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International Rose Test Garden picture in Portland, OR
All the pretty roses picture in Portland, OR
International Rose Test Garden picture in Portland, OR
International Rose Test Garden picture in Portland, OR
All the pretty roses picture in Portland, OR
International Rose Test Garden picture in Portland, OR

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • Free
  • 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Details

  • Parks and Gardens Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 8 interviews

  • Must-see
  • Recommended
  • If You Have Time

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Not until you visit these sprawling gardens will you fully understand the reasoning behind one of Portland's nicknames, the City of Roses. Established in 1917 by the American Rose Society, it began as a sanctuary for European grown hybrid roses during World War I and is now the oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States.

Home to more than 10,000 roses, the site also offers the special Shakespeare Garden, which is filled with roses that are named after the characters in William Shakespeare's plays. To get a peek at smaller versions of your favorite roses, check out the Miniature Rose Garden. The award-winning roses are found in the aptly named Gold Award garden. If you have your heart set on seeing the roses in full bloom, plan an early summer visit.

If navigating the nearly 5-acre park seems overwhelming, volunteers lead daily free tours at 1 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Meet the guide at the Rose Garden store 10 minutes prior. Recent visitors were awed at the beauty of the gardens and at the price for enjoying the gardens (free!).

The garden is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You can drive to Washington Park, though parking can be tricky (especially in the summer) and expensive. You can view the parking availability within the park online. TriMet bus No. 63 offers service to the garden and connects to the MAX stations at Oregon Zoo and Providence Park. You can also take the Red or Blue line MAX train to the Washington Park stop (the zoo) and then take a free Explore Washington Park shuttle to the garden. For more information, visit the Portland Parks and Recreation website.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Hotel deLuxe

Hotel deLuxe ...

  • 0.9 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
Park Lane Suites and Inn

Park Lane Suites and Inn ...

  • 0.5 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
Inn at Northrup Station

Inn at Northrup Station ...

  • 1.0 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Portland, OR »

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#1 Powell's City of Books Whether or not you're an avid reader, Powell's City of Books is worth checking out. It occupies a square city block and rises three stories high; in fact ... Read more » Ethan Trewhitt / Flickr

#2 Portland Japanese Garden When the hustle and bustle of Portland start to get the best of you, you can seek out the Zen-like tranquility at the Japanese Garden within Washington Park. Read more » Steve Prezant / Getty Images

#3 International Rose Test Garden Not until you visit these sprawling gardens will you fully understand the reasoning behind one of Portland's nicknames, the City of Roses. Established in 1917 by the American Rose ... Read more » Png-Studio / Getty Images

#4 Washington Park Many critics, travelers and locals agree that of all of Portland's parks (and they are numerous), Washington Park is perhaps the best. Home to such notable landscaping feats as ... Read more » Courtesy Explore Washington Park

#5 Forest Park If you're looking to spend some time outside but aren't willing to make the trek to Mount Hood, Forest Park is the place to go. With more than ... Read more » Sankar Raman / Getty Images

#6 Lan Su Chinese Garden Occupying an entire city block, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is among some of the only authentic Chinese gardens in the country. Modeled after China's Ming dynasty gardens, the Lan Su ... Read more » JonathanCohen / Getty Images

#7 Portland Art Museum As the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Art Museum set the bar high for its followers. It is home to Oregon's most prestigious collection, including works ... Read more » Courtesy Portland Art Museum

#8 Pittock Mansion The 16,000-square-foot Pittock Mansion is one of Portland's few historic attractions and definitely one of the most unique. Commissioned in 1912 by Henry Pittock – the owner of The ... Read more » timnewman / Getty Images

#9 Mount Hood Towering over the Portland skyline is Mount Hood, the region's prime skiing area. When the snow begins to fall, grab your gear and head east, where numerous powdery downhill ... Read more » Xuan Che / Getty Images

#10 Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Whether you need to keep the kids entertained for a few hours or just need a way to spend a rainy day, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is ... Read more » Gia Goodrich / www.travelportland.com

#11 Tom McCall Waterfront Park Named for a former Oregonian governor, this 30-acre park stretches alongside the Willamette River in downtown Portland and provides some of the best views of the city's skyline. Because ... Read more » (c) Joe McLauglhin / Getty Images

# Forktown Food Tours Read more » www.travelportland.com

# Multnomah Falls Read more » Mark C Stevens / Getty Images

# Oregon Zoo Read more » Julie Cudahy / www.travelportland.com

# Willamette Valley Wine Tasting Read more » tomwachs / Getty Images

Powell's City of Books picture in Portland, OR
Portland Japanese Garden picture in Portland, OR
International Rose Test Garden picture in Portland, OR
Washington Park picture in Portland, OR
Stroll through Forest Park picture in Portland, OR
Lan Su Chinese Garden picture in Portland, OR
Portland Art Museum picture in Portland, OR
Pittock Mansion picture in Portland, OR
Mount Hood picture in Portland, OR
OMSI picture in Portland, OR
Tom McCall Waterfront Park picture in Portland, OR
Forktown Food Tours picture in Portland, OR
Multnomah Falls picture in Portland, OR
Oregon Zoo picture in Portland, OR
Willamette Valley picture in Portland, OR
Powell's City of Books picture in Portland, OR
Portland Japanese Garden picture in Portland, OR
International Rose Test Garden picture in Portland, OR
Washington Park picture in Portland, OR
Stroll through Forest Park picture in Portland, OR
Lan Su Chinese Garden picture in Portland, OR
Portland Art Museum picture in Portland, OR
Pittock Mansion picture in Portland, OR
Mount Hood picture in Portland, OR
OMSI picture in Portland, OR
Tom McCall Waterfront Park picture in Portland, OR
Forktown Food Tours picture in Portland, OR
Multnomah Falls picture in Portland, OR
Oregon Zoo picture in Portland, OR
Willamette Valley picture in Portland, OR

An attraction all its own, Powell's City of Books spans more than 68,000 square feet.  Ethan Trewhitt / Flickr

The Zen-like Japanese Garden is nestled in Portland's Washington Park. Steve Prezant / Getty Images

One of 11 test gardens in the country, the International Rose Test Garden has more than 650 varieties of the flower.  Png-Studio / Getty Images

Washington Park is home to some of the city's most popular attractions. Courtesy Explore Washington Park

One of Portland's many parks, Forest Park is the largest urban park in the United States.  Sankar Raman / Getty Images

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is the largest garden of it's kind outside of China. JonathanCohen / Getty Images

The Portland Art Museum is home to Oregon's most prestigious collection, including works from the European masters, Japanese screen prints and contemporary American pieces.  Courtesy Portland Art Museum

This mansion is named after Henry Pittock, the publisher of The Oregonian newspaper. Aside from its history, it also offers stunning panoramic views of the city. timnewman / Getty Images

Mount Hood is a popular skiing destination near Portland.  Xuan Che / Getty Images

Turbine Hall at the OMSI features exhibits that teach kids about physical science. Gia Goodrich / www.travelportland.com

The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a popular hangout spot that stretches out along the Willamette near downtown Portland. (c) Joe McLauglhin / Getty Images

Forktown Food Tours offers a variety of tours through Portland's foodie neighborhoods and comes highly recommended from past visitors. www.travelportland.com

Less than an hour's drive east from the city is the awe-inspiring Multnomah Falls. The 611-foot fall is definitely worth the trip. Mark C Stevens / Getty Images

You'll find the Oregon Zoo in Washington Park. Julie Cudahy / www.travelportland.com

Past visitors highly recommend planning a daytrip to the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley with Wildwood Adventures. The tour outfitter stops at a selection of wineries and offers transportation to and from downtown Portland. tomwachs / Getty Images

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