Posted by: kauaikolea2 | November 8, 2011

Kauai Tropical Gardens

While being on the Garden Island Kauai, what a more beautiful and relaxing day to explore the gardens.  There are 5 prominent Tropical Gardens on Kauai, each offering a special experience.

Limahuli Gardens  808-826-1053
National Tropical Botanical Gardens, one of Kauai’s largest gardens.

In Hawaiian, the name Limahuli means “turning hands,” which recognizes the ancient Hawaiians who built agricultural terraces out of lava rock and planted cultivars of kalo (taro), an important cultural food crop.

These and other plants that were significant to the early inhabitants, as well as native species, make up the Garden’s collections. The property includes a plantation-era garden, as well as invasive species that were introduced by modern man. Limahuli Stream, one of the last pristine waterways left in the Islands, provides a habitat for indigenous aquatic life.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve is set in a verdant tropical valley on the north shore of the Hawaiian Island of Kaua`i. The Garden is back dropped by the majestic Makana Mountain and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.  Located on highway 560 a mile before Kee Beach in Kauai’s very northwest corner.   This area is one of the wetter areas easily reached by car.  Visitors report this is an excellent vacation stop.
Features 1000 acres of gardens in the Limahuli Valley.  Open 4 or 5 days a week.  Call for times and reservations.  Or reserve online at the website above.

Allerton Garden

Allerton Garden (Lāwa`i Kai) lies between the Pacific Ocean and the McBryde Garden in the Lāwa`i Valley, on the south shore of the Hawaiian Island of Kaua`i. It is a garden paradise, transformed through time by the hands of a Hawaiian Queen, by a sugar plantation magnate, and most significantly by an artist and an architect. The endless possibilities found in this dramatic topography led to the creation of this masterpiece of garden art.

A series of garden rooms unfold between the Lāwa`i Stream and the cliffs of the Valley. The sound of water is in abundance in pools, miniature waterfalls, and fountains. Statues grace this former estate and resonate with a European influence.

Towering rainforest trees with tall curving roots grow near bronze mermaids, a grove of swaying golden bamboo, a cut-flower garden, and tropical fruit trees. Here the focus is on landscape design, but among the plantings are botanically important species of the tropics, including varieties of palms, ki (ti), heliconias, and gingers.

Allerton Garden is managed by the National Tropical Botanical Garden for the Allerton Gardens Trust.

McBryde Garden

This garden is a great exhibit of tropical flora.

Situated on the south shore of the Hawaiian island of Kaua`i, McBryde Garden is nestled in the picturesque and historical Lāwa`i Valley. The site of the first garden of the NTBG, the Lāwa`i Valley was chosen for its diversity of climate, soils, and topography. The area affords a kaleidoscope of distinct micro-environments which are cool, hot, wet, dry, lake, cliff or meadow.

McBryde Garden has become a veritable botanical ark of tropical flora. It is home to the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence, extensive plantings of palms, flowering trees, Rubiaceae, heliconias, orchids, and many other plants that have been wild-collected from the tropical regions of the world. NTBG’s Conservation Program is based at this site and the Garden contains a state-of-the-art horticulture and micropropagation facility.

Meandering through the garden is the Lāwa`i Stream, transected by Bamboo Bridge in the lush greenbelt that borders it. The Canoe Garden contains plants of ancient Hawai`i and Maidenhair Falls area features such plants as chocolate, allspice, and ginger.

National headquarters for the NTBG organization, with major research and education facilities, overlook the McBryde Garden.


Smith’s Tropical Paradise  808-821-6895
Discover 30 acres of flowers, fruits, and foliage near the Wailua River Valley.  During the day, see the flower wheel, the bamboo rainforest, a replica Polynesian village, the ginger garden and fruit forest, and more.  At night the torches are lit for a traditional luau filled with scrumptious dinner and exotic pageant.

Na Aina Kai   808-828-0525













Located near Kilauea.  See the tree Park and Kaula Lagoon, International Desert Garden, Carnivorous Plant House, Poinciana Maze, and Wild Forest Garden.  Tours — from 1-5 hours in length — are offered 3 days a week, guided and limited to adults and children 13 or older.  Reservations are recommended, but drop in visitors are welcome on a space available basis.

Na ‘Āina Kai, “Lands by the Sea” in Hawaiian, is ever-evolving and unique among the world’s botanical gardens. Only here, at the crossroads of the Pacific, will you find the particular rare palette of flora, fauna, land, water, and climate that inspired the founders of these gardens to embark upon their one-of-a-kind creative endeavor.

Spanning 240 acres, Na ‘Āina Kai is a living mosaic of diverse and bounteous gardens, a hardwood plantation, a moss- and fern-draped canyon, and a pristine sandy beach stretching between a meadow and the aquamarine waters of the Pacific.

Poinciana Maze

Looking out over this sprawling creation from a nearby hillside gazebo, you will see a formidable flower pattern created with a hedge of 2400 mock orange plants. Winding, curlicue branches emanate from the design’s central stalk, which culminates at the pinnacle of the maze with an orange-flowered Royal Poinciana tree surrounded by colorful crotons.

Olu Pua Gardens  808-332-8182

Located on the south west side of the island.  This is a privately owned garden estate.

View all our amazing Kauai vacation rental properties at our website:

Islander on the Beach

Unit 111: Partial Ocean View – Ground floor – 2 Full Beds

Unit 170: Partial Ocean View – Ground floor – 2 Full Beds

Unit 222: Almost Ocean Front – Second Floor – Queen Bed

Unit 250: Ocean Front – Second Floor – King Bed

Unit 361: Ocean View – Third Floor – King Bed

Kauai Beach Resort

Unit 1317: Lagoon/Partial Ocean View – Third Floor – King Bed

Kapaa Sands

Unit 7: Ocean Front Coastal Views – Second Floor – Queen Bed

Unit 9: Ocean Front Coastal Views – Second Floor – Queen Bed




  1. […] a previous blog (, we listed some of our favorite gardens to visit on the Garden Island.  Kaua’i is lush and […]

  2. Thanks for sharing, it brings back great memories. I would definitely visit some of this places the next time I’m there.

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