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.
The Sunflower Festival at Stafford Acres (Thursday-Sunday through August) celebrates sunflower season with more than 100,000 blooms of 20 varieties of single branch and multi-branch sunflowers. The event also features farm animals, food and drink vendors and bounce houses for entertainment. Tickets are $5 per person.
Lee Farms leans into their love of sunflowers with Oregon’s largest sunflower festival, a month-long Sunflower Festival (weekends, August 6-29). Visitors to the farm are invited to walk through the farm’s several fields of sunflowers, master the sunflower maze and take a hayride for the perfect photo op. The festival also features u-cut flowers, live music, food and beverage and more. Reserve tickets in advance; day passes are $15-25. Season and 2-day passes are available.
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. (Also, don’t forget to pick up some fresh produce at the farm’s on-site market!) 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.
This August, reach toward the sun as the sunflowers do. Before you know it, you’ll be heading to the pumpkin patch.