A field of sunflowers with glorious bright yellow blooms are sure to brighten up your Instagram feed. When you’re looking for fun things to do this weekend to get outside and soak up the sun, plan a road trip to a sunflower farm to get the perfect photo. Tanja Davis with Tanja Rachelle Photography offers these five tips for taking photographs in a field of sunflowers:
- Capture sunflowers during the “golden hours” – the first hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. This is when the light is soft, even and casts a beautiful golden glow.
- Get up close and personal with the sunflowers. Catch the intricate detail, fill the frame with a portion of the flower and try including an insect like a bee to tell a story and create impact.
- Try portrait mode for a more professional-looking photo. It will help blur out any distractions in the background.
- Experiment with angles by moving your phone around the flowers. Different angles can create interesting images.
- Be gentle on the farm. Don’t trample the flowers or leave trash behind. Only pick flowers if it’s allowed.
Check the sunflower farm’s Facebook page or website when looking for places to go before planning a visit. Each farmer plants seeds at different times in the spring and summer, yielding fully grown sunflowers 60 days later. The blooms last seven to 10 days.
Here are 9 nearby places to visit to find beautiful blooms:
Cumming: Visit Anderson Sunflower Farm in mid-July for blooming sunflowers. Professional photographers may book a session on the website. Cost: $20 per carload, $1 per cut sunflower, cash or Venmo accepted. Pets on a leash are welcome.
Dawsonville: Find the perfect sunflower in September on 30 acres at Fausett Farms Sunflowers. Cost: $5 per person, children under age 5 are free, $2 for pre-cut flowers, cash and credit accepted. Pets on a leash are welcome.
Archdale: Book a 2-hour time slot in late summer for Kersey Valley Sunflower Extravaganza. Cut your own sunflowers, take photos and roam through 15 acres of sunflowers. Cost: $15 per person, children under 3 are free. Pets on a leash are welcome.
Asheville: Walk through Biltmore’s sunflowers, more than a mile-long path of sunflowers lining the road to Antler Hill Village and the Biltmore Winery. This stately and breathtaking location is a crowd pleaser when you’re looking for fun things to do this summer. The sunflowers bloom in phases from July through September. Costs begin at $64 per adult, half price for children 10-16, free for children under 9. Admission fees also include a visit to the Biltmore House and Gardens. Discounted tickets for AAA Members are available only through AAA.
Belews Creek: Look for Dogwood Farms’ sunflowers in late-July and early August. If you’re putting this attraction on your list of things to do this weekend, don’t forget to get lost in the 3-acre maze after you’ve basked in the beauty of the sunflowers. Cost: $5 per person, children younger than 8 are free, veteran and active duty with military ID are free, $25 for professional photographers. $1 per stem for sunflowers. Cash and credit accepted. Pets on a leash are welcome.
Hendersonville: Cut your own sunflowers at Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard this fall. Choose from a small bucket for $12 or a large bucket, $18. Professional photographers must call to reserve a space, (828) 685-9083. Pets on a leash are welcome.
Raleigh: If you’re looking for attractions nearby that you can enjoy without needing your wallet, take a road trip to Raleigh. Dorothea Dix Park is a beautiful location for a picnic where you can bask in the sunshine and enjoy the sunflowers. Professional photographers must apply for a permit through the City of Raleigh. Cost: No admission fees. Pets on a leash are welcome.
McConnells: Enjoy 24-acres of blooms at Draper Wildlife Management beginning in early July. Cost: No admission fees. Please note: The flowers are planted to attract doves for hunting season not as a tourist attraction. However, the public may view the sunflowers at 1080 Brattonsville Road without disturbing the fields.
Walhalla: For a variety of fun things to do in one location, visit the sunflower patch at Little Crane Creek Farm in Walhalla in early fall. On top of gazing at gorgeous sunflowers, you can also go on a hayride, walk through a maze, and access the playground. Cost: No admission fees to enjoy the sunflower patch. Other activities, like the hayride, require an admission fee.
Visit Dollywood for pumpkins carved in the shape of sunflowers.
Stroll through thousands of pumpkins at Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health, Sept. 25-Oct. 31. One of the newest additions to the display is a “sunflower field” created with dozens of carved pumpkins resembling sunflowers. Some pumpkins are stacked almost 10 feet high. It takes the Dollywood staff more than two hours to complete the “flower.” The view at night is breathtaking.
AAA Members receive exclusive discounts and seasonal promotional offers. AAA discounts are not offered at Dollywood’s front gate and must be pre-purchased.
Photos courtesy of: The Biltmore Company, Tanja Rachelle Photography and Dollywood