will last a lifetime. I’d suggest you focus on hiring someone who is great with natural light, nature, and families.
Other Things to Do in Carlsbad
In the spring, you can visit the Carlsbad Strawberry Company, as we did. You can pick strawberries, play in the jumping castle area, or explore the sunflower maze. We had so much fun at the Strawberry field! The strawberry season runs from January – July, so you should be able to visit during your trip to the Carlsbad flower fields.
Another obvious thing you can do in Carlsbad is to visit LEGOLAND. You can actually see the LEGOLAND hotel right from the Cassara Carlsbad, it’s that close.
If you get the chance to go to Carlsbad, I’d highly encourage it. There is so much to do, and the flower fields and our stay at the Cassara Carlsbad definitely were worth the drive. Looking for other Southern California stories, click here.
Have you ever been to the Carlsbad flower fields? Let me know in a comment below!