Gazing upon its rows of roses, one would never imagine that it was once the site of a notorious amusement park in the 19th century – replete with brothels, bookies and the world’s longest outdoor bar.
In 1913, the park of ill-repute was razed and in its place a museum and a state armory were raised, alongside a 7-acre sunken garden bursting with wildflowers from all corners of the state.
Fourteen years later, the garden was replanted as a rose garden, the largest in the nation at the time. Since then, it has played host to two Summer Olympics, generations of teen-aged lovebirds and countless wedding ceremonies.
Today, the garden is a scented oasis of 15,000 rose bushes across 145 varieties. It is in bloom March thru November; and especially fragrant in March and April.
The garden is closed for pruning Jan 1-Mar 15
It is unlawful to pick the flowers. Jogging, skateboards, bicycles and animals (except guide dogs) are also prohibited.
Metro Rail: Expo Park / USC (Expo line), plus 2 block walk