Best Place to Stop and Smell the Roses

Just a couple of miles down the road from the towering buildings of downtown, on the wide expanse between the city’s Natural History Museum and California Science Center, there is an urban oasis — the Exposition Park Rose Garden.

From midspring through December, the color-filled garden has been a haven for Angelenos seeking a moment of calm since 1928. Take an afternoon to wander through the rows of lush flower beds, picnic in the outlying grass, or sit and think in one of the garden’s white gazebos. Most weekdays, you’ll find serenity, with only the sound of the garden’s cascading fountain to interrupt your thoughts.

But be forewarned that if you come on a weekend, you’ll likely encounter a wedding party or two or three. This is one of the most desirable places in the city for couples looking for a romantic spot to say their wedding vows — which also makes it a great place for people watching.

Many visitors occupy themselves by taking note of which new breeds have taken root among the approximately 145 varieties exhibited in the garden’s 15,000 or so bushes. Roses, of course, aren’t only red, but purple and pink and orange and yellow — and they have fabulous names like Sweet Surrender and Daydream, even Electron for science lovers. Here in rose land, Mr. Lincoln meets Julia Child, there’s a Brass Band with the Jazz Fest, and Love and Peace form a beautiful bud.

701 State Dr., L.A., (213) 763-0114 or Open daily 9 a.m.–sunset (closed for maintenance Jan. 1–March 15).

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