Botanical Garden Hawaii: Where to Find the Best Tropical Beauty

Botanical Garden Hawaii
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Botanical Garden Hawaii: Where to Find the Best Tropical Beauty

Want to see a beautiful botanical garden Hawaii offers? There are lots of great options throughout the Aloha State, and we’re sharing them today!

Admiring and Learning

The islands of Hawaii are notorious for lush, green, exotic beauty and it’s no wonder why so many people travel the world over to witness these tropics.

You can explore Hawaii’s rainforests freely via hiking and walking, but sometimes it can be more enjoyable to explore the flora and fauna while learning about them as well. This is best done in a Hawaii botanical garden, where you can find maps, signs, and guides to help lead the way and point out the most interesting things.

Since there is much to see in the dense forests of Hawaii, visiting a botanical garden is one of the best ways to maximize the experience. Plus it’s safe and fun for people of all ages, a great activity for the whole family while on vacation. 

The Best Botanical Gardens in Hawaii

With over 35 different gardens to explore, you won’t be short of tropical adventures, and you’ll surely gain an education on Hawaii’s unique geography. 

I’ll list and describe a few of my favorites, and further below, you’ll find a complete list of arboretums, botanical gardens, plantations, and preserves. So be sure to work one or more of these botanical gardens into your Hawaii vacation.

Lyon Arboretum

Honolulu, Oahu
Lyon Arboretum is the nation’s only university botanical garden located in a tropical rainforest in the nation. It’s also the only easily accessible tropical rainforest on the island of Oahu.

This Hawaii arboretum and botanical garden is nestled in the valley of Manoa and spans almost 200 acres. With over 5,000 tropical plant species, the Lyon Arboretum works to restore Hawaii’s forests and is also an active research facility. 

Lyon Arboretum1

It is a beautiful place for a picnic and offers acres of walking paths to explore- the perfect respite from the crowds of Waikiki.

It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Admission is donation-based ($10 per person is recommended)

Waimea Valley

North Shore, Oahu
We like Waimea Valley because it’s a fun, safe, and accessible hike on private property. It’s well maintained, so it feels both like a wild rainforest and a tended garden. 

This garden is unique because, at the end of the walk, guests can opt to swim in the waterfall that culminates the tour. Along the way, there are many nooks to explore, and kids love wandering through this safe and beautiful environment. 

Gardens at Waimea Valley
Gardens at Waimea Valley

Deeply rooted in history, Waimea Valley is a plethora of culture alongside its flora and fauna, and it is a wonderful landmark to learn about during your stay on Oahu. And I definitely recommend a swim in the waterfall.

Waimea Valley is open daily from 9 AM until 4 PM. Admission ranges from $15 to $25 with discounts available for kamaaina. 

Allerton Garden

Lawai, Kauai

How about a Hawaii botanical garden on the island of Kauai?

Located on the south shore of the Garden Isle, Allerton is a garden paradise that has been passed down and upkept by many hands, beginning in 1848 with James Young Kanehoa, an advisor to King Kamehameha I. 

From there, it was passed down to his niece Queen Emma, who planted a variety of flora, which still grace the gardens today. With varied topography ideal for growing both native and exotic plants, Allerton is a beautiful and sunny place to spend an afternoon in Poipu.

Allerton Garden Kauai - botanical garden in Hawaii

Allerton Garden is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Guided tours start at $65 per person. 

They also offer dinner tours, complete with Polynesian entertainment.

Learn more about the best botanical gardens in Kauai here!

Garden of Eden

Hana, Maui
This Hawaii botanical garden and arboretum is located in the lush interiors of Hana on Maui’s north side. It is a wonderful stop-off during your cruise around the Hana Highway, and it boasts 26 acres of trails to explore. 

Rare trees and tropical plants adorn the trails, and you can walk among the orchards and forests and discover hidden waterfalls on this property.

Garden of Eden Maui

With over 500 botanically labeled plants and the most extensive collection of Ti plants in the state, Garden of Eden is truly a paradise.

Garden of Eden is open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM. Admission is $20 per adult and $10 per child (kids under 5 are free).

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Hamakua, Big island
Situated along 4 miles of scenic coastline in Hamakua, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is literally a ‘garden in a valley on the ocean.’ With 40 acres of tropical plants and over 2,000 different species, this preserve is blessed with fertile volcanic soil that creates a true tropical rainforest. 

The Palm Vista Trail in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
The Palm Vista Trail in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

Explore the various trails and witness waterfalls, quaint streams and panoramic views here, and you will see what makes Hawaii such a sanctuary of flora and fauna.

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Admission is $30 for adults and $22 for kids (ages 5 and under are free). 


Every Botanical Garden in Hawaii

Oahu

  • Foster Botanical Garden – Honolulu
  • Koko Crater Botanical Garden – Honolulu *free to visit*
  • Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden –  Honolulu *free to visit*
  • Lyon Arboretum – Honolulu
  • Queen Kapiʻolani Garden – Honolulu *free to visit*
  • Wahiawa Botanical Garden – Wahiwa *free to visit*
  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden – Kaneohe *free to visit*
  • Waimea Valley – Waimea

Maui Botanical Gardens

  • Garden of Eden – Haiku
  • Spirit of Aloha Botanical Gardens & Bird Sanctuary – Haiku
  • Kula Botanical Garden – Kula
  • Kahanu Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden – Hana
  • About the Hana Maui Botanical Gardens – Hana
  • Ke’anae Arboretum – Ke’anae *free to visit*
  • Maui Nui Botanical Gardens – Kahului
  • ʻĪao Valley State Monument – Wailuku

Kauai

  • Moir Gardens – Poipu
  • Smith’s Tropical Paradise – Kapaʻa
  • Allerton Garden – Lawai
  • McBryde Garden – Koloa
  • Limahuli Garden and Preserve – Hanalei
  • Princeville Botanical Gardens – Princeville
  • Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens – Kilauea
  • Anaina Hou Community Park – Kilauea

Hawaii Island Botanical Gardens

  • Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens – Hilo *free to visit*
  • Botanical Garden at University of Hawaii – Hilo *free to visit*
  • Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens – Hilo *free to visit*
  • Nani Mau Restaurant & Garden – Hilo
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden – Papaikou
  • Manuka State Wayside Park – Naalehu *free to visit*
  • Botanical World Adventures – Hakalau
  • Kalopa State Recreation Area – Honokaa *free to visit*
  • Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden – Captain Cook
  • Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary – Captain Cook
  • Sadie Seymour Botanical Gardens – Kailua-Kona
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