The 1.5-acre Lyndale Park Rose Garden near the northeast corner of Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet is the second oldest public rose garden in America—and definitely one of its prettiest.
The idea came from former Minneapolis Parks superintendent Theodore Wirth, who wanted a big chunk of the park dedicated to educational flowers, trees, and shrubs. The rose garden was planted in 1908; its Greco-Roman fountain arrived 39 years later, shipped in parts from Florence, Italy. It was designated an All-America Rose Selections test garden in 1946. Today you can name check more than 100 varieties — 3,000 plants in total — as you zig and zag around the beds.
The garden’s peak display time runs from mid-June until early-October; gates are open daily from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Late summer and early fall is the best time to visit, because the colors pop more in cool weather.
Of course, roses aren’t the only attraction in Lyndale Park. We also love strolling through the charming Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardens and clomping in snow boots around the Peace Garden (née Rock Garden), which was designated an International Peace Site on May 5, 1999. The snow-capped evergreens have real winter magic, as does the garden’s 14-foot-tall bronze crane sculpture.
Lyndale Park Gardens
1300 W. 42nd St., Minneapolis, MN; 612-230-6400.