Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers (Everything You Need to Know)

Last Updated on October 18, 2021

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If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.

Each summer in Raleigh, the amazing Dorothea Dix Park sunflowers are a scorching topic, and not just because that July heat has announced its entrance. Seeing those beautiful flowers is one of our favorite things to do in Central North Carolina throughout the year.

And if you’re familiar with them, you’ll agree with us that this is a can’t-miss event in Oak City! So to get you better prepared for the next round in 2021, we’re sharing a few of our own photos, tips, and a bit of background on one of Raleigh’s most iconic places.

Here’s how we’ve organized this guide, in case you’re searching for something specific:

  • Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers Quick Info (Addresses and Parking Info)
  • Dorothea Dix Park Background
  • Raleigh Sunflowers Background
  • Destination Sunfest (Postponed for 2021)
  • 2021 Tips for Enjoying Raleigh Sunflowers

Hopefully, you’ll get to enjoy this awesome bucket list-worthy event along with us!

These Dorothea Dix Park sunflowers were also included in our guides covering things to do in Raleigh (including free things and those with kids)! If you’re searching for places to stay, check out these cool Airbnbs in Raleigh!

Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers Quick Info (Address and Parking Info)

  • Dorothea Dix Park: 2105 Umstead Dr, Raleigh, NC 27603
  • Sunflowers Parking: 75 Hunt Dr, Raleigh, NC 27603

Dorothea Dix Park Background

Photography Sunflower Raleigh NC Image

Clocking in at 308 acres, Dorothea Dix Park is Oak City’s largest park. Aside from housing these Raleigh sunflowers in 2021 (and hopefully beyond), there are lots of cool spots to hang out, have a picnic, fly a kite, and just enjoy the scenery.

It’s one of our favorite patches of green space in the area, and there are also cool views of the city’s skyline from some parts, including the spot where Dix Park planted the sunflowers.

Raleigh Sunflowers Background

Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers

Starting in 2010, the sunflowers were planted in different parts of the area around the Neuse River Greenway Trail. In 2018, it moved to Dix Park in a more comfortable spot.

Earth-Friendly Sunflowers

These sunflowers are eventually taken and used for biofuel that power city vehicles, so that’s another reason to go check this out and support the effort.

Honestly, I think this is a great way to mix earth-friendly practices with tourism and really applaud the efforts of Raleigh for making this more accessible to visitors.

I always felt like we were trespassing (we probably were) by going up and seeing the beautiful Raleigh sunflowers. However, they were just too pretty to avoid. Now, we’re able to check them out without the worry of breaking any rules!

We think these sunflowers are earth-friendly and also a kid-friendly event.

Destination Sunfest

Starting in 2019, Dorothea Dix Park decided it was time to celebrate these sunflowers, and Destination Sunfest is partly that.

Officially, the event celebrates the park’s completion of its Master Plan, too. But what better way to commemorate than inviting the communities of Raleigh and surrounding cities and towns to come and enjoy the sunflowers!

There is no Destination Sunfest for 2021 but we hope it will return. During this event, Dorothea Dix Park offers a Ferris Wheel, carousel, food and drink, live entertainment, and more fun waiting for you!

2021 Tips for Enjoying Raleigh Sunflowers

When to Visit

For 2021, the sunflowers will start blooming from mid-to-late July.

Address and Parking Info

Sunflowers Raleigh NC Dorothea Dix Park Image

First, Dix Park’s address is 2105 Umstead Dr but we found parking near the Dix Park Soccer Fields at 75 Hunt Dr. I absolutely recommend you arrive to Raleigh early so you can enjoy the Dix Park sunflowers. Of course, I always say that if you want to avoid crowds.

Arrive Early

We’ve arrived as early as 7:30 am and there have been huge crowds. I’m not saying you should camp out overnight, but just make this one of the first things you do if you want some awesome people-less photos!

Things to Bring

A couple of other things, bring sunscreen and some bug spray (earth-friendly, of course!) to cope with the hot sun that’s coming and any critters that are hanging around the sunflowers. Just don’t spray any bees with it!

Respect the Sunflowers Field

Most importantly, please respect the sunflowers field. That means leaving it just like you found it for the next person. Two important things to remember are this:

  • Stay on the designated paths
  • No picking of flowers or eating seeds

Ready to Experience Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers?

Is it worth it? Maybe this batch of sunflower porn tells you what I think. Just seeing the colors and so many of them justify the drive and walk out there.

Standing tall, which ain’t too bad when you’ve got the sun to contend with during the hot summer. A happy sunflower is a good sunflower to see. Is this worth it?

What do you think of these Dorothea Dix Park sunflowers? Would you get up early or wait until later and brave the heat for them? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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