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Where to see the best wildflowers in Santa Barbara County — at Figueroa Mountain and beyond

California’s super bloom is arriving on the Central Coast, and Santa Barbara County wildflowers are already attracting visitors.

Winter rains have led to an array of brightly-colored displays — even though the biggest blooms are likely still closer to Southern California or just north in the Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo County.

Here’s a roundup of wildflower hotspots to check out throughout the Santa Barbara County region.

New Cuyama area, Highway 166

The New Cuyama area in northern Santa Barbara County is getting golden blooms near Highway 166.

A Santa Barbara Botanic Garden photo included in a KCRW Central Coast wildflower story also shows California goldfields in the Cuyama Valley.

The hillsides that overlook the valley are even bright enough to be captured in satellite photos from space.

Figueroa Mountain, Los Padres National Forest

The Figueroa Mountain recreation area near Los Olivos is carpeted with several different types of wildflowers.

Buttercups, milk maids, sky lupines and California poppies are all in bloom, according to the Wild Flower Hotline, which tracks blooms throughout Southern California.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara

For those who don’t want to undertake a lengthy hike, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden offers visitors a chance to check out wildflowers not far from the city’s downtown area.

The nonprofit’s meadow section features meadow foam, farewell-to-spring, succulent lupines and California poppies, according to the Botanic Garden’s website.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing, North County communities and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She became a staff writer in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. Lindsey is a native Californian raised in the Midwest and earned degrees from DePaul and Northwestern universities.
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