The Tyler Rose Garden Center is huge! At 14 acres, it is the largest rose garden in the US. The roses are laid out in a grid pattern, and the varieties are clearly marked so it is easy to get names if you find a favorite. Be warned, there is no shade anywhere near the roses, so if it is a hot sunny day, it will be a hot sunny tour of the roses, but they are certainly worth it. The best time to view them is spring or October, when they are in full bloom, but there were lots of beautiful blooms even in July. There are also several other smaller gardens with different flowers and plants scattered around the grounds, many of them very pleasantly shaded with tall trees and relaxing water features. Well maintained walking paths connect all the gardens, and there are lots of benches if you want to sit and relax. All are worth a visit, especially the Meditation Garden, the Camellia Garden and the Idea Garden. Depending on how much you like roses, and if you want to see absolutely every one, your visit can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours.
The Rose Garden center is located across from the Tyler Convention Center, nice break if you’re there at a conference. There is no fee for admission to the rose gardens, and they have volunteer guides that have a wealth of information about the gardens and the Texas Rose Festival, held in October every year.
The Texas Rose Festival is a very elaborate affair, with a Rose Queen and a parade and lots of functions and parties. The Rose Museum, part of the Rose Garden Center explains the history of the rose industry and the festival – especially the gowns worn by the queens. OK – its mostly about the gowns worn by the queens. There are several gowns on display and lots of pictures. The gowns really are impressive. They are all hand sewn with beads and sequins and really long trains. Each festival has a theme, and the dress is created each year to match that theme. There are other historical displays interspersed among the dresses, but be prepared for a lot of absolutely gorgeous dresses. There is a charge to get into the museum. I was there on a group tour, so the admission was included, but I don’t think it was very much. You can probably get through the museum in about an hour, depending on how much time you spend gawking at the gowns!
There are washrooms available and food for sale (vending machines) and a gift shop - with everything roses! I think it’s kid friendly – there are lots of wide open spaces for kids to play in if they get bored looking at flowers. Don’t know about the museum, though. While there are lots of gowns for little girls, there isn’t much there for little boys.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.