This Portland Botanical Garden was nominated for Best in the USA – Here’s Oregon

This Portland Botanical Garden was nominated for Best in the USA – Here’s Oregon

The Pacific Northwest is known for its stunning scenery and wild places, but our tamed natural spaces are amazing, too.

One such space, the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, is in the running for the title of best botanical garden in the United States and has been nominated for Newsweek’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

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Known for its spectacular blooms of rhododendrons (among other plants), this Southeast Portland park has long been a popular spring attraction for locals and tourists, especially on Mother’s Day weekend. Although this book is very popular locally, it may be difficult to win a Readers’ Choice Award.

Crystal Springs was nominated alongside top city destinations like the New York Botanical Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and the US Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. There are also smaller, beloved attractions like Phipps Park and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, and Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.

Crystal Springs is the only nominated park from the Pacific Northwest and one of only three on the West Coast. Newsweek editors sifted through the list of candidates with the help of a small group of travel writers.

In Oregon, they had a lot of parks to choose from. In Portland alone, there are the Leach Botanical Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and the International Flower Test Garden. There’s also Oregon Park in Silverton, Shriner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, and Shore Acres State Park outside of Coos Bay.

Readers are allowed to vote for their favorite park once per day until the polls close at 9 a.m. on February 29 PT. Registration is not necessary to vote.

Best Botanical Garden is one of 15 Readers’ Choice categories currently running. Another Portland institution, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, was also nominated for Best Science Museum.

Seattle’s museums also did well, earning three nominations. The Seattle Art Museum and Chihuly Garden and Glass are both nominated for Best Art Museum, while the Frye Art Museum is nominated for Best Free Museum.

—Jimmy Hill

503-294-4077; jhale@oregonian.com; @HaleJamesB

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