The Mantua Poppies are in full bloom! They usually start popping about 2 weeks after the Alpine Poppies bloom.
We are going to share some tips for the best experience possible, like when to go, how to get there, and what else to do in Mantua. Believe me, they are worth the drive! But it’s such a beautiful place, you’ll want to plan on staying for lunch or dinner, hang out on the beach, and make a day of it.
Every Poppy plant had dozens of blooms and they don’t bloom all at once, the the field stays in bloom for a solid 3-4 weeks.
(Find directions to the biggest field at the end of this post).
But first, let’s talk about Poppy etiquette. You can run and play tag and hid n seek and of course take all the photos. You can have a picnic, take a walk, or just sit and take in all the beautiful blooms.
We only ask one thing. Please don’t trample the poppies. There are plenty of paths through the field. Stay on the path. Also, please don’t pick the Poppies.
Please take photos to remember them, and leave them for others to enjoy.
There are thousands of blooms! It is such a beautiful site.
Do you know, “Poppy seed has been cultivated for over 3,000 years. The tiny poppy seed actually comes from the plant that produces opium. The botanical name for the poppy flower means 'sleep bearing. ' Although poppies were used in the Wizard of Oz to put Dorothy to sleep, the seed does not have this effect.”
We visited the fields twice today! Once at 6pm, as the sun was low in the sky and the light was warm and glowing. This is the best time for photos and it shows by the crowds and photographers. The field was pretty full. There was still plenary of run around and get some great shots. You just have to angle your camera right to make sure people aren’t in your shot. Or you can always Photoshop them out later.
Ok, does anyone know why some of my photos turn? This is so annoying. I'll try to fix it, but for now I just want to get you guys all the info so you can plan your day trip!
Ever since our first visit, it’s our yearly tradition to drive down the street to the Little Valley Country Store. They have .25 ice cream cones, penny candy, and THE BEST BURGERS! They are right in the middle of remodeling and expanding! They will have a full restaurant in a few weeks time and the ice cream cones will be available again in a couple weeks. But now they will be available on the beach! Along with nachos and pizza. How fun is that!
They are still in the middle of construction but you can see how beautiful it's going to be. And the grill is open right now why they are working.
Also, word on the street is that their homemade carrot cake and cheesecake is bomb. We tried the carrot cake for the first time tonight. Moist, flavorful, perfect balance of cake and fronting. We give it two thumbs up.
Out back, they have The Shack, which is now the new "store", with candy and camping items.
And behind The Shack is a beautifully shaded eating area with tables and chairs.
Who's up for the Mantua Monster challenge? Ok, it's not a real challenge, its just a huge burger, and I'm sad that I've never been able to finish one. But I do enjoy trying!
Rumor has it, that there is a monster that lives in the Mantua Reservoir. And this is the giant burger that they named after it.
Dinner is served!
The club was as big as the Mantua Monster! And equally delicious. This was my top pick (yes, I tasted everything).
We got 2 Jr Cheese Burgers for the 4 littles to share. It was the perfect amount since they come with your choice of sides (tots, fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings).
Oh, and the Carne Asada tacos, everything is made in house. So juicy and good.
After dinner and dessert, we grabbed our wheels, crossed the bridge and headed to the beach.
It was evening so we didn't plan on swimming. Plus Mantua has had a skin eating bacteria (or something crazy like that) in the water the last couple years. It's never stopped us from swimming, we just wash well afterward. But this time, tons of people were swimming. I guess it's cleared up!
Towels and bag found HERE.
The kids still had a blast riding their long boards that they bought during quarantine. These boards have been THE BEST! And they were a steal at only $59! And the helmets we found for only $25, and they actually look "cool" enough for teenagers to wear lol.
Our electric scooter is a couple years old and still runs like a champ. It was a Christmas gift to our then 8 year old, but it's big enough that adults can ride it. It's super fast too! But you can lock the speed on your phone.
Another awesome amazon find, love these knock off birks.
THE BEST Boards found HERE.
In three weeks I'll have another teenager in the house! How crazy is that.
In the summer, I always keep a mesh bag of beach toys that I can pull out at the park, the pool, the splash pad, or the beach.
Another wonky photo. My apologies. But look at that beautiful view of the river.
This is the entrance to the reservoir from the dock parking lot next to the Country Store.
After playing at the beach, we headed back to the poppies one last time. But this time, it was after 8pm.
We had the entire field to ourselves!
Wells (2.5 yrs) loved running around and playing tag with the bigs.
See, not a soul. So our rec is to go early in the morning, or later in the evening. The road to the poppies was still packed with people, but no one was in the field. We don't recommend going on the weekend, but if you do, go early. Mid day is also a great time to visit because it's the worst time for professional photos (harsh shaddows).
Here's a map, the road to the field is lined with thousands of poppies. This is a great place to get photos if you go when it's busy. But we still recommend driving to the campground to see the field.