Portland, Oregon, is known as the “City of Roses” and is home to the oldest official public rose garden in the US. Located at 400 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205, the International Rose Test Garden was established to test new rose varieties and is now one of the can’t-miss attractions of the city.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about visiting.
What You’ll See
There are over 10,000 roses here of more than 610 varieties, located in Washington Park, and it dates as far back as 1917. You can see Mount Hood clearly and the Cascade Range on clear days.
You can even see the Shakespeare Garden, filled with roses named after characters in Shakespeare’s plays. There are formal walkways and a raised seating area here — perfect for taking a break from walking around.
Check out the Miniature Rose Garden if you love these roses and want to see them in miniature form. This was established in 1975 to determine which miniature roses were to go to market. And, if you want to see the award-winning roses of Oregon, the Gold Award garden is where you will find these prize-winning beauties.
When to Go
If you want to see the roses at their best, May through September are the best months for this. Early summer is the best time to visit if you have your heart set on seeing the roses in full bloom. It’s one of the top free attractions in Oregon. We recommend spending an hour or two here, soaking up the fragrance and absorbing the colors.
Planning Your Visit
The garden is open daily with free admission. If you think navigating the 10,000 roses and a 5-acre park yourself might be daunting, there are volunteer-led, free tours at 1 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekend, starting at the Rose Garden store.
How To Get Here
You’ll find the garden at 400 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205. Car parking is extremely limited in Washington Park, especially on sunny days and in the sunnier months, so it’s best to take alternative methods of transport to get here, including:
- Light rail
- Free shuttle (March – November)
The free shuttle stops at all the park’s major attractions and every 15 mins from:
- March to September: 9:30 am-7 pm daily
- October: 10am-4pm
- November 10 am-4 pm, weekends only
The gardens are easily accessible by the MAX light rail of Portland, OR. They arrive every nine minutes, and the park is only four stops away from Pioneer Courthouse Square.
While you’re in the area, check out these other beautiful spots in Portland, Oregon.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Moving from the fragrant roses, you can continue your garden-themed visit by exploring the Southeastern Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden of Portland, OR. This park is home to more than 2,500 rhododendrons and is best seen in bloom from the end of February to June.
Peninsula Park and Rose Garden
This park provides a well-rounded day that’s fit for your entire family, featuring a variety of flowers of Portland plus entertainment.
If you’re looking for a European flair, then this garden was designed by the Olmsted architects, who modeled it on the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris but with a twist. This park still has baseball fields, basketball courts, swings, and water zones so that your family will be entertained.
This garden is an absolute haven of tranquility and is said to be one of the most authentic Japanese gardens. There is a variety to intrigue your senses, from streams, walkways, and a brilliant view of Mount Hood.
Stop And Smell The Roses
If you’re looking to get outside and spend a day getting closer to nature, there is no better option than to see an International Rose Test Garden in Portland. Use this guide to plan the perfect trip.
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