Where to see the best spring blooms on the West Coast in 2024

Five of the best destinations to see beautiful blossoms and wildflower carpets this spring

Cherry blossoms in Victoria, B.C.
(Image credit: Destination Greater Victoria)

As the days start to become longer and the weather warms up, spring flowers will soon bloom into action. After periods of heavy rain in the US, it's no surprise that the West Coast is expected to impress with another year of so-called superblooms.

A 'superbloom' refers to a rare phenomenon where an unusually high number of flowers blossom at the same time. It's most well-known for happening in California and Arizona, where wildflower seeds that have been laying dormant in the desert soil suddenly germinate after heavy rainfall. They then bloom into life and create extraordinary displays.

If you are a lover of cherry blossom and almond blossom, and want to discover breathtaking displays of spring flowers, including those that thrive in shade, we've got you covered.

Here are five of the best destinations lining the West Coast with exquisite florals this spring - you won't want to miss them.

Wildflower meadows in San Luis Obispo County, CA

Fields of yellow and purple wild flowers in San Luis Obispo County, California

(Image credit: elliotmcgucken)

Last year, San Luis Obispo County, California had a huge amount of rainfall which brought super blooms that could be seen from space. Fields of vibrant florals could be seen throughout the county. With the recent heavy showers, stunning florals are expected to return again.

Avenales Ranch is a great place to view wildflowers, where you can spot everything from baby blue eyes, or Nemophila menziesii, to tidy tips, also known as Layia platyglossa.

Exploring the county further, you will find orange California poppies, blue lupines and golden fiddlenecks.

It's also worth stopping by Montana de Oro State Park to see a stunning collection of coastal flowers. 

Almond blossoms in Modesto, CA

Modesto almond blossoms

(Image credit: Almond Board of CA/Visit Modesto)

If you're looking for almond trees in California this spring, Modesto is the place to go. Modesto is the agricultural hub of California's Central Valley, decorated with dainty white and pink almond blossom petals.

'Modesto and surrounding area almond ranchers are at the forefront of sustainable agriculture, dedicating themselves to being stewards of the land,' says Kim West, co-owner of Roberts Ferry Gourmet.

'Through innovative practices like micro-irrigation and regenerative farming, they not only conserve water but also enhance the ecosystem,' she adds.

2024 is the fourth year Modesto visitors can take the self-guided Almond Blossom Cruise, which supports local farms and businesses, and highlights the history of the region. 

Kim West
Kim West

Raised amidst the blossoming rows of a California almond orchard, Kim West is a farmer's daughter at heart, with the rich soil of the fields as the foundation of her story. After dedicating two decades to shaping minds in the realm of elementary education, she returned to her roots, channeling her passion into crafting gourmet goodies. 

Spring bulbs in Victoria, B.C.

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.

(Image credit: Destination Greater Victoria)

The waterfront capital of British Columbia, Victoria, is home to impressive displays of cherry blossoms, wildflowers and gardens to visit, and is known as Canada's 'garden city'. 

2024 marks the 120th anniversary of The Butchart Gardens, a privately-owned, 55-acre curated garden in Brentwood Bay. Its Sunken Garden is home to 65,000 bulbs, creating an explosion of spring color.

'We will soon kick off the annual flower count, where the local community gets out to experience and count blooms in neighbourhoods across the region,' says Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria.. 

There are many more gardens in the area, such as Government House, Abkhazi Gardens, the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific and Beacon Hill Park all showcasing immersive displays this spring.

Cherry blossom celebration in Richmond, B.C.

Minoru Park, Richmond, B.C.

(Image credit: Tourism Richmond)

A hub for spring blooms, Richmond is just outside Vancouver in British Columbia where cherry blossoms can be marvelled at from March to May. 

'Springtime in Richmond offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience various floral blooms all across the city,' says Nancy Small, CEO of Tourism Richmond.

The Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival is a free event celebrating the arrival of spring and cherry blossoms, with the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing, also known as 'hanami.'

Meanwhile, if you enjoy scent you might want to visit Lavenderland, the first lavender farm in Greater Vancouver. It has seven acres of lavender, which can be enjoyed towards the end of spring right through to September.

Japanese florals in San Francisco, CA

Japanese tea Garden, San Francisco, CA

(Image credit: Visit California/Bongo)

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco is not to be missed. It's the biggest cherry blossom festival on the West Coast and one of California's most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions.

'This year, our Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrating its 57th year in San Francisco's historic Japantown,' say Matthew Nagatomi and Yuki Nishimura, co-chairs of the festival.

'This beloved event celebrates Japanese and Japanese American culture and arts, and is one of the largest Japanese American festivals in the United States,' they add.

You can also spot elegant blossoms in the five-acre Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

Matthew Nagatomi and Yuki Nishimura
Matthew Nagatomi and Yuki Nishimura

Matthew Nagatomi and Yuki Nishimura are co-chairs of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. Each year, over 220,000 people attend this display showcasing the vibrant colors and grace of Japanese culture, and the rich heritage and diversity of the Japanese American community.

Shop wildflower seed online

Where can I find cherry blossom festivals elsewhere in the US?

Nicknamed the 'cherry capital of the world,' Traverse City in Michigan amazes with bright blossoms every year. Spanning three counties, the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas, over two million cherry trees come to life in a delicate display of white blossoms, which is nothing short of stunning.

The national cherry blossom festival in Washington, D.C is another incredible floral spectacle, which takes place from March 20 to April 14. Peak bloom is said to occur when 70% of the iconic cherry blossoms open on the Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin.

After the recent heavy rainfall in the US, it's expected to be a colorful spring full of florals all along the West Coast. If you feel inspired to add some color to your own yard after seeing the superblooms, why not plant your own wildflower meadow?

Tenielle Jordison
News Writer (Gardens)

Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and likes to encourage gardeners to make greener choices to help tackle the effects of climate change with a trowel in hand. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection.