Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Texas Bluebonnets: How to Plan Your Lupinus Texensis Road Trip
- When is Bluebonnet Season?
- Why are Bluebonnets such a Texan Thing?
- 7 Tips for Finding Texas Bluebonnet Fields and Patches
- Best Places to Find Texas Bluebonnets in 2022
- Bluebonnets Near Houston Texas
- Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area
- Bluebonnets are Everywhere in Brenham/Washington County
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- New Braunfels
- Bluebonnets Near Dallas/Fort Worth
- Unexpected Places to Find Texas Bluebonnets
Wondering where to find bluebonnets in Texas in 2022? If you’re starting to plot out your annual bluebonnet pictures with these Texas wildflowers we’ve got a list of where to find them all over Central Texas and beyond. Some are annual standbys and some spots we’ve seen them in already even in the first week of March! It’s a Texas tradition to grab those yearly photos so read on before you run off seeking out a field of bluebonnets.
Texas Bluebonnets: How to Plan Your Lupinus Texensis Road Trip
Note: Bluebonnet season varies around the state based on winter weather. Last year with the big storm everything was a little late! In 2022 we’ve spotted a few bluebonnets popped up in South Texas areas like Brenham and Gonzales (3/5) while areas further north like Ennis won’t have any yet. Finding that perfect field might require a little more work.
Pictures in the bluebonnets are…well, sort of required…for Texas children. I’m pretty sure I’d get my Texas mom card revoked if I failed to get yearly pictures of my kids in the bluebonnets. I even managed it in 2020, even though the bluebonnets seemed to know it was a bad year and were kind of thin in our area.
Bluebonnet pictures are amazing for natives and visitors alike and, no matter where you live, they make wonderful Christmas card pictures.
But, as beautiful as the pictures are, seeing these blossoms in person is a bazillion times better and a bazillion is like, a lot, y’all. Fields of bluebonnets line the rural highways in Texas. Many of our Texas scenic drive ideas scoot through gorgeous bluebonnet-friendly areas.
Here’s the scoop on some of the best spots to see and snap these famously vivid wildflowers.
When is Bluebonnet Season?
Bluebonnet season is typically late March through early April. If it’s been a warm winter, the bluebonnets can bloom early and if there’s been a lot of late freezes, the bluebonnets will usually be late. This winter was not as bad in Texas so we’re officially kicking bluebonnet season off in early March down south.
“Bluebonnet watch” will typically begin in early March. The locals will watch places where the bluebonnets are expected and make predictions on when they expect to see peak season.
And, despite what my mom told me when I was younger, picking the state flower of Texas isn’t illegal. But, be a good neighbor and don’t pick bluebonnets. Not only do you want to leave them for the next person to enjoy but they go to seed ensuring the next years pretty bluebonnet field. You can buy bluebonnet seeds and grow this lupine variety at home if you really want to pick them.
Why are Bluebonnets such a Texan Thing?
At this point you may be asking “What even started all of this?”. Well, bluebonnets in Texas have been a thing for a LONG time. In 1901 the 27th Texas Legislature made it official declaring the Lupinis subcarnosus the official state flower of Texas. This was amended in 1971 to include other bluebonnet species. There’s even a state flower song and in the 1930’s a roadside campaign to help bluebonnets spread along highways was in place. It really is a whole thing! There are even children’s books including Bluebonnets at the Alamo and also The Legend of the Bluebonnet.
TravelingMom Tip: Make a weekend out of your bluebonnet trip. Here are our favorite Texas resorts that you should check out!
7 Tips for Finding Texas Bluebonnet Fields and Patches
These are wildflowers.
Where and when they’ll show up is something that changes from year to year. A place that had a thick carpet last year isn’t guaranteed a repeat performance. Weather plays a big factor in when, where and how bluebonnets bloom.
When you get word of a good bluebonnet spot, don’t wait.
A few days can make a difference in the quality of the blooms. Word gets around about nice thick patches and if you wait too long, the flowers will have been trampled by little feet and won’t be as fresh.
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Get out of the cities.
While we’ve scouted out some known spots where these flowers pop up every year, you’re not going to find them growing out of the sidewalk in downtown Dallas or Austin. Parks, lakes and the backroads of the Lone Star State are what you want. Everyone has some sort of GPS nowadays so don’t be afraid to get a little lost in the pursuit of the prettiest blooms.
Always ask a Texan.
If you are in or traveling to an area not represented on our list, the best thing to do is to ask someone who lives there. Just be aware that some people are weird about their favorite bluebonnet spot and consider it akin to giving out the number to their best babysitter.
If you see what you think is a good spot, take your pictures!
Don’t hold out for a more Instagrammable spot because you might not find it. And if you do, then you take more bluebonnet pictures!
Don’t overlook wineries!
Not only can you sample some wine and enjoy a fun picnic but lots and lots of wineries have ample parking, fields of flowers, and the perfect backdrop for photos.
When in doubt check local photographers pages.
Head onto social media and look at photographers in your area. There are usually ample opportunities to get those ideal photos professionally taken. In addition a lot of times they’ll strike up a deal with a local landowner and have access to private properties with lush bluebonnet fields.
Best Places to Find Texas Bluebonnets in 2022
We’ve got a ton of spots to “spot” Texas Bluebonnets in 2022 whether you’re near Houston, Dallas, Austin or somewhere in between. Here are our favorite places to get those pictures.
Bluebonnets Near Houston Texas
If you are driving from San Antonio to Houston on I-10 you will see lots of patches of bluebonnets along the highway. There have historically been thick patches just outside of Katy, a Houston suburb. Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands has historically had good pictures spots, too. With any location, if you’re stopping alongside the highway, be very careful.
Hermann Park, which is near the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science will often have great patches of bluebonnets. Hermann Park also offers free parking, a rarity in a big city. The park is large and the bluebonnets occur most predictably in the Bayou Parkland area between Holcombe Boulevard and Almeda Road. If you pop 6532 Almeda Road in your GPS it will bring you to the Pavilion. There is parking around the corner off of MacGregor at the Park Maintenance Building.
Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail
Take a day (or two) and drive through the Texas Hill Country on the Bluebonnet Trail, a self-guided driving tour.
Burnet – The Bluebonnet Capital
The best place to start the Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail is in Burnet (pronounced burn-it). After all, it’s the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas. Burnet, Texas, is located 60 miles northwest of Austin and directly west of Georgetown on Highway 29. Residents and visitors celebrate the blooming wildflowers at the annual Bluebonnet Festival April 8th-10th 2022.
TravelingMom Tip: Consider renting an RV for your Texas bluebonnet adventure. RV travel means you have the freedom to follow the flowers.
From Burnet, head south on Highway 281 to Marble Falls. As you approach Marble Falls, look for the Bluebonnet House at 4554 N. US Highway 281. The mid-19th century abandoned home sits in a field of wildflowers and is a popular place to take pictures. While in Marble Falls, make sure to stop by the Blue Bonnet Cafe for a piece of their legendary pie. The Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitor’s Center has free maps of the Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail at 801 Highway 281.
Johnson City and Fredericksburg
From Marble Falls, head south on Highway 281 to Johnson City and then west on Highway 290 toward Fredericksburg. Stop at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site to learn more about where the 37th president was born, lived, died and was buried. In Fredericksburg, shop the stores on Main Street and eat at my favorite German restaurant, the Altdorf Biergarten, at 301 West Main. You can also find bluebonnets blooming in the spring at Wildseed Farms.
TravelingMom Tip: If you’ve got extra time, there are a ton of fun things to do in Fredericksburg and Johnson City with your kids.
Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail: Highway 16 from Fredericksburg to Llano
When you leave Fredericksburg, head north on Highway 16 to Llano. After about 13 miles, go east on Ranch Road 1323 to Willow City. The Willow City Loop heads north and eventually loops back around to Highway 16 where you can continue your trip toward Llano. The loop is a scenic 13-mile drive filled with wildflowers. However, this land is private, so you are discouraged from stopping to take pictures. If the weather is good, consider a side trip to climb Enchanted Rock.
The last leg of the Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail takes you back west from Llano to Burnet on Highway 29 and past Lake Buchanan.
Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area
Known as one of the most incredible bluebonnet spots in the state this recreation area along the Colorado River is just under an hour from Austin in Spicewood Texas. Fields of bluebonnets bloom here annually looking almost like a sea of blue flowers. This area is very popular and can get busy. It’s located on a “finger” of land that pokes into the river. What that means is your ways in and out are limited and traffic can back up. If you can journey out on a weekday that is ideal. Also keep in mind that most of Texas is on Spring Break from March 12th-March 20th so that timing is definitely bound to be busier.
There are campsites here but they go fast! If you happen to spot an available one grab it quickly.
Bluebonnets are Everywhere in Brenham/Washington County
Washington County is located on Highway 290 between Austin and Houston. It is the home of Brenham and the Bluebell Creamery Tour. Each spring the Brenham Chamber of Commerce conducts a Wildflower Watch and posts bluebonnet sightings on its blog. Washington County is also close to the antique hunter’s mecca Round Top where you can stay overnight at the nation’s only indoor campground, the Lone Star Glamp Inn.
Brenham is on the map for ice cream (Blue Bell is made here and if you haven’t tried that, you’re missing out). This small town is the halfway point between Austin and Houston, making it an easy Texas day trip for bluebonnet pictures. Bluebonnets historically appear along Highway 290 East and FM 390. Brenham also has a Wildflower Watch website complete with a wildflower map.
Read More: 15+ fun things to do in Brenham with kids.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and actress Helen Hayes established the National Wildflower Center in 1982. In 1997, the center was renamed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and moved to 4801 La Crosse Ave. in South Austin. At the center, you can learn about Texas wildflowers, get ideas for your home garden, and walk the trails through wildflowers including bluebonnets.
While technically in South Austin, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center sits right on the edge of Driftwood, which is a beautiful rural area to explore. If you have lunch at Salt Lick BBQ or drive to Charro Ranch Park, I bet you’ll find some patches no one knows about.
Read More: Free (and FUN!) Things to Do in Texas
Off of I-35 heading into this charming German town, take the Rueckle Road exit toward Highway 46. If you’re a San Antonio-area family (or visiting) this is a popular place and an easy drive. The areas around Landa Park and Cypress Bend Park usually have lots of blooms.
Bluebonnets Near Dallas/Fort Worth
McKinnish Park and Sports Complex and the Mary Heads Carter Park both typically have nice patches of bluebonnets. These are both in/near pretty populated areas so once they start sprouting, people will find them and they won’t be as pretty.
Driving to nearby Flower Mound or to Fort Worth (Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge usually has nice blooms as does the Botanical Research Institute of Texas) will probably help you snag some better pictures.
If you want a day trip from Dallas, driving out to Decatur will take you along some nice country roads and you might find a more unspoiled patch. Decatur is about 60 miles northwest from Fort Worth on I-35 W.
Ennis is known as the “Official Bluebonnet City in Texas.” Located south of Dallas, the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail is said to be the oldest bluebonnet trail in Texas. They will update on the Ennis Bluebonnet trails website but tentative dates for 2022 are April 1-30 with the Bluebonnet Festival and live music happening April 8-10, 2022. The garden club has over 40 miles of mapped driving trails available!
Kingsland sits on the banks of the Colorado River and Lake LBJ. The town’s official slogan is: “Where the rivers flow and bluebonnets grow.” Head to this tiny town’s abandoned railroad tracks for super bluebonnet pictures.
TravelingMom Tip: Consider getting professional family photos done with the beautiful bluebonnets. We recommend using Flytographer to find a photographer in the area you’ll be traveling to.
Unexpected Places to Find Texas Bluebonnets
Keeping your eyes out for good patches will help you find the best (and maybe secret!) places. The best bluebonnet spots I’ve found in my area are on a slope behind a shopping mall and a random patch I stumbled upon along a back road when I got off at the wrong exit. Texas is a big state. There are tons of places to go to get beautiful pictures in the bluebonnets. One thing to note though, private property is NEVER the right place for bluebonnet photos. Do not trespass, hop fences, or anything else silly in the pursuit of these blue flowers. There are plenty of spots to grab pictures without the need for bail money for a trespassing arrest.
Don’t discount the other beautiful Texas wildflowers. Indian Paintbrushes, Mexican Hats and Drummond phlox are also pretty and very photo-worthy!