International Rose Test Garden

400 SW Kingston Ave
Portland OR 97255
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 7:30am-9pm
  • Tue: 7:30am-9pm
  • Wed: 7:30am-9pm
  • Thu: 7:30am-9pm
  • Fri: 7:30am-9pm
  • Sat: 7:30am-9pm
  • Sun: 7:30am-9pm

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The International Rose Test Garden is one of the primary reasons Portland is known as the City of Roses. With more than 10,000 plantings of more than 650 varieties of roses planted across 4.5 acres, the garden features rose cultivars from throughout the world, all there to be tested for disease resistance, color and fragrance among other characteristics. The garden is tiered and faces downtown Portland. Its amphitheater is the scene of a number of theatrical productions and concerts in the summer, while its grounds are a popular picnic location.

Parking and public transportation at the International Rose Test Garden
Portland's Trimet bus and light rail provide mass transit to the garden, which is located at Washington Park, fewer than 4 miles from downtown Portland and minutes from nearby Beaverton and Hillsboro. The park's free shuttle picks up and drops off passengers at all park attractions, including the garden, on a 20-minute rotation between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekends and seven days a week between Memorial Day and Aug. 31.

There is some parking adjacent to the garden. Fees are $6.40 for the whole day or $1.60 per hour between 9:30 and 5 p.m. from April through September, or $4 for the entire day between October and March.

Best and worst time to visit the International Rose Test Garden
The best time to view roses in bloom at the garden is April through October, and specifically June when blooming reaches its peak. Mornings tend to be the least crowded times to view the roses. Summer is also the best time for clear views of Mt. Hood. Winter offers much less to look at, as this is when roses are dormant, any lingering petals blown away in seasonal storms.

Admission to the International Rose Test Garden
There is no cost to enter the garden. However, Portland Parks trained volunteers lead group tours for $3 per person at 1 p.m. every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Must see/do at the International Rose Test Garden
The Rose Garden Store, opened in response to popular demand in 2000, features more than just rose-themed mementos, although it is fully stocked with plenty of those. Its inventory also includes many locally made items representing quintessential Portland. The store doubles as a visitors information center, with free maps for those curious about the roses they are viewing on the grounds.

The Shakespeare Garden, which contains many botanicals mentioned in the British scribe's work, features rose varieties named after characters in Shakespearean plays. It is also a popular setting for small weddings and other intimate events.

Other places to visit at the International Rose Test Garden
Washington Park features a number of attractions in addition to the garden, including the Portland Children's MuseumOregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Japanese Garden and the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum.

Insider tip for visitors to the Portland International Rose Test Garden
Many locals frequently hike from the city to the garden. They start in the Goose Hollow neighborhood and follow a hilly, windy path through city-owned forestland until they arrive at Washington Park and the International Rose Test Garden. It takes most people between 30 and 40 minutes to walk the path.

Author's bio: LeeAnn Neal is a journalist, blogger and Pacific Northwest native.