For a place known for its rain, Oregon sure has a lot of sunflowers. In the summer, Oregon sunflower season is a yellowy explosion of happiness. While exploring Tualatin Valley, it’s hard to go an hour without catching a glimpse of the zippy flower along a rural road, home garden bed or plopped into a vase at a friendly café.
Lee Farms has decided to lean into their love of sunflowers with a week-long Sunflower Festival (August 17-25; $12-$25 per person). Open every day of the week, walk through the farm’s several fields of sunflowers. For a breezy view, take a hayride to the perfect photo op. Each ticket includes a hayride, access to all the sunflower fields, hay mazes, tons of activities for the little ones and a special flower bloom to take home (of course, you can purchase more!). On the weekend dates, expect an amplified experience with live music and tastings from a local winery and brewery.
For the biggest sunflower of all, head to the sunflower quilt block along the Quilt Barn Trail. The large, painted block of a sunflower at Sun Gold Farm (9500 NW Evers Road, Forest Grove; sungoldfarm.com) complements the colorful robustness of this farm, which grows and markets vegetables, fruits and nuts. This farm has been in the family since 1940, and it was originally a dairy, dating back to the 1800s. Separate from Oregon sunflower season, this sunflower can be seen all year.
In these last weeks of summer, reach toward the sun as the sunflowers do. Before you know it, you’ll be heading to the pumpkin patch.