Best time to travel to California

Almond Bloom

The first sign of spring on the Pacific Coast


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Almond orchards occupy one million acres in California (about 405,000 ha), according to the US Department of Agriculture. So every year, from mid-February to early or mid-March, the countryside in Northern and Central California dresses up in delicate white and pink flowers. The last week of February is the ultimate time. The almond bloom is massive throughout the Central Valley, where almonds are one of the main crops. Durham is a popular spot for almond blossoms.

Springtime in the Almond Orchard, Central California 2020
Springtime in the Almond Orchard, Central California

In the Sacramento area, take a road trip from Woodland to Dixon. It is an 18-mi (29-km) drive through the most luxurious almond orchards in Northern California. You can also see blooming almond trees along CA-16.

Further south, there are many almond orchards in the Modesto area, namely Alldrin Almond Orchards, as well as Phippen Orchard in Ripon, San Joaquin County. A bit more distant Bakersfield also boasts exuberant blooming orchards. Most almond farms are quite small. Family-owned orchards comprise the majority of farms in the region. Together they produce about 80 percent of the world's almonds.

Almond blossoms near Vernalis, along 132 west of Modesto 2020
Almond blossoms near Vernalis, along 132 west of Modesto

When the blossoms fall on the ground, it's covered completely by white petals, which locals call "the valley snow." It happens in early or mid-March. In addition to gorgeous pictures of the blossoms that you can share with your friends, the smell of the almond trees is no less impressive. And you can keep that memory just for yourself.

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