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Lavender season is among us and along with it, the desire to frolic on a farm… right? Well, you’re in luck because you’ve stumbled upon your guide to 123 Farm’s Lavender Festival! 123 Farm is a beautiful organic farm located on the property of Highland Springs Ranch & Inn, which is in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California.
123 Farm at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn
Each summer since 2004, 123 Farm at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn celebrates the beginning of lavender harvest season by hosting their annual Lavender Festival. This is such a charming farm to visit at Highland Springs Resort. I enjoy the Lavender Festival every year – everything is so tranquil, it’s as if you are transported to another time!
Parking at the Lavender Festival
At the Lavender Festival, there are four options for parking. VIP Parking ($50) and Preferred Parking ($20) are both on site, with free golf cart shuttle service. For a cheaper option, you can always park on the street for free! My favorite option for parking is to take shuttle service to the festival from the Beaumont High School Stadium (10 am to 8:30 pm on Saturdays & Sundays only).
The shuttle is completely free! The stadium is about 3 miles away from the Lavender Festival. Park at the Beaumont High School Stadium and score a free, air conditioned drive to the festival! You’ll get dropped off right at the entrance!
What to do at The Lavender Festival
There is so much to do at the Lavender Festival, from shopping to live music, to activities for kiddos. Here are some of my must-do’s!
Visit the Lavender Fields
The festival focuses on creating a peaceful atmosphere to give its guests a chance to relax and enjoy the fragrance and views of the lavender fields – so, enjoy! At the festival, you are allowed to wander the 20 acres of organic lavender fields and take as many Instaworthy photos as you like – just don’t pick the lavender. 123 Farm grows a few primarily varieties of lavender – Provence, Angustifolia, Vera, and Munstead, but you can also take a peek at the sample garden. It’s home to more than 100 varieties of lavender!
Go on a horse-drawn hayride
We went on a horse-drawn hayride through the lavender fields to the 1000-year old oak tree and back. We made a reservation in advance ($10), as we were told there would be limited seating. The tours last about 15 minutes. Our friendly tour guide shared some of the history of Highland Springs Ranch & Inn and their current preservation efforts. We also learned that Highland Springs Ranch & Inn, formerly known as Highland Springs Resort, is actually Riverside County’s first historical landmark .
LAVENDER OIL DISTILLATION DEMONSTRATIONS
The farm holds demonstrations on distilling lavender twice a day 11am and 3pm on the days the festival is open. Sit back, relax, and learn all about how the lavender is grown, harvested and processed into essential oil at 123 Farm.
Make a Lavender Craft
This is perfect for adults as well as kiddos. Classes run throughout the day every day at the craft table on the main festival site. Lavender wands ($12), a lavender wreath ($35), or a lavender crown ($20).
Register for a workshop
The festival offers many workshops, and we opted for the aromatherapy workshop ($20). During the workshop, we learned how the topical application of essential oils can help relieve various ailments. After getting all the details, we got to make our own custom body oil according to our personal needs. The workshops (ranging from $9 – $35) cover topics from wine glass painting to a tour of the farm.
Shop ‘til you drop
There are so many vendors at the festival offering quality products! I could shop all day between the delicious food and other items. Throughout the festival, you’ll find lavender donuts, lavender cheese, naturally fermented sourdough bread, cultured butter, flavored olive oils and honey, lavender plants, essential oils, lavender lotions, soaps, syrups, and even culinary lavender grown right on the farm!
I could go on and on about all of their wonderful products! Be careful, or you’ll go home with one of everything!
What to eat at The Lavender Festival
The Food Court
The backbone of this festival is the definitely the ah-mazing food! The organic lavender from the farm is incorporated into various desserts and beverages. You can taste various lavender-inspired dishes, drinks, and for my vegetarian friends, they do offer a grilled veggie wrap – complete with a lavender balsamic vinaigrette. Just pull up a chair at the shaded dining area by the concert stage to relax, dine and enjoy some live music.
I could go on about the desserts! In fact, I think you should try them all! Here are my top choices:
- Honey Lavender Ice Cream $6
- Chocolate Lavender Ice Cream $6
- Lavender Cheesecake $6
- Lavender Lemon Bar $5
They had everything from lavender lemonade to lavender margaritas to lavender beer. We sampled nearly everything, because why not? What’s not to love?!
We enjoyed a lavender-inspired tea outdoors on the lawn. Reservations required, limited seating. ($30 per person, and non-refundable deposit of $20 per table). We were a bit disappointed that the pastries did not seem to come from the farm, however, our servers were lovely and I’d have to say you are really paying for the beautiful aesthetic anyway. The lavender champagne and the gorgeous scenery made the reservation worth it!
Enjoy a Buffet Dinner in the Olive Groves
The farm has beautiful, historic olive groves where they host a special lavender-inspired buffet dinner ($40, advance reservations required). The farm has roughly 1000 olive trees, some of which are over 100 years old! Although we did not stay for dinner, we walked through the beautiful olive groves and really enjoyed the scenery, right next to the lavender fields.
Visit the Lavender Festival
Be sure to pack sunscreen! While a large portion of the festival is nicely shaded, the lavender fields are in the bright sun. You might want to even bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun!
When is the best time to visit the lavender festival
The lavender varieties grown at 123 Farm are Provence, Vera, Munstead, and Angustifolia. The Angustifolia blooms in June and July, the Provence and Vera begin to bloom in mid-June, and the Munstead begins to bloom near the end of May. I would say the prime time to visit is mid-June, although that is when the festival will be the most crowded, so plan ahead and arrive early!
Traveling is good for the soul, and you don’t have to go far to get the benefits. Check out our SoCal day trip series for more!