10 Best Places to See Bluebonnets in Texas

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As winter gives way to spring, Texas transforms into a colorful tapestry of bluebonnets. Across the state, the state flower blankets the landscape in vibrant hues of blue across the state, creating breathtaking scenes that attract visitors from far and wide.

If you’re looking for the best places to see bluebonnets in Texas, this is the guide for you.

A field of bluebonnets in Texas

When do bluebonnets bloom in Texas?

Texas bluebonnets bloom between late March and early May, and the peak bluebonnet season is usually in early to mid-April. The peak bloom weeks vary depending on the weather: Bluebonnets bloom later with cool spring weather and earlier if the spring is warm.

Best spots to see Texas bluebonnets

Whether you’re an avid photographer or just want to get out of town for the day, I promise that these locations are camera-worthy. You’ll find both wide open spaces and well-marked driving routes for more variety.

Here’s my list of 10 spots that offer the perfect backdrop for the season’s blooms. To keep things interesting, they’re listed in no particular order.

1. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Situated in Austin, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center showcases the natural splendor of Texas wildflowers. Visitors can explore themed gardens and nature trails, too. This is an ideal destination if you’re looking to learn more about Texas’ native plants.

Speaking of which, if you spot an occasional white bluebonnet among the sea of blue, you’re not crazy. According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the white color is caused by a genetic mutation. You might also see light blue or pink bluebonnet varieties on occasion.

ⓘ LOCAL TIP: Those bright red flowers that you see here and there among the bluebonnets? Those are called Indian Paintbrush, and yes, the native Americans had many uses for them.

2. Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area transforms into a breathtaking spectacle every spring. Dazzling bluebonnets carpet its 654 acres, blanketing the landscape with a vibrant tapestry of indigo blue.

Take advantage of the 10 miles of hiking and biking trails that weave through the park. Scenic overlooks provide perfect vantage points to admire the mesmerizing display, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale.

As it’s located near Spicewood in the Texas Hill Country, it’s not hard to get to. Muleshoe Bend is only about 40 miles west of Austin and the drive only takes an hour.

3. Willow City Loop

The Willow City Loop, located north of Fredericksburg, Texas, is one of the most beautiful and sought-after road trips in the Hill Country. It’s a short, 13-mile drive, and runs due north from Willow City until you reach Highway 16. But don’t let the distance fool you: The scenery is spectacular.

If you want a more peaceful and quiet trip, plan it for the middle of the week. The loop can get very crowded on weekends when wildflowers are in full bloom. Also, for the best views, you should drive from south to north, and photographers may want to go in the morning or afternoon when the light is best.

ⓘ LOCAL TIP: You’ll find the most bluebonnets down along the creek beds.

4. Ennis

Ennis bluebonnet festival

Ennis calls itself the “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas” and hosts the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival each spring. The festival features live music, arts and crafts vendors, a classic car display, a carnival, and a procession, but the main lure is exploring the bluebonnet-covered landscapes around the town.

ⓘ LOCAL TIP: If you’re looking for a fun road trip, Ennis boasts over 40 miles of mapped driving trails specifically designed to showcase the stunning displays.

5. Brenham

Known for its historic downtown area and as the home of Blue Bell ice cream, Brenham is a prime destination for bluebonnet sightings. The town’s historic downtown is adorned with bluebonnet murals, homes with gardens of bluebonnets, and art galleries showcase stunning bluebonnet paintings.

Brenham is the center of the Bluebonnet Trail, an 80-mile wonderland of scenic roads and wildflowers, so stop by the Visitor Center in downtown Brenham (115 W. Main Street) when you arrive. They can give you a map and point you toward spots where the blooms are at their most colorful.

6. Chappell Hill

Much of the Bluebonnet Trail runs through Washington County, so it stands to reason that the entire area is a bluebonnet paradise. Along with Brenham, add Chappell Hill to your list of noteworthy places to see bluebonnets in Texas.

I’m mentioning Chappell Hill because it hosts the “Official State of Texas Bluebonnet Festival” in mid-April every year. Flower enthusiasts and photographers flock to the event to enjoy live music, explore arts and craft vendors, and soak in the picturesque landscapes of Washington County. Local wineries, historical sites, and quaint shops just add to the town’s appeal.

7. Texas Hill Country

Field of bluebonnets beneath trees

You may have noticed that a lot of these spots are west of Austin. With its rolling hills and meandering country roads, almost every place in Texas Hill Country is a mecca for bluebonnet enthusiasts.

Drive along highways such as Loop 360, Highway 290, and Highway 281, and you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of bluebonnet-filled fields.

8. Big Bend National Park

For a more rugged and untamed experience, venture to Big Bend National Park, where the bluebonnets create a striking contrast against the dramatic desert landscape. Seeing these delicate blooms against the backdrop of the Chisos Mountains is a truly unforgettable experience.

Interesting fact: There’s a variety of Texas bluebonnets native to the region. Chisos bluebonnets can grow up to three feet in height and seem a bit sturdier than the Hill Country variety, as well. 

ⓘ LOCAL TIP: The best displays are just west of the park, around TX-170 west of Terlingua, and along TX-118 north of Study Butte.

9. Burnet

Burnet has been officially recognized by the Texas legislature as the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas,” and most Texans consider it one of the best places in Texas for bluebonnets. It has some of the most beautiful lakes in Texas, too.

Burnet celebrates its title with the annual Bluebonnet Festival, which always takes place the second weekend in April. The event is one of the largest Bluebonnet Festivals in the state, drawing 35,000 people annually. With live music, a carnival, food, races of all kinds, and lots and lots of shopping, you’re sure to find an activity or two that you’ll enjoy.

10. Llano

For photographers, Highway 16 from Fredericksburg North to Llano leads to one of the most beautiful fields of bluebonnets in the Hill Country.

Renowned for its annual Llano Earth Art Fest, this charming town, is only 25 miles to the west of Burnet. It isn’t quite as famous for bluebonnets as Burnet, so there won’t be quite as many people around when you come. The better to appreciate the flowers and take pictures, my dear.

Be sure to stop by Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que while you’re in town. In 2017, Cooper’s won the the USA Today’s Readers Choice award for “Best BBQ Brisket Sandwich in Texas”. (It’s also famous for being President George W. Bush’s favorite barbecue restaurant.)

Tips on Viewing Texas Bluebonnets

This is a crowd of people who know where to see bluebonnets in Texas.

If you’re planning a day trip for bluebonnet spotting, please keep the following key tips in mind.

1. Please be mindful of the environment. As much as possible, try to avoid trampling the flowers while taking photos or exploring the fields.

2. Also, be sure to respect private property. Be thoughtful and adhere to any posted guidelines regarding access to bluebonnet fields.

3. Most of all, don’t forget your camera! It’s so much fun to capture the beauty of these wildflowers in their natural setting. Once you master the basics of landscape photo editing, you’ll be able to capture the breathtaking beauty of the bluebonnets like never before!

Final thought

If you’re in Texas in the springtime, don’t miss the opportunity to hit the road with your camera. Nothing can beat the magic of bluebonnet season in the Lone Star State.

A field of bluebonnets in Texas. The text overlay says "Best Places to See Texas bluebonnets".

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Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to over 50 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages inspired her to create As We Saw It, where she documents her trips, shares practical itineraries, and offers insider tips. She’s passionate about helping fellow travelers save time, money, and hassle, and loves to discover new places to explore.

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