The Sun-Tastic Guide to Visiting Sunflower Fields Near NYC
Updated: Aug 30, 2020
LOOKING FOR A SUNFLOWER FIELD NEAR NYC?
THIS BLOG TELLS YOU THE BEST SUNFLOWER FIELDS NEAR NEW YORK CITY THAT YOU MUST VISIT IN THE SUMMER!
If you are like me, you may not have realized that you could find sunflower fields right outside NYC. Living in Brooklyn, NY, I always saw people from other states post these stunning photos on the gram with fields of giant sunflowers, but thought I was out of luck. I had so many questions (which will be answered in this post)
Are there beautiful sunflower fields near NYC?
Where are these fields?
How far are these fields?
I just wanted to frolic the fields like in the Sound of Music!
Last year, I saw someone post a sunflower field near NYC, and it gave me hope. However, I did not get a chance to go, so I was determined to go this year. As I Google searched and asked people on Instagram, I discovered several near NYC, which I am defining as 3 hours or less. Sadly, none are within the five boroughs of New York City (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx). However, that’s OK as it is a great excuse to take a day trip outside of NYC!
In this blog post, you will find information about:
Where can I find sunflower farms near NYC? Where can I see sunflowers on Long Island or sunflower fields in upstate New York?
What do sunflowers represent?
When is the best time to see sunflowers in bloom?
What are the top tips when planning to see a sunflower field?
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the best time to see sunflowers near NYC?
The best time to see sunflowers in full bloom in the New York City area is mid-July to August. Most fields will be open from mid-July to early September. However, various variables impact the timing, such as the weather and when the flowers were planted.
What is the best to get to the Sunflower Fields?
The best way to visit the sunflower fields is by car. There are a couple of farms you can attempt to get to via public transportation. However, you will need to take an Uber afterward. I am unsure how Uber service is in those parts. Also, a trip that will typically take 1.5 hours will take 3 hours via public transportation. I do not drive. As a result, I took the LIRR from Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal to Freeport Station and met with my friends. My friend then drove for about 2 hours to the sunflower farm we visited.
Fun Sunflower Facts
If you are obsessed with sunflowers like me, here are some cool facts!
Sunflowers symbolize faith, loyalty, and adoration.
Sunflowers always face the sun! That means that they move throughout the day. WOW!
There are over 70 different types of sunflowers. Some can be short, while others are tall.
Some sunflowers grow as much as 20 feet.
Sunflowers originated in North America, where it was grown as a crop by indigenous tribes over 4.500 years ago. The Europeans “discovered” it in 1510, and Spanish sailors gathered large quantities of sunflower seeds and shipped them back to Europe. However, it was Russia who commercialized the plant. The sunflower was eventually brought back to North America as a cultivated crop.
A sunflower is comprised of as many 2,000 flowers as each yellow petal and brown center is a flower. Each sunflower also can have between 1,000-2,000 seeds.
List of Sunflower Fields Near NYC
Here is detailed information on top eight sunflower fields near NYC. They are not listed in any particular order.
DISCLAIMER: As I scrolled through Instagram for people in sunflower fields, I came across pictures of mostly young, white women, as you see below. I say this to not throw shade but to point out a continuous issue with representation. To diversify the narrative that we women of color also frolick the sunflower fields too (and should be more represented), I am featuring images of women of color at each of these fields. I hope this inspires other women of color to enjoy the sunflower fields too. Through our amplification in this post, I want you to see yourself there. Anyone should be able to imagine themselves there!
Sunflower Field #1: Manor Farm
This little farm, located in Huntington, Long Island, is a not for profit education center offering “programs and experiences to help people understand, appreciate, and live more in harmony with the earth's life systems.” They host many family-friendly experiences such as Halloween Haunted Trails, Egg Hunt, Community Yard Sale (twice a year), and a Sunflower Maze. Yes, a maze. Rather than an actual field, it is a maze that people can walk through while viewing dozens of different types of sunflowers. The farm owners have been planting sunflowers since 2013, usually around May, so it is ready by the beginning of August! This is a unique experience compared to many other places because of the maze and variety of sunflowers (along with their sunflowers’ height averaging 6-8 feet tall).
Address: 210 Manor Rd | Huntington, New York 11743
Distance from Midtown Manhattan, NYC: It’s just over an hour away with no traffic.
Important to Note: This is the closest sunflower field to NYC. It was one of the places that I planned to check out but did not get a chance. However, I can attest that they are super quick to respond by IG Message.
Cost: FREE but highly recommend a donation
Sunflower Field #2: Waterdrinker Family Farm
Located in Manorville, Long Island, Waterdrinker is a large family farm offering a variety of experiences such as hayrides, petting farm animals, a corn maze, mini-golf, and lawn games. They hold seasonal events year-round, growing different types of flowers each season. For example, they have over 100,000 tulips blooming in the spring. In contrast, they have a Sunflower Festival in the summer and a Winter Wonderland Festival with a holiday light display, fire pits & smores, and a Christmas Village. There are also fields of wildflowers that you can pick for $5 a bouquet.
Address: 663 Wading River Road | Manorville, New York 11949
Distance from Midtown Manhattan, NYC: It’s about 1.5 hours away with no traffic.
Important to note: This was one of the places that I planned to check out, but did not get a chance to. However, I can attest that they are super quick to respond by IG Message. They even sent me pictures of the field when I asked if flowers were in bloom!
Cost: $10 admission (FREE for age two and under); $2 per sunflower to cut to bring home
Sunflower Field #3: Pindar Vineyard
Sunflowers and wine! What is better than that!?! This was one of the two sunflower fields listed that I visited this summer. When I went, the sunflowers were not at full bloom, but I am sure that once they are, it will make for great photos. They have been growing their sunflower field for over 25 years. When the flowers are in full peak, you can pick your sunflowers and take home beautiful bouquets with you for a small price. The proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County.
Pindar Vineyard is a great place to go for wine tasting -- $12 for six tastings. They even have a Sunflower Chardonnay to try! When I went, they also sold fresh oysters to compliment your experience. Whether you want to frolic through rows of wine vines in the vineyard or check out the sunflower fields out front, it makes for a great afternoon!
Address: 37645 NY-25 | Peconic, NY 11958
Distance from Midtown Manhattan, NYC: It’s slightly over 2 hours away with no traffic.
Important to Note: This is a vineyard, so it is a two for one deal. However, it was not my favorite because the field is a lot smaller.
Sunflower Field #4: Garden of Eve
This organic farm and market -- located in Riverhead, Long Island -- was founded in 2001 by environmental advocates Chris and Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht to provide delicious organic vegetables, fruits, and beautiful flowers and to “make changes in the world by living them.” Although this is smaller than many other farms at 5 acres, they have sunflower fields with more than 100,000 flowers. Along with flower fields, they also have a cafe, a brewery, a horse barn, and a garden. They also organize a host of events from April 1st to Halloween, such as Watermelon and Tomato Tasting, a Sunflower Festival, a Garlic Festival, and Oktoberfest.
Address: 4558 Sound Ave | Riverhead, NY 11901
Distance from Midtown Manhattan, NYC: It’s almost two hours away with no traffic.
Important to Note: This was one of the places that I planned to check out, but did not get a chance. However, I can attest that they are super responsive and thorough by email.
Cost: $7.95 per person, but only $5 if you buy tickets online. You can also buy an individual season pass for $15 or a family pass for $50.
Sunflower Field #5: North Fork Sunflower Maze
This sunflower maze is planted by Sidor Farms. Sunflowers have been grown on this site for several years. In 2012, they tried a sunflower maze and then paused for six years before bringing it back in 2018. Summer 2020 has been the 3rd season where the fields have been open to visitors. I am so happy that they did as this is hands down the best one I have seen! The sunflowers are essential because they also provide a space for people to roam or capture Instagram worthy photos. It is a crucial crop in producing sunflower oil to fry the farm’s North Fork Potato Chips! TIP: Grab a bag of those chips when you pay for your entrance. It is totally worth it is as they are not salty or oily while perfectly crispy.
Address: 8350 Wickham Ave | Mattituck, NY 11952
Distance from Manhattan, NYC: It’s almost two hours away with no traffic.
Important to Note: This is my favorite sunflower field.
Cost: $7 for adults; children under 12 are free! Credit Cards are accepted.
Sunflower Field #6: Sunflower Valley Farm
Located in New Hampton, Long Island, this is a large farm that is open for sunflower season starting at the end of July. In addition to the sunflower farm, they have face painting for kids and delicious things to munch on, such as fresh-squeezed, lemonade this weekend, fresh sweet corn, local honey, and tomatoes. Sometimes, they bring in an ice cream truck to serve delicious ice cream. Ice cream and sunflowers sound like the perfect pair!
Address: 366 County Rd 12 | New Hampton, NY 10958
Distance from Manhattan, NYC: It’s almost 1.5 hours away with no traffic.
Cost: $5 admission; Children under 5 Free. CASH ONLY. Admission includes three free Sunflowers (Pick your own). Additional Sunflowers $1.00 each
Sunflower Field #7: Buttonwood Farm Ice Cream in Griswold, Connecticut
Buttonwood Farm is a dairy farm that has now expanded to include an ice cream shop with 50+ flavors and sunflower fields. Each year, they plant over 14 acres of sunflowers (about 300,000 sunflowers in bloom) that they then donate the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut. What is better than ice cream, sunflower fields, and supporting charity?! To top it off (literally), they make their waffle cones fresh every day and use real whipped cream. You cannot pick the sunflowers, but you will be able to buy bouquets, whose proceeds go to charity. Since 2003, they have donated over $1,000,000 in their “Sunflower Wishes” initiative for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In the fall, there is a 7-acre corn maze that you can explore along with taking a hayride, visiting with farm animals, or picking a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.
Address: 473 Shetucket Turnpike | Griswold, CT 06351
Distance from Manhattan, NYC: It’s a little over 2.5 hours away with no traffic.
Cost: FREE admission for the walking field. There is a $2 per person entrance donation, and the sunflowers are $2 each.
Sunflower Field #8: Sussex County Sunflower Maze
The Sussex County Sunflower maze is the first sunflower maze in New Jersey, created and produced by Liberty Farm Since 2011 by owner Raj Sinha. They proclaim themselves as the largest Sunflower Maze on the East Coast. I will admit that I have not been here, but when I came across a photo of this maze last year, it was why I was super inspired to find a sunflower field this year. Last year, there were over 1.5 million flowers to photograph. WOW!
Address: 101 Co Rd 645 | Sandyston, NJ 07826
Distance from Manhattan, NYC: It’s a little under 1.5 hours away with no traffic.
Important to Note: This sunflower field seems to bloom later than the other farms if you are looking for an option for later summer and early Fall (late August- mid-September).
Cost: Adults $ 10, Children ages 4-12 are $6, kids three and under free. No Refunds!
Top Things to Know When Planning
Your Sun-tastic Sunflower Fields Trip
1. Check ahead of time.
As I researched thoroughly for a sunflower farm to visit, I realized that every farm has its own timing for blooms. I highly recommend calling or messaging (through email, Facebook, or Instagram) a few farms you are considering a day or two before making your trip. When I did this, I discovered that one farm faced severe storm damage, so the flowers were no longer as beautiful as they were a week before. Their flowers were nowhere near bloom at another farm, as evidenced by photos sent to me from the field. As a result, we ended up going with a farm discovered at the very last minute. Since I saw physical pictures of someone who went the day before, I knew this was a great place to go. Make sure to confirm!
2. Bring Cash.
Some of these farms are small and family-run, so they may only accept cash for the entry or parking fee. The farm we went to, however, did take credit cards. I would make sure to have at least $20 cash as the entrance fee is usually between $7-$10, and you may want to buy flowers or a snack.
3. Wear Closed-Toe Shoes.
The sunflower fields’ ground is primarily dirt, especially if you are walking between flowers. That means it will either be very dusty (which was the case when we went) or will be very muddy (if it rained before). Be sure to not only wear closed-toe shoes, but wear shoes you do not wish to get dirty with. My friend’s shoe turned into a different color because of the dirt from walking around.
4. Plan Your Outfit.
Part of why you visit a sunflower farm is because you want dope Insta-photos. Even if you did not plan for that, you will be tempted to do a full photo-shoot once you get there. You want to make sure you wear solid colors that will stick out and contrast with the green stems and yellow sunflowers!
5. Do not worry about the bees.
You will see a lot of bees. However, do not sweat it because the bees are fully occupied pollinating the flowers (basically they are at a buffet), so they will completely ignore you!
6. Timing is everything.
Each year, the best time to go will vary slightly depending on the weather. If you go too early, the flowers will not be in bloom, and the fields will look mostly green. If you go too late, the sunflowers will either be very droopy or dried up. Summer storms can impact damaging sunflowers, which happened to many farms in Long Island this summer. It is crucial to keep in mind that sunflowers at different farms will bloom at different times.
7. The window of opportunity is small.
Sunflowers are usually planted in July, so they typically bloom in early/mid-August or early September. When they do reach a peak bloom, there is often a 2-week window of seeing stunning flowers.
8. Be flexible.
This is both with your schedule and the place you choose. For example, when planning this excursion, we initially had to change it because my friend had a commitment. During the week after our original date, a major summer storm resulted in several farms facing severe damage. As a result, the original farm I planned to go to was dealing with a lot of clean up, and another farm’s flowers were not in bloom. Last-minute (literally 1-2 days before), my friend learned about a farm through a friend who went the day before, so we had physical proof that the farm was in full bloom. Ultimately, this is where we decided to go, and it worked out well!
9. Be prepared to make flowers last longer.
This is a tip from Sunflower Valley Farm. “Bring water, paper towels to saturate, and wrap your stems for the trip home. Once home, angle cut 1-2", placing in cold water with 1 tsp of sugar or 1/2 c of lemon-lime soda to expand the flowers’ life.”
10. Be charged!
You will be taking lots of photos, which will burn the battery of your phone or camera. Your electronics may also overheat as you will be in an open field of the sun. As a result, make sure your phone is fully charged. Also, pack a portable charger.
Are you looking for Sunflower Fields outside of NYC?
Here are some lists of Sunflower Fields to check out around the country when you travel away from the NYC area!