Late summer signals its arrival in New England in many ways, with one of the best-loved being those fields of towering blooms at the local sunflower farm. Across the region, sunflowers enrich the landscape with deep reds, yellows, and oranges. Ready to get lost in all that beauty? Read on for a tour of some of New England’s finest sunflower fields and mazes, and then check out Yankee
‘s list of Best Late Summer Adventures
for nine more great ideas.
New England Sunflower Farm & Maze Guide
The sunflowers here were first planted in 2003 to attract customers, but they’ve since become a popular way for the community to give back. Every summer Buttonwood plants more than 14 acres of sunflowers and harvests an estimated 300,000 blooms. Bunches are sold at the farm, with all proceeds benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Connecticut. To date, Buttonwood has raised more than a million dollars. (And did we mention they also serve more than 50 flavors of delicious homemade ice cream?)
SEE MORE:Sunflowers for Wishes
The famous blooms here come to life in September and do not disappoint. Just ask the estimated 1,000 visitors who typically visit the farm and its flower field during peak season. Wife-and-husband owners Elizabeth Knight and J.R. Colby planted the two-acre hillside field in 2005, and its popularity has grown every year. If you go, make sure your smartphone is charged: You’ll want to take pictures.
Lyman Orchards’ bird-and-butterfly-filled sunflower maze is a rarity. Open for only about four weeks, from late July through late August, it’s more than an agricultural adventure and a colorful photo op. Just in time to jump-start kids’ brains before school resumes, it offers themed trivia challenges to help you decide which way to turn at crossroads and forks within the maze. In all, Lyman features two miles of paths within 350,000 blooming red and yellow sunflowers. You’ll also find a visit to Lyman Orchards on our list of Best Late Summer Adventures
The sunflower farm at Tangerini’s, which runs an acre or two depending on the season, is a popular late summer/early fall destination. Some visitors come to pick their own flowers, others to wander through the blooms. “A lot of people plan their photoshoots around when the field blooms,” says one farm employee. Tangerini’s also features organic veggies, pick-your-own apples, and a hay maze for the kids (sorry, parents).
Five years ago, this innovative farm, which forgoes heavy machinery for animal power, planted its first sunflowers to harvest for cold-pressed sunflower oil. Demand soared and so did the size of the fields. Today, the farm opens up a five-acre spot each year to grow its blooms, which visitors can explore during its annual August Sunflower Festival.
Did we miss your favorite New England sunflower farm or maze? Let us know!
And don’t forget to see our full list of Best Late Summer Adventures
This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.