5 Offbeat Ways to Stop & Smell the Roses in Tyler

With radiant petals of red, yellow, purple, and white, roses are the most romantic flower of them all. If you love these beautiful blooms, Tyler is the best place 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 32,000 roses of all kinds and colors.

Yet that’s not the only way to experience this side of the Rose City. Admire all the pageantry of the Texas Rose Festival (the third weekend in October), as well as some of these other rose-themed experiences you won’t want to miss.

Rose Mural at Hillside Park; Photo by @hairbyalig

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. Stroll behind Rick’s on the Square and the famous “Tyler” marquee sign to see a historic rose on what used to be the Tyler Theater. Then head over to the Visitors Center to spy a utility box covered in a bouquet of blooms. This is part of a city-wide project called “Beauty and the Box” where boring utility boxes are turned into pieces of art that you will see all over the city.

When your appetite starts catching up with you, check out the massive rose splashed on the brick wall at Twisted Root Burger Co., purveyors of tasty burgers and exotic meats like venison, elk, lamb, and rabbit. Finally, end your grand mural tour at Hillside Park, home to its own rose mural that’s a perfect selfie backdrop. Snap your photo, then check out the 14 other works painted by local artists of all ages on the 200-foot-long art wall. An outdoor gallery of sorts, it’s an ideal first taste of Tyler’s own thriving arts scene.

Matcha Rose Drink, Photo by The Foundry Coffee House

Start Your Day with a Rose Coffee or Tea

Not only are roses blooming in gardens across Tyler, you can also find them in your coffee cup. Two local coffee shops brew up delicious drinks made with the town’s favorite flower. Sip and savor the delicate aromas and flavors of homemade rose (or lavender) syrup in your cup of craft coffee or tea at The Foundry Coffee House, located right in the heart of downtown Tyler. Step into the Plaza Tower building and follow the smells of fresh brews to Café 1948, where you can order up the Matcha Rose Latte made with Japanese matcha and sweetened with rose and lavender.

Seeing roses in Tyler is a must, but tasting them is also one of the hottest things to do while you’re here.

Photo by Moon Rivers Naturals

Shop for Rose-Scented Goodies

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. Many of Tyler’s shops are stocked with rose-infused goods that make for spectacular souvenirs. Start at the Rose City’s own Moon Rivers Naturals, which has everything from a soothing rose geranium soak to the magnolia lip grit, both of which have organic rose petals. Family-run outfit 903 Handmade stocks its own rose soaps and even felt roses, while the Visitor Center’s gift shop carries rose-scented Tyler Candles from the popular Tyler Candle Co.

Of course, the gift shop at the Tyler Rose Garden Center is a 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 souvenirs to choose from.

While there, stop in to the Tyler Rose Museum to see where the rose industry in Tyler began.

Photo by True Vine Brewing Company

Savor the Rose City IPA

Big, bright, and bold, the Rose City IPA demands your attention. Although it isn’t made with roses, True Vine Brewing Company’s double dry-hopped IPA embodies Tyler’s down-to-earth spirit. As tempting as it is, the Rose City IPA is just one of many brews that you can enjoy in True Vine’s rustic taproom or on the sunbaked outdoor patio, including the refreshing Mermaids & Unicorns blonde ale and easy-drinking Round Table amber ale.

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Kiepersol Winery.

Soak up an East Texas Sunset with a Glass of Rosé

Aromas of pomegranate, cherry, and allspice greet you, followed by a taste of cranberry cream, plum, and cardamom. Alluring and complex, the rosè at Kiepersol Estates is the kind of wine best savored under a vibrant sunset. Fortunately, you can do just that at the winery’s own tasting room. Get there early and go on a tour of the winery’s production facilities, then relax with a rosè of your own. Kiepersol Estates also produces a wide array of other reds and whites, including a sangiovese, syrah, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon, all crafted with grapes grown in its own vineyard.

You can also tour Kiepersol’s distillery specializing in bourbon, vodka, and rum. Ask for one of the rose-themed mixed drinks at the bar. Indulge in the most magnificent flavors of East Texas, then spend the night in Kiepersol’s own luxurious bed and breakfast.

Exploring the Tyler Rose Garden is a must, but it’s not the only place where you can stop and smell the roses in Tyler. Discover everything else the Rose City has to offer here.