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Blooming Spring! The 411 on Central Coast Wildflowers

This year California experienced unprecedented rains, after years of serious drought. Hooray. The cup (well the levy) literally ran over. Indeed, heavy rains came, even to the point of floods up and down the state. While there were some clear negatives, one of the great joys of all this rain is a spectacular wildflower bloom. Starting in early March, flowers pop up across the Central Coast and produce some seriously gorgeous scenery. This year’s wildflower season is expected to be both beautiful and bountiful.

Rather than just give you a list of (and directions to) some hot wildflower viewing spots, we’re also offering some nifty ideas on how you can create your own memorable Central Coast wildflower adventure. Get outside this spring for some colorful delight.

Walk and Talk, or Not

When hiking or walking amongst the wildflowers you may experience a kind of awe and euphoria. This could be the perfect time to open up to your friend or partner and share a meaningful conversation. Or try walking in silence and see what the flowers may have to say or sing back to you. Our brains respond differently in vibrant nature than they do indoors surrounded by technology.

Purple Picnic

Imagine acres of purple lupines bursting off a bright green field with a clear blue sky above. With off the charts beauty and some good food and wine (go local for extra points), you can literally pack romance up in a basket.

Bloom Treasure Map

For a historical memoir, for posterity or just for fun create your own bloom map. Find and document all the blooms catching your eye in photos, drawings, paintings, rubbings or collected petals. You can make a beautiful collage with or without geographic references. Of course if you prefer doing things the old fashioned way you can pick up an already printed bloom map in any local bookstore or nursery and just enjoy the drive.

Picture Perfect

Central Coast spring wildflowers make a striking setting for paintings and pictures of all kinds. If your family is due for portraits, there is no better time or place than heading out to a blooming wildflower field. For artists, heeding the call of the wildflowers will gift you with inspiration of vibrance and beauty, however you best like to express it.

Pressed for Time

To preserve your favorite blooms press some petals and turn them into bookmarks, picture frames or other crafty keepsakes. You could even press them onto rocks to be a part of #RockAroundSLO. Visit Pinterest for a myriad of ideas on what to do with pressed flowers and enjoy yours for all time.

Annual Appreciation

One of the best ways to appreciate the amazing beauty of the Central Coast is to learn details about the land. By getting to know which flowers are blooming and by enjoying the natural cycles bringing this beauty to life, you simultaneously increase your knowledge of and appreciation for the area. From gratitude grows all kinds of beauty. Here are a few beauties to seek and find:

Baby Blue Eyes

Bermuda Buttercup

California Jewelflower (endangered)

Goldfields

Kern Mallow

Lupine

Mustard

Owl’s Clover

Oxalis

Poppies

Prickly Phlox

Sticky Monkey Flowers

Stork’s Bill Filaree

Sweet Pea

Tidy Tips

Wild Radish

And here’s where:

Heading out from Santa Margarita along Highway 58 toward Shell Creek Road, you’ll find yourself on the yellow brick road. Maybe more like a golden highway with miles of bursting yellow flowers including goldfields, tidy tips, poppies, owl’s clover, as well as contrasting baby blue eyes and multiple varieties of lupine. Turn up Shell Creek Road for the most well known stretch of wildflowers in SLO County – though there are many.

Here are some of our favorite wildflower spots:

  • Along Highway 58 and up Shell Creek Road
  • Carrizo Plain National Monument, sixty miles east from San Luis Obispo
  • Highway 46
  • Along the road by Whale Rock Reservoir, near Cayucos
  • Montana de Oro State Park
  • Turri Road between Los Osos Valley Road and South Bay Boulevard
  • The Elfin Forest in Los Osos
  • Many of the SLO county parks including: El Chorro Park, Laguna Lake, See Canyon, Prefumo Canyon, and Poly Canyon
  • Santa Rosa Creek Road

However you choose to enjoy them, make your way out to see these gorgeous sites while they’re in bloom. When you’re ready to call it a day you’ll find a different kind of bed waiting for you, with a beauty all its own, in a room at the SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel. While the blooming season is short the memories will last a lifetime. Make your reservations now and don’t forget your camera.

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