This 4th of July weekend, my in-laws came to visit from Denver, so we did every touristy thing you could fit into a few days. From Voodoo Doughnuts and Salt & Straw, to going back to Multnomah Falls

But my husband and I got to play tourist too by visiting two places we hadn’t been yet: The Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. I HIGHLY recommend both! Both are within walking distance of one another, so you can just park once and visit each.

The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the most peaceful and serene places I’ve ever been. I want to live there! After walking through the gates, you’re immediately surrounded by the most lush trees and bushes – breathing in the purest oxygen. Broken down into what’s called the Five Gardens, the walk through includes Koi fish, a beautiful waterfall, and a stunning view of Mt. Hood.

There is an admission fee for entry, but it’s worth every penny, especially to help keep it preserved and taken care of!  There are discounted entries for seniors, students, and military.

The International Rose Test Garden is one of the best smelling places I’ve ever been. Coming in at an impressive 4.5 acres, and housing over 10,000 roses, how could it not smell so good?  I only mentioned to my husband about a million times that we should have gotten married there (and yes, they do weddings!)

Admission is free, and voluntary donations help keep it that way!

Below is a photo gallery of both places! So take a look, and next time you’re in Portland (perhaps on a stop on one of our Columbia River Cruises), you’ll want to pay them a visit!

portland japanese garden
Portland, OR - Portland Japanese Gardens
Portland Rose Garden
The Rose Garden amphitheater
Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls