If you haven’t been to Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Rhode Island, you’ve probably seen pictures. Many, many pictures. The PYO flower field, which opened in Exeter in 2015, has increasingly become a favorite spring destination in New England, thanks to its photogenic scenes of tulips planted in neat rows stretching as far as the eye can see.
In May 2021, a new Wicked Tulips location popped up, almost like a bright bud you weren’t expecting pushing itself through the soil to bloom beneath the spring sun.
This location is right here in Connecticut, on a 2-acre farm in Preston.
The novelty and proximity of the new farm makes the PYO experience here feel less touristy. It probably won’t remain that way for long, but for now, as you pull into the lot on Route 184, you almost feel like you – and all the other cars pulling in at the same time – have just stumbled across a new and as yet unknown find.
Though the Preston location is not as large as the one in Exeter, it’s still a whole lot of tulips – hundreds of thousands of them – in one very beautiful place.
The rural surroundings would be scenic enough on their own; Preston, with its small farm stands and quiet back roads, is an underrated destination for a country drive.
But the rows of red and pink and yellow and white flowers, stretching happily towards the sky in that classic tulip style, makes it all even better.
Info & Tips
Address: 382 Route 164, Preston, CT 06365
-If you want to visit Wicked Tulips, you need to purchase a ticket online. (At $17 per person, it might seem pricey, but it includes ten tulips, so if you think of it as a gorgeous bouquet plus a few hours’ entertainment and a chance to support a local small business, it’s really not that outrageous.) Your ticket lets you enter the farm within a ½ hour time slot, and then you can stay as long as you like. Once you check in, you can wander the rows of flowers with your bucket or basket and select the stems you want. You can also purchase additional flowers, as well as bulbs.
-Wicked Tulips has a very thorough website with a lengthy FAQ section, daily updates on weather conditions at the farm, and extensive information about their rules and the tulip picking experience in general.
-Tickets are released a few days at a time, not for the entire season all at once. The exact dates of the season vary, but in general tulips grow in April and May. For specific dates, bookmark the Wicked Tulips website or subscribe to their newsletter. (While you’re at it, subscribe to the TSOC newsletter, too! Just scroll all the way down this page and enter your email address.)
-For the best selection of flowers, try to book a slot at the start of the season; some of the more impressive blooms, like the black tulips, were gone by the time I visited in mid-May. (Though the field was still stunning!)
-The orange buckets you see people using in photos are available to borrow at check-in, but you can’t take them home with you, so bring your own bucket or plan to transfer your tulips to another container when you check out. Wicked Tulips will wrap your flowers for you, florist-style, if you’re giving them as a gift or just want that paper wrapping experience.
-Parking is like country fair parking, on a flat grass lot, and there’s a short walk to the field on similar terrain. There’s also a parking lot closer to the check-in area for those who can’t manage the walk.
-There are port-a-potties and sinks for hand washing right next to the field; they’re easy to get to, and they’re clean.
-On social media, it can look like Wicked Tulips exists solely to provide a background for fashion bloggers, but IRL there were plenty of moms with small children, couples, groups of friends, and people of literally all ages simply enjoying the atmosphere or hunting for the best tulips.
-If you’ve never gone to a PYO flower farm before, don’t be alarmed if your tulips look sad after their trip home in the car. Mine perked up in a few hours after being placed in a nice vase with plenty of water.