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30 Acres of Sunflowers Are Now Blooming in Maryland

But this week is your last chance to see them.

The McKee-Beshers sunflower fields, shot on July 14, 2019. Photo by Angela Pan,

It’s going to hot this weekend. Very hot. There’s at least one happy upside to that scorching sun—sunflowers.

At the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, Maryland, about an hour drive from DC, 30 acres of sunflowers are in bloom. Sadly, it’s the tail end of their two-week lifespan, with many already drooping from the weight of their seeds. (The sunflowers are spread out over three fields, and your best shot at this point, according to Jim Bennett of Maryland’s Wildlife & Heritage Service, may be field 2.) For the latest update on how the fields look, click here.

The sunflowers are planted there every year because the seeds feed the wildlife, particularly mourning doves and goldfinches. (So, please, no picking the blooms.) This is a wildlife area, not a park, so there are no restrooms or other facilities. Visitors are advised to wear long pants and hiking shoes to protect against poison ivy and ticks. Our other suggestion: Go early in the morning for the best light and photos—and the coolest conditions.

Once you’ve had your fill of flowers, head four miles back down River Road to charming Rocklands Farm, a winery and market where you can taste wines and buy fresh meats and eggs. (It’s open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.)  Pizza Brama, a mobile wood-fired pizza oven on site Saturdays and Sundays (noon to 6 p.m.), turns out great Neapolitan pies to order.


McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, July 14, 2019. Photo by Stephen Mangiulli.

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.