April showers bring May flowers, and those flowers are Texas bluebonnets (the state flower!). These flowers are a unique beauty local to Texas, a beautiful blue flower that only comes for a short glimpse in the year.
People go all around the state looking for these flowers, and almost every Texan has a picture with these little blue flowers in the background somewhere in their home. The season for bluebonnets in Texas only lasts about a month so once you find a nice patch of them you’ll have to act quickly!
Bluebonnets actually can be found intermingled with several other wildflowers like Indian Paintbrushes and Mexican Hats. Bluebonnets themselves can come in a variety of colors as well.
In fact, there is a special genetically engineered maroon variety that became very popular for Texas A&M University and a variety of colors have since become more popular.
Identifying bluebonnets in Texas has slowly grown to be a favorite pastime for several people, almost like a sleuthing mission across the state! Here is your guide on where to find these cool wildflowers, and how you can get the most out of your experience!
The Best Places to See Bluebonnets in Texas
Texas bluebonnets can be found all over the place during the right time of the year, you’ll see folks pulling over on the side of the road to take photos in a small patch of these flowers if possible!
However, some parts of Texas are definitely better than others for wildflower hunting. If you want to join in on the tradition and see the prettiest fields, here are the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas.
Ennis, TX is home to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails and Festival. During the month of April, there is an entire trail network and a festival dedicated to these flowers.
The bluebonnet trails sprawl out in all directions, and total about 40 miles! Ennis has been officially named the Bluebonnet City of Texas and there are men and women that commit their time to checking on the blooming status of these flowers regularly until the festival begins.
During the festival you can buy souvenirs, enjoy live music and get a great bite to eat, all of this is for no admission cost whatsoever!
Ennis is only half an hour outside of the Dallas area, so it makes for a fun afternoon trip!
Willow City Loop
Willow City Loop is located in the Fredericksburg area. Fredericksburg is a cute and quaint small town to the west of Austin. This town is known for its German roots and its wineries! The picturesque nature of this area is perfect for a weekend getaway.
The Willow City Loop in particular is a popular location for folks coming from out of town to enjoy Texas bluebonnets as it really captures the scenic nature of the Texas Hill Country.
From this loop you can easily catch major highways to Llano or to Austin to continue your drive, there are overlooks from which you can snap some cool photos or just park your car and take it all in for a while.
If you keep driving onwards from Willow City Loop you’ll reach the small town of Llano. With a population of under 4,000, it’s a fairly small town but it’s the perfect place for the wildflowers to come up every season.
A large trail called The Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail spans multiple cities and it cuts through this part of town as well.
Because this area is a little less known for bluebonnets than nearby Burnet you’ll have a better chance of being able to enjoy the flowers and take photos without as much of a crowd.
Marble Falls loves their bluebonnets so much that their famous, local cafe shares a name with them!
Although The Blue Bonnet Cafe isn’t actually named after the famous flower, it seems apt that this small country town with beautiful landscapes would have some connection to these special flowers.
Marble Falls is along the way of The Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail and similar to a lot of the viewing places, the flowers pop up all over the horizon while in season.
The Bluebonnet House is a fairly well-known spot to take photos. The house itself recently went under some preservative measures but the exterior still captures the beauty of worn, country homes.
Burnet is the place to be if you’re in the festival mood! If you’re not in the North Texas area but would like to celebrate the bluebonnet season, have no fear! Burnet puts on a festival each year that attracts more than 30,000 people.
Celebrate with live music throughout the whole weekend along with parades and a beer garden! This is truly a festival for everyone.
The Wildflower Society marks up a map of all of the highlights throughout Burnet which will make your journey a lot smoother and simpler. If you can’t come during the festival, you can still enjoy the bluebonnets along The Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail.
Poteet is actually known for its spectacular, annual strawberry festival, however, there are some great iconic spots to shoot photos of bluebonnets. There is great local imagery of a windmill surrounded by thousands of bluebonnets, those are the kinds of images you can only find here in Texas!
The state of Texas plants roughly 30,000 pounds of wildflowers here each year, meaning that you’re virtually guaranteed to see some incredible bluebonnets here!
Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area
Located just a short drive from Austin in Spicewood, Muleshoe Bend is one of the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas if you’re hoping to hike among them!
Muleshoe Bend is home to a 5.4-mile loop trail that will take you past some of the most beautiful wildflower fields around.
Since the park is located on the shores of Lake Travis, you can enjoy water views as well!
Tips for Enjoying Texas Bluebonnets
Go in season.
Part of the allure of Texas bluebonnets is that they only appear for a very small window within the year.
The season normally spans from late-March to mid-April, and peak season will reveal all sorts of colors and varieties of wildflowers. Visitors are often disappointed if they come too early, definitely reference any online resources to figure out what the optimal time to visit would be.
Several cities and festivals have commentary on the status of the wildflowers that is updated quite frequently, so keep an eye out and remember that peak season can vary a bit depending on the year–rainfall, the heat index, and more can all affect the blooms.
Make sure you’re on public land.
Because several of these fields are open and sprawling it might not be easily identifiable to find signage which indicates if you’re on public land or not. Landowners often have trouble with trespassers due to the bluebonnets on their property so do your best to be respectful of the space!
Along with being on public land especially roadside, be sure you adhere to any local signage or rules as it pertains to stopping or loitering, as you don’t want to inadvertently cause traffic or block any roads.
Try identifying parks or public gardens first to ensure that you have your bases covered prior to going out and tracking down the flowers.
Don’t pick bluebonnets in Texas!
The biggest reoccurring rumor during bluebonnet season is that it is illegal to pick bluebonnets, and while that isn’t true there is a large effort to preserve local plant life. This effort would entail the public to simply interact with the plants rather than uprooting them or altering them in any way.
This is to preserve the experience for generations to come. If you are on private land for a tour or at an establishment, be sure to ask before you take them as a courteous gesture to the owners.
If you would like some for your home there is a high likelihood that the local florist will have them, this is a great way to support local business!
Alternatively, if you live in a compatible climate, buy some seeds to throw down in your yard–you may just be lucky enough to be rewarded with annual blooms for life!
Be courteous to other visitors.
Because the prettiest fields are so scarce and so many people want to identify where to see bluebonnets in Texas, there is a good chance that you will experience foot traffic and vehicular traffic to any major site. Be sure to share the space with others as everyone is trying to get in their opportunity to preserve the beauty of spring.
Be sure to plan ahead especially if you’re planning on going viewing on a weekend or a holiday. Plan a couple of back up spots as well in case the first option is really crowded, this will ensure everyone gets the most out of their seasonal experience.
Wear closed-toe shoes.
Bluebonnets themselves are not known to be thorny, but oftentimes the places they are growing are not maintained like an optimal garden. It is very easy to get burrs or pebbles stuck in open toe shoes, especially in wide-open fields. For a little extra safety be sure to wear closed-toe shoes.
Of course due to the photogenic nature of these places that might not be your go-to but it definitely is something to think about, especially for younger children.
Pack bug spray!
I cannot recommend this enough. No matter how beautiful, the natural environment still supports several varieties of insects in order to preserve the ecosystem. There is a high chance of encountering lots of bugs at the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas.
Be sure to pack bug spray and maybe some after-bite care just in case in order to ensure that everyone isn’t itching all over on the way home! Hand sanitizer makes a great at-home remedy on the fly if you’re not able to access calamine lotion.