Bluebonnet season is early March - late April in Texas, and Austin and the surrounding Hill Country makes the perfect backdrop to capture those precious bluebonnet pictures in Austin. Finding bluebonnets isn’t hard - you can actually see millions of these gorgeous purple/blue flowers just while driving around on the highway. But what about finding great spots to stop and take pictures in a big patch of the Texas state flower? You have to consider parking, backdrop, and ease of access. There are a few awesome places in Austin TX for taking bluebonnet pictures, and they’re all on the map below.
What Are Bluebonnets?
Bluebonnets (lupinus texensis) are the official state flower of Texas. They’re more of a purple-ish color than blue, but when you see them from a distance they look blue. They have clusters of blossoms on them, and they grow low to the ground…so they’re perfect for sitting in for photos!
When Is Bluebonnet Season In Austin?
It changes with the weather, so keep an eye out and be ready to go! But bluebonnets typically bloom from March-early May. Every now and then, they'll start blooming at the end of February.
Early April is the best time of year to take bluebonnet pictures in Austin, but just be ready to go at any point in the early spring. The season peaks at slightly different times every year.
Do Bluebonnets Grow In Any Other States Besides Texas?
No. They’re native to Texas and Mexico. You might find some that were grown through cultivation in Oklahoma and Louisiana (and possibly other states in the southeast corner of the country), but they’re only native to Texas and Mexico.
Are You Allowed To Pick Bluebonnets?
There are no laws saying it’s illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas! There’s a rumor going around that it’s not allowed, but yes, you can pick bluebonnets. However, depending on the location you’re visiting, it might not be allowed. For instance, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in south Austin is a botanic garden for viewing flowers, so of course, they’re not going to allow you to pick the bluebonnets.
Also, just use common courtesy. If you’re in a big bluebonnet field and a lot of people are trying to take photos, don’t pick the flowers. Leave them there so everyone can get a photo.
A few helpful tips for taking bluebonnet pictures
Watch out for snakes, ants, and bees
Do you know how a lot of bluebonnet pictures feature someone “squatting” in the field of flowers rather than sitting? Yeah, that’s a precaution against all the little critters that might be hiding in the field. Be sure to stay aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re taking a picture of young kids who might not be able to look for ant piles or snakes on their own.
Stay in designated areas
Sure, a lot of the places we’re mentioning here are public parks where you can freely roam. But if you’re visiting a designated bluebonnet photo spot, like the Wildflower Center, be sure to stay on the path and don’t roam out in the fields of flowers unless you’re sure it’s allowed. Wildflower season is fairly short in Texas, and there are hundreds of thousands of people who want to enjoy it. So be sure to stay in designated areas, so you don’t squash those gorgeous blue flowers.
It probably goes without saying, but if you’re taking bluebonnet pictures in Austin and there are a lot of other folks trying to use the same location as you, move quickly and make sure everyone has a chance to snap a photo.
One more thing….
Definitely use the map and the list below to find some tried-and-true spots in Austin to see bluebonnets. But keep in mind that sometimes the best places for bluebonnet pictures in Austin are just random little patches you find at the side of the road.
There are literally HUNDREDS of bluebonnet patches all over Austin. And you don’t need a lot of flowers to take great pictures! A very small field or patch of bluebonnets and a nice background (trees, a cool building, or just empty space that the photographer can blur) will work just fine.
10 Best Spots To Take Bluebonnet Pictures In Austin
1. Lady Bird Wildflower Center
The Wildflower Center is a botanic garden in central Texas that features more than 900 species of native Texas plants, including (you guessed it!) bluebonnets galore. They even have a designated bluebonnet photo station, so you don’t have to worry about surprise attacks from fire ants or snakes. Note that there is a small entry fee and reservations are required, but it’s worth it for this beautiful bluebonnet photo location in Austin.
2. Old Settlers Park in Georgetown
Old Settlers Park is consistently good for taking bluebonnet pictures near Austin. It’s about 25 miles north of Austin, but this 645-acre park has TONS of bluebonnets and lots of places to take a quick photo.
3. St Edward’s University
St Ed’s has a field that’s adjacent to South Congress, and it’s one of the most popular bluebonnet photo locations in Austin. It’s always full of bluebonnets (and people taking pictures!) because you have the beautiful backdrop of downtown Austin on one side, and the St Edward’s steeple on the other side. Plus, you can find free parking on nearby streets.
4. Balcones District Park
Balcones District Park can be a great spot for bluebonnet pictures in north Austin. There’s a little field on the corner of Duval and Amherst that photographers love because it’s easy to access, offers free parking, and has loads of those gorgeous Texas bluebonnets.
5. Balcones District Park Circle C Metro Park
If you’re looking for a bluebonnet photo spot in south Austin, Circle C Metro Park is a popular spot for families. There’s a free parking lot, a lot of open space (so you can find your own pocket of bluebonnets for a photo without worrying about crashing someone else’s picture), and a consistent bluebonnet display each year.
6. Natural Gardener Store
This lovely garden store in south Austin has a few little trails with wildflowers, and in the spring you can often find bluebonnets! Note that this is not a public park or a ticketed entry, so if you choose to stop by Natural Gardener to take bluebonnet photos, be sure to also support the establishment and do some garden shopping while you’re there.
7. McKinney Falls State Park
Only 13 miles from the state Capitol, McKinney Falls State Park feels much further away. It’s a beautiful oasis and one of the best places to take bluebonnet pictures in Austin. Seriously, it’s SO beautiful in the spring. With the hiking trails and picnic areas, and beautiful waterfalls, you’ll probably just want to spend a full day there instead of just taking pictures and leaving. But if you do want to make a quick stop for bluebonnet photos, be sure to reserve your spot early, because it fills up in the spring and summer.
8. St Mark’s United Methodist Church
This is one of those “just drive around and see what you find” examples, but there’s often a good display of Bluebonnets at St Mark’s United Methodist Church. They have a “wildflower meadow” on the north side of the church, and it’s a popular place for taking bluebonnet pictures in Austin.
9. Brushy Creek Park
Brushy Creek Lake Park in Cedar Park is an absolutely stunning place for family photos! You not only get to enjoy a beautiful field of bluebonnets, but you also get the lake as the backdrop to the photos. There’s also free parking, a splash pad, picnic pavilions, and a playground.
10. Pace Bend Park
You know when you see those bluebonnet pictures, and there’s a family sitting in a dense, dark-blue field of bluebonnets? Yeah, it’s probably at Pace Bend Park. It’s a 45-minute drive west of downtown Austin, but if you’re willing to commit to the trip, you'll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful bluebonnet fields near Austin. There is a small entrance fee for everyone over the age of 12, but once you’re inside, you can swim, go boating, grill, hike, rock climb, and (of course) take your lovely bluebonnet pictures.
A few other places see bluebonnets near Austin
There are bluebonnet festivals all over the Texas Hill Country! Enjoy the scenic drive out to Marble Falls (be sure to get pie at Blue Bonnet Cafe!) or the wineries in Fredericksburg, and you'll see a bunch of beautiful flowers. Spicewood, the city of Burnet, and Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area are other GORGEOUS places for bluebonnet viewing, and Texans drive from all over to see them.