Offbeat Ways to Stop & Smell the Roses
With radiant petals of purple, red, yellow, white, and more, roses are the most romantic flower of them all. If you love these beautiful blooms, this is the perfect time to see them in all their dazzling glory. Known as the “Rose Capital of America,” roses have been serious business in this East Texas city for decades. The epicenter of it all is the Tyler Rose Garden, a 14-acre oasis home to roses of all kinds and colors and the largest rose garden in the nation.
Fall is the perfect time to visit the Rose Garden as it is one of the two times a year when roses are in peak bloom. Yet, the Rose Garden is not the only way to experience roses in the Rose City. Admire all the pageantry of the Texas Rose Festival in October, but then enjoy some of these other rose-themed experiences you won’t want to miss and may be surprised to find.
Snap a Selfie in Front of a Rose-Themed Mural
Tyler’s colorful roses are far more than garden centerpieces; they’re the inspiration behind numerous vibrant murals throughout town. Finding them is like embarking on your very own scavenger hunt in the Rose City, a journey that takes you to some of the coolest spots in the area. Start with The Eyes of Tyler mural in Downtown Tyler, a captivating work with a pair of hidden roses and just enough space in the middle for the perfect photo.
Stop at Downtown Tyler’s Visitor Center & Boutique Shop located on the square to check out more rose art including a full-wall rose mural painted by local artist, Dana Cargile. It’s an insta-worthy shot every rose-lover needs to have. Be sure to pick up a mural map to take with you as you seek out more selfie spots across town.
While in Downtown, stop at Tyler’s newest art addition: Art Alley. Art Alley is located behind the 200 block of W. Erwin Street, in the alley connecting College Avenue and Bois d’Arc Avenue. The Art Alley project was created to introduce a space for local artists to collectively display their talents and reactivate a connective alley in Downtown. The project allows multiple artists to create an art destination and showcase local talent. It’s no surprise that many of the artists have chosen to include roses in various ways in their art. An outdoor gallery of sorts, it’s an ideal first taste of Tyler’s own thriving arts scene.
These are just a few of the spots around town to get those rose selfies for the ‘gram. Tyler loves to decorate with roses, and we challenge you to see how many you can find as you explore the area. Tag your photos with #VisitTyler for a chance to be featured on our social media.
Quench Your Thirst
Not only are roses blooming in gardens across Tyler, you can also find them in your beverages. You can add homemade rose syrup to your cup of craft coffee or matcha at local coffee shops, have a Rose City Pale Ale at a craft brewery, or sip a glass of rosé overlooking a beautiful East Texas vineyard. In the Rose City, you can enjoy roses with your taste buds as well.
Tyler is home to two craft breweries, both of which feature brews with names reminiscent of Tyler. Although they aren’t made with roses, the big, bright, and bold taste of these beers demands your attention. Both breweries embody Tyler’s down-to-earth spirit, and offer fun experiences for the whole family whether sipping indoors or al fresco.
To enhance your experience, download the free Thirsty Pines Tour at GoEastTexas.com. The Thirsty Pines Tour is a mobile drinking passport experience connecting you to the region’s top craft beverage purveyors. The pass features exclusive discounts at some of the best in coffee shops, wine bars, breweries, and even a distillery in the piney woods. Those who visit a designated number of locations, will receive an exclusive “Go East Texas” stone coaster set.
Beverages aren’t the only place you find hints of roses; all over town you can find cakes, cookies, and pastries in the shape of roses or even purchase some rose-flavored jam at the Visitors Center in Downtown Tyler.
Seeing roses in Tyler is a must, but tasting them is also one of the hottest things to do while out and about.
Shop for Rose-Scented Goodies & Accessories
Candles, soaps, bath and body oils, and even beard oils. If any of these products are an essential part of your home, you’re in for a treat. Tyler’s many shops are stocked with rose-infused goods that make for spectacular souvenirs. At some of Tyler’s boutique shops you can find things like soothing rose geranium bath soaks and magnolia lip grit, both of which have organic rose petals.
The Visitor Center’s gift shop carries rose-scented Tyler Candles from the popular Tyler Candle Co. as well as silk roses for you to enjoy year-round. On select weekends the Visitor Center even sells rose bushes for you to take home and plant in your garden.
Of course, the gift shop at the Tyler Rose Garden Center is another can’t miss. Step in, and the aromas of rose-scented fragrances and candles will tickle your nose, while the selection of books, tea pots, coffee mugs, lotions, yard décor, and more provides plenty of rose-themed gifts to choose from.
While shopping around town, you’ll also find no shortage of rose jewelry, clothes, shoes, socks, and other accessories. If it’s roses you’re looking for, Tyler has them in droves.
Learn the History
It’s really easy to go about our day-to-day lives and forget the rich history of the rose industry in Tyler. While you’re exploring the rose culture, take some time to learn the history and impact the rose has had on the Tyler community.
The Tyler Rose Museum is a great place to start. Located in the Rose Garden Center, the museum was developed to preserve and display the history of Tyler’s rose growing industry and the Texas Rose Festival. History and memorabilia are housed in the museum featuring fabulous costumes and items acquired since the first festival in 1933 as well as documents the beginning of the rose industry in Tyler.
During the Texas Rose Festival, which takes place the third weekend in October every year, gardeners from the local Master Gardeners organization host guided tours throughout the garden giving visitors a better understanding of the history of the garden, the rose industry, and the amount of work it takes to maintain such a large garden.
Exploring the Tyler Rose Garden is always a must, but it’s not the only place in Tyler where you can enjoy roses. Immerse yourself in the rose culture all over town. It’s the perfect time to stop and smell the roses. Download our free digital Rose City Trail guide for a list of 20 rose-themed experiences you don’t want to miss in the Rose City! For a full list of attractions in Tyler, go to VisitTyler.com or download the free Visit Tyler, Tx App.