The Oregon Garden, located in Silverton, makes an easy day trip from Portland. But it’s even more fun if you spend the night at the Oregon Garden Resort. Then you can take your time, wandering through the garden both on the day of your arrival and the following morning. Overnight guests get special perks: A private entrance into the garden, and extended visiting hours.
Oregon Garden Resort
On a recent trip, I discovered that my favorite thing about the resort is how it blends right into the gardens. The garden opened in 1999 and Moonstone Hotel Properties didn’t add their hotel concession until 2006, but the execution is seamless. At times I sort of forgot we were still at the resort and not in the garden.
One-story cottages spread out over the 11-acre Oregon Garden Resort. Our one-room, pet-friendly cottage had a back private patio and super comfortable bed. There’s a pool, hot tub, spa, restaurant and lots of indoor and outdoor event space. The wedding green accommodates 200 people, while the garden green has space for 2,000!
The garden theme appears throughout the resort. Old tools adorn building exteriors, for a shabby chic meets garden shed aesthetic.
The Oregon Gardens at Oregon Garden Resort
We visited in July, when the Oregon Garden was at its hottest. The afternoon when we arrived was so bright we had to squint at the flowers, which looked gorgeous despite the heat.
The garden itself is a collection of 20 different theme gardens that have been added over the years, with more to come in the future. The Amazing Water Garden was very green, with a bridge and waterfall.
The Oregon Garden is a big art supporter, blending art with flowers year-round. But during summer, they add even more art with a special event called Art in the Garden. This year, seven Oregon-based artists were featured.
The Oregon Garden is dog-friendly, which made all the difference to our dog-loving family. But dogs aren’t the only animals in the garden. We spotted a nearly tame jackrabbit that hung around, letting me take photos of its enormous ears.
One of my favorite parts was the Children’s Garden, which included a crawl-through tunnel and a big sand pit where kids could dig for fake dinosaur bones.
The only drawback was when I whacked my head on a dolphin-shaped topiary. This was during our morning visit after spending the night at the resort, and proves I shouldn’t go anywhere before finishing my coffee.
The Gordon House Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
At the base of the hill that leads up to the Oregon Garden and resort sits the only building in the state designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Gordon House is a beautiful example of Wright’s Usonian series, which was designed for working class home buyers. Wright designed it in 1957 and it was finished in 1963, after his death. The owners, Evelyn and Conrad Gordon, lived in Wilsonville, just south of Portland. In 2001, later owners decided to destroy it. Fortunately, the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy stepped in and managed to get grants to move the home. Now it’s one more reason to visit the Oregon Garden.
If You Go to The Oregon Garden Resort
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I’ve lived in Portland since 2000, and this was my first trip to the Oregon Garden and Oregon Garden Resort. Now I want to visit in every season! I don’t think there’s a bad time of year to go. Special events happen seasonally. From January until June, you can do yoga at the garden. Yogis stretch in the resort’s Fireside Lounge in January, then move outside in spring. During the summer, you can see movies in the garden. December offers ice skating, Christmas lights and visits with Santa.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations, meals, tours and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.