It’s just three days until Spring; and, in beautiful Southern California, signs of the changing seasons are already being noticed. One sign in particular every year gets nature enthusiasts, curious locals, and eager photographers very excited (and willing to drive an hour or two outside the city): blooming flowers.

Yep – Southern California, come March, is full of gorgeous parks and fields just begging to be photographed. Take advantage of that perfect weather and get out of the crowded city. What better way to spend a day than surrounded by flowers in bloom?

To get you started, here are four spots to snap SoCal wildflowers.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (1.5 hour away from center of Los Angeles)

The sun rises and the poppies slowly open 😍🌅

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Via parks.ca.gov:

Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat.  The duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year.  The wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through May, with a variety of wildflowers creating a mosaic of color that changes daily.

Palos Verdes Peninsula (1 hour away from center of Los Angeles)

Credit: V. Mann Photography

The beaches of Southern California has more to offer than just sand, ocean, and breathtaking sunsets. Come here to see the wildflowers, along with the succulents and herbaceous plants that are also scattered across the landform.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (4 hours away from center of Los Angeles)

Credit: RON THOMAS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Remember all that rain that hit SoCal a few weeks ago? Well, let’s just say that not only is our drought a thing of the past; the rain helped bring forth plenty of gorgeous blooms in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (so much so that it’s causing traffic congestion on route to the park).

Via parks.ca.gov:

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California…The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake.

“I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.” – Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Walker Canyon Poppy Fields (2.5 hours away from center of Los Angeles)

Credit: JIM SNEDDON, FLICKR

From late February through April, one can find poppies and wildflowers just North of Lake Elsinore. Not to mention, this site is fairly easy to find. Just take the Lake Street exit off the 15 freeway.

Along with packing your gear of choice, don’t forget to check official park websites for traffic conditions, possible road closures, and bloom updates.

Happy Snapping!