Can’t jet over to Provence? There’s plenty of lavender blooming in the States this summer.
Calendar images and Instagram photos of purple fields blooming with lavender are often shot in the South of France. Our own country boasts equally photogenic and wildly fragrant lavender crops, which bloom in June and July. From Texas to Martha’s Vineyard—and even a small Wisconsin island (yes, you read that right), plus California wine country—here are 11 farms to experience the lavender harvest.
INSIDER TIPMany of the farms sell lavender sachets and other products born out of these plants in their retail shops, and even more of them serve up lavender-infused dishes and sweet treats (or let you pick your own lavender fresh out of the fields). Also, some lavender fields are at wineries, which means bubbles or a glass of crisp white wine isn’t far away–one farm even offers yoga.
WHERE: Stonewall, Texas
A pioneer in Texas Hill Country’s wine scene, Becker Vineyards’ Dr. Richard Becker and his wife, Bunny, traveled to France, studying various varietals, before planting 10,000 lavender plants in 1998. Today there are only 500 plants—mostly Stoechas, a Spanish varietal—after a drought one year and extreme rainfall another. Sold in the winery’s tasting room are lavender soaps, lip balm, candles, sachets, eye pillows, and more.
INSIDER TIPBecker Vineyards’ annual Lavender Festival the first weekend of May hosts experts in cooking with and gardening lavender.
WHERE: Washington Island, Wisconsin
Hop a ferry from the northern-most tip of the Door County peninsula to reach Fragrant Isle. After her retirement from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, France-born Martine Anderson planted 9,000 lavender plants in 2012, opening the business the next year on a 21.7-acre plot with two friends and her husband. Branded lotions, bubble baths, essential oils, and aftershaves are joined by edibles (like chopped cherry and lavender jam) in the shop. There’s even lavender dog biscuits to bring home to your favorite four-legged friend.
INSIDER TIPShort on time? Fragrant Isle’s Fish Creek store is farther south and saves you the ferry ride.
Matanzas Creek Winery
WHERE: Sonoma, California
This Sonoma County winery’s lavender crop is built on a slope, which makes for stunning photos. While the winery—which is known for its Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot—debuted in 1977, lavender was only planted in 1991. Don’t leave without scoping out the goods in the Lavender Market, such as body butter, bath salts, clay facial masks, spray mists, and lip butter.
INSIDER TIPMake the flight home less stressful with Matanzas Creek Winery’s roll-on essential oil, scented with lavender.
Cape Cod Lavender Farm
WHERE: Harwich, Massachusetts
Looking for another reason to visit charming Cape Cod? This 12-acre lavender farm could be it. Among the varietals planted since the farm’s 1995 beginnings are Grosso, Provence, and Munstead, for a total of around 7,000 plants. The current owners are the family’s third generation. If you’re a gardener and live locally, scoop up lavender plants sold on site. Souvenirs in the gift shop on the property include lavender candles, essential oil, and shampoo-conditioner sets. Five years ago, the Enchanted Garden expanded with faerie houses and other whimsical delights.
INSIDER TIPBring your hiking boots because surrounding Cape Cod Lavender Farm are 75 acres of conservation land.
Purple Haze Lavender
WHERE: Sequim, Washington
Sporting perhaps the coolest name ever for a lavender farm, Purple Haze Lavender books overnight guests at a farmhouse on its seven-acre certified-organic property in Washington’s Dungeness Valley. About 50 different varietals—including those from England, Spain, and France—are represented within the 15,000 lavender plants. On top of shopping for lavender goods in the gift shop, you can also sign up for classes in all things having to do with these purple plants, like an herbal-vinegars class.
INSIDER TIPArrive at Purple Haze hungry and thirsty: Lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade are served.
Sage Creations Organic Farm
WHERE: Palisade, Colorado
Among the activities offered at Sage Creations Organic Farm are pick-your-own lavender, a tour through its greenhouses and classes on growing lavender (which is perfect if you’re considering planting lavender in your yard). There are also classes in crafting with lavender (such as wreath-making). The farm also makes and sells products like lavender bug spray and lavender dryer bags, plus just-brewed Baba’s Brew kombucha.
Hope Hill Lavender Farm
WHERE: Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Not only does Hope Hill Lavender Farm harvest lavender—and uses it to make products like essential oils, candles, and lip balm, sold in the shop—the farm also keeps bees who make honey. Plants can also be purchased at the farm. In 2004 the owners bought this former Christmas-tree farm as a place for their two rescue horses (which you can meet) and six years later planted their first lavender crop.
INSIDER TIPGuided farm tours ($5) are Saturdays at 11 am in June, July, and August.
New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm
WHERE: Baraboo, Wisconsin
Now in its third year, New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm near Wisconsin’s capital city of Madison harvests 21 varieties of lavender on its 40 acres. This family-owned business also farms cherries. If you’re a foodie, you’ll need to try the lavender ice cream as well as lavender chocolate fudge and lavender-cherry pie. For $12, the farm-to-table tour introduces you to the farm’s lavender-knot garden (in the style of English gardens) and a five-acre wildflower bee sanctuary, all by wagon, concluding with a tasting.
INSIDER TIPTime your visit with the Sauk County Lavender Festival in early July.
Hood River Lavender
WHERE: Hood River, Oregon
Farming chemical-free lavender since 2003, Hood River Lavender is named for its nearby water source in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. From pick-your-own lavender bouquets to snapping up purchases like lavender essential oil or sampling lavender ice cream, it’s easy to spend a couple of hours here. In early July Lavender Daze Festival attracts many locals but is also worth designing trip dates around.
INSIDER TIPA unique retail item at Hood River Lavender is organic lavender-scented household cleaner.
White Oak Lavender Farm
WHERE: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Hosted at The Purple Wolf Vineyard, White Oak Lavender Farm leads daily tours ($9) of its Shenandoah Valley lavender fields. This includes access to the labyrinth, duck pond, life-size checkerboard, and the opportunity to pick lavender stems when in bloom. Among items sold in the shop are lavender ice cream and the winery tasting room pours its 10 wines.
INSIDER TIPFor $5, you can pick up to 35 stems of lavender to take home.
Lavender Hill Farm
WHERE: Boyne City, Michigan
A popular location for weddings, Lavender Hill Farm—63 miles north of Traverse City—also puts on a live-music series on Saturday evenings during summer. With an eye on introducing visitors to farm life, this family-owned farm also hosts yoga classes on Fridays and retails lavender products in its shop. A 20-minute guided tour on a golf cart ($5) answers all of your pressing lavender questions.