Updated August 2018.
Spring in Texas is a magical time. For a few weeks we are spoiled with fantastic weather, sunshine, and best of all the Texas bluebonnets. There’s no sight quite like seeing the Texas roadsides blanketed in a sea of blue. And the thing that goes hand in hand with bluebonnets is seeing a family or two pulled over on the side of the road trying to take pictures of their children sitting among the flowers. But what if you didn’t have to stop along a busy road to see and enjoy these special state flowers? Here is the low-down on where and when to view bluebonnets in Texas.
Where do Bluebonnets Bloom?
While you can see bluebonnets on many of the Texas roads, if you want to see actual sprawling fields of them there are three major areas around Texas for the best views.
Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is one of the best options for beautiful views of bluebonnets. Hill Country towns such as Burnet, Fredericksburg, Llano and San Saba have bluebonnet festivals or trails in the spring to celebrate the state flower. Burnet should be at the top of any bluebonnet lover’s list as it is officially recognized by the Texas legislature as the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.”
Then there’s the Texas Hill Country Wildflower Trail that was created by 10 Hill Country communities. It’s a self guided tour where visitors can take in amazing sights of bluebonnets, Texas paintbrush, sunflowers, coreopsis, and black-eyed Susans. The iconic Willow City Loop is a must for bluebonnet aficionados. It’s a 13 mile loop outside of Fredericksburg made up of low lying meadows filled with bluebonnets and other spring wildflowers.
Lastly, for up-to-date information on where the best spots are to see bluebonnets at any given time, check out the Texas Department of Transportation Wildflower Hotline at www.dot.state.tx.us or call 800-452-9292.
Just southeast of the Wildflower Trail is another little town full of treasures. Bluebonnets are just one of the many natural beauties here. Add a family vacation to your family pictures with Krause Springs and lake shorelines, or head to Spicewood Vineyards just across highway 71.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, named after the wildflower advocate First Lady, has areas where lovers of the blue flowers can admire them as well as other flowers and take photos every day from 9 am to 5 pm.
Another great area to see bluebonnets outside of the Hill Country is Washington County, which is home to towns like Chapell Hill, Brenham, and Independence. There, visitors can take in special views of “bluebonnet carpets” which are when the bluebonnets are packed in so tight, they feel like carpet when walking on them.
Lastly, for those closer to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, make plans to visit Ennis. It has been deemed the Bluebonnet Trails Capitol of Texas and has over 40 miles of mapped driving Bluebonnet Trails. In addition to renowned trails, Ennis is also home to the annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival. April 18-19, 2015, visitors can enjoy two days of arts and crafts, bluebonnet souvenirs, activities for children, live music and more.
When do Bluebonnets Bloom?
Typically bluebonnets bloom from mid-March until mid-April. Most people agree that April is the best time to take in the views of bluebonnets, though they can last through the beginning of June. Bluebonnets will typically bloom in the southern parts of Texas first like in Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio around the latter part of March. Moving northward, blooming happens in Austin, the Hill Country, and Waco in the beginning of April and finally makes its way to Dallas-Fort Worth around mid-April.
So whether you are embracing the breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country or enjoying a festival celebrating bluebonnets in Ennis, either way you are guaranteed to have a great time while celebrating the beauty of our great state flower.
Check out more Texas Treasures in The Light Lab!