See the sunflowers in bloom this July!
- The Sunflower Field is free to visit
- Dix Park is open 7 days-a-week, from dawn until dusk
Directions + Parking
Closest Park Entrances
- Hunt Drive Entrance from Western Boulevard
- Blair Drive Entrance from Centennial Parkway
Weekday Public Parking
- Gravel lot off Hunt Drive (75 Hunt Dr.)
- Paved lot near the Magnolia Room (1800 Umstead Dr.)
Evening & Weekend Parking
- Visitors are welcome to use any parking lot
- Take the Greenway to Dix Park via Rocky Branch Trail or Centennial Bikeway Connector
Know Before You Go
- We recommend outdoor essentials like sunscreen, hats, bug spray and close-toed shoes.
- Please stay on the paths in the field so as not to trample the flowers.
- Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome. Keep pets on pathways and picked up after them.
- Temporary restrooms are located near entrances of the Sunflower Field.
- Indoor restrooms are available in the The Chapel only during visitor hours.
- NC Department of Health and Human Services employees work on the campus Monday -Friday. Please be respectful of their working environment and avoid buildings and DHHS parking areas during business hours.
What is Not Allowed
- Picking or cutting the flowers
- Eating the sunflower seeds - the sunflowers are planted on a former landfill
- Off-leash pets
- Outside alcoholic beverages
- Smoking or vaping
- Weapons of any kind
- Drones or other aerial devices. These are welcome on the Big Field only.
Accessible pathways at the Sunflower Field will lead from parking located at 1800 Umstead Dr. into the picnic area and sunflower field. Please note, due to the condition and grade of the area, there is some uneven ground under the pathway matting and it is not fully ADA accessible.
Parking: Recommended ADA/accessible parking area is near the Magnolia Room at 1800 Umstead Dr. All paved parking lots have ADA parking paces.
Restrooms: ADA port-a-johns are located at the Sunflower Field and Magnolia Room. Indoor ADA restrooms are available at the The Chapel during visitor hours.
Currently, portions of Dix Park - including around the sunflower field - have uneven paths and surfaces, and are not fully accessible for all mobility needs. Accessibility is a primary focus for park improvements, planning and development. Learn more about Accessibility at Dix Park.
Planning a visit to Dix Park and have questions about accessibility? Contact us at email@example.com or 919-996-3255
We love seeing your sunflower photos!
Tag us on social media using:
Professional Photography at Dix Park
Professional photographers are welcome to have photo shoots/sessions at the Dix Park Sunflower Field, however, all commercial film or photography in a City of Raleigh Park requires a permit. You can apply for an annual film permit directly through the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. This is a one year permit and covers all City of Raleigh Parks. To apply for the permit, please contact Jennie Saponaro with Raleigh Parks at 919-996-4905 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dix Park Sunflower Facts
- The 5-acre sunflower field at Dix Park is a City of Raleigh partnership between Raleigh Water, Raleigh Parks, and the Office of Sustainability.
- Raleigh Water preps the field in spring and plants the sunflower seeds in mid-May.
- In 2023, 280,000 seeds of the Hunters Select Peredovik variety were planted.
- Raleigh Parks waters and maintains the field as the flowers grow.
- Using a hydroseeder, Raleigh Parks also plants wildflowers along the perimeter of the field.
- The sunflower field serves as a massive pollinator habitat for bees, butterflies and other wildlife.
- During peak bloom, more than 100,000 people from across the City and around the region visit the sunflowers at Dix Park.
- After the bloom is over, the sunflowers are left for birds and other wildlife to eat the seeds throughout the fall.
- Late in the year, Raleigh Water clears the field and plants a winter cover crop.
History of Raleigh's Sunflowers
For years, Raleigh Water planted sunflowers at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility fields, which were visible from the Neuse River Greenway. The sunflowers were harvested to make biofuel for City equipment at the facility. These fields are treated and not open for the public to walk through.
In 2018, the Dix Park team met with folks from Raleigh Water and the Office of Sustainability to talk about planting a new sunflower field at the park. This idea was a perfect partnership project because it not only created a stunning new garden feature at Dix Park, but also provided a safe area for people to get up close and personal with the sunflowers the City was planting.
The 5-acre location that was chosen was ideal as it sat atop a rarely trafficked hill of the former landfill surrounded by vegetation. Truly a secret garden. When the surprise sunflower field bloomed it attracted people from around the city, county and throughout the state - totaling around 30,000 visitors.
For the first few years of the Dix Park sunflowers, Raleigh Water would harvest the seeds to make biofuel during educational programs and demonstrations. Now, the flowers are left for the birds and other wildlife to eat throughout the fall.
Contact us at email@example.com or call 919-996-3255