MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Are you looking for a little adventure or road trip? If so, we have just the suggestion for you!
The Sunflower Field in rural Autauga County is officially open to the public! The 16-acre field of nothing but beautiful sunflowers is a huge hit year after year to the thousands who visit.
Kim and Todd Sheridan are the two responsible for the annual display. It all started several years ago as a huge 32-acre field across Highway 14 from where the current sunflower fields are located; Todd planted sunflower seeds seeing it as a cash crop, among other purposes, for the family.
The problem is so many vehicles would stop along the highway to take pictures.
So the Sheridans decided to plant the two current fields on the south side of Highway 14, add a gravel/dirt parking lot for safety and make it easy for anyone to make a trip and see the sunflowers. Since the current fields were planted for the first time, they draw about 500-1,000 visitors per day eager to snap photos and post them to social media.
Kim says people make the trip from all over Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida.
The first of the two fields opened on July 1st and will be welcoming guests through roughly July 11th or so depending on the conditions. This includes the Fourth of July weekend. Then the Sheridans will get a break of about four days before their second field of similar size opens up roughly around July 16-18 for an additional 10 days or so!
The second field is located adjacent to the first, and the entrance will still be on Highway 14.
The fields are open 7 days a week from sun up to sun down weather-permitting. Kim says that even if it storms, they will reopen as soon as it stops. She also says the most beautiful pictures are snapped during the early morning hours or evening hours. That’s when the flowers “look” their best, the temperatures aren’t brutally hot, and the color contrast between the sky and sunflowers is gorgeous.
“It’s a happy and socially distant thing to do,” Kim tells WSFA 12 News. In a time when staying six feet apart is so important, this is certainly one thing you can do with the entire family while staying safe. A mask is not required, but you can certainly wear one if you prefer.
There is no cost to park or enter the sunflower field, but you can snip and purchase your own sunflower for $1 a piece. You can also purchase gear like shirts and towels from the tent located at the entrance of the field by the parking lot! Just be sure to have cash or a check for payment as Tyler found out there is absolutely no cell phone or internet service.
To get to this Central Alabama gem, you’ll need to plug this address into your phone or GPS: 3301 Highway 14 West, Autaugaville, 36003. Upon arriving, look for a sign that says “The Sunflower Field” and two bales of hay painted to look like gigantic sunflowers. You can’t miss it!
Just be sure to charge your phone for photos, take a means of hydration if you plan on staying a while, apply bug spray and sunscreen, and dress accordingly for the weather as it is very hot and muggy out in the field!
The drive time to the field from a handful of locations looks like this:
- Montgomery: 37 minutes
- Auburn: 1 hour 24 minutes
- Andalusia: 1 hour 52 minutes
- Demopolis: 1 hour 14 minutes
- Greenville: 1 hour 11 minutes
- Birmingham: 1 hour 32 minutes
- Mobile: 2 hours 54 minutes
- Tuscaloosa: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Huntsville: 2 hours 58 minutes