Exploring Hawaii's Botanical Gardens: A Floral Paradise

This American state is famous for many things. Of course, world-class beaches are one of the first things that come to mind, along with impressive marine diversity, surfing, volcanoes and, of course, Pearl Harbor. With such a diverse offer of attractions, some things seem to be unjustifiably neglected and Botanical Gardens are definitely among them.

This group of islands is famous for its natural beauty but not many people know that there are also numerous botanical gardens. More precisely, there are 33 of them and all offer impressive floral diversity. That’s why we are dedicating this article to this Hawaii’s treasure.

Here are some of Hawaii’s best botanical gardens:

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a spectacular botanical garden located on the Big Island of Hawaii, near the town of Hilo. Situated on the scenic Hamakua Coast, the garden is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse plant collections, and its commitment to conservation and education.

The garden is nestled within a lush tropical valley, spanning approximately 40 acres of land. It is situated along the Onomea Bay, offering breathtaking views of the coastline, the Pacific Ocean, and the surrounding cliffs.

It is home to a remarkable collection of tropical plants from around the world, with an emphasis on preserving and showcasing plants native to Hawaii. Visitors can explore a wide variety of flora, including exotic orchids, vibrant heliconias, fragrant gingers, towering palms, and a plethora of tropical trees and shrubs. The garden's diverse plantings create a vibrant tapestry of colors, textures, and scents.

The garden features a network of well-maintained pathways that wind through its stunning landscape. Visitors can stroll along tranquil streams, cross picturesque footbridges, and encounter numerous waterfalls that cascade down moss-covered rocks. The combination of the garden's botanical wonders and the soothing sounds of nature create a serene and immersive experience.

As an added attraction, the garden features the Onomea Bay Trail, which extends beyond the garden's boundaries. This scenic coastal trail offers panoramic views of the bay, rugged lava cliffs, and opportunities to observe native wildlife and marine life.

Botanical World Adventures

Botanical World Adventures is an expansive nature park and botanical garden located on the Big Island of Hawaii, near the town of Hilo. It offers visitors a range of outdoor activities, including botanical exploration, scenic trails, and thrilling adventure experiences. 

The park features several beautifully landscaped botanical gardens that showcase a diverse array of tropical plants and flowers. Visitors can wander through the gardens and immerse themselves in the lush surroundings, enjoying the vibrant colors, exotic fragrances, and the peaceful ambiance.

One of the highlights of Botanical World Adventures is its thrilling zip line course. The Zip Isle Zip Line Adventure takes visitors on an exhilarating ride through the treetops, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and the Pacific Ocean. It's an adrenaline-pumping experience that combines adventure with the beauty of nature.

The park features scenic walking trails that meander through the lush rainforest and botanical gardens. One of the highlights is the World Botanical Gardens Waterfall Walk, which leads to the picturesque Umauma Falls. Additionally, the park boasts a suspension bridge that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Botanical World Adventures is also home to an Orchid Wall, where visitors can admire a stunning display of various orchid species. The park also features a Tropical Maze, which adds an element of fun and challenge as visitors navigate through the winding pathways and lush vegetation.

Maui Garden of Eden

The Maui Garden of Eden is a scenic botanical garden located on the Road to Hana, on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is situated in the lush and picturesque Keanae Valley, offering visitors an enchanting experience surrounded by natural beauty. 

The Maui Garden of Eden has also served as a backdrop for various film and television productions. Some notable movies that have been filmed in the garden include "Jurassic Park" and "The Tempest." As you explore the grounds, you may recognize familiar settings from these films.

The Garden of Eden showcases an extensive collection of tropical plants, flowers, and trees. As you wander through the gardens, you'll encounter a diverse range of species, including vibrant orchids, exotic palms, fragrant hibiscus, and many other tropical flora. 

The garden's location in the Keanae Valley provides stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of lush rainforests, towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and the sparkling coastline. The garden's elevated vantage points offer fantastic photo opportunities and a chance to soak in the natural beauty of Maui.

One of the highlights of the Maui Garden of Eden is the series of beautiful waterfalls that can be found within the property. The most prominent among them is the Puohokamoa Falls, which plunges down a dramatic cliff face and creates a mesmerizing sight. These waterfalls add to the enchanting ambiance of the garden and provide a tranquil backdrop for relaxation.

The garden is home to an aviary that houses a variety of colorful tropical birds. Visitors can observe these fascinating winged creatures up close and learn about their habits and characteristics. Additionally, the Garden of Eden provides opportunities to spot other wildlife, including butterflies, geckos, and even peacocks that roam freely.

Kula Botanical Garden

Kula Botanical Garden is a charming botanical garden located in the upcountry region of Maui, Hawaii. Situated in the town of Kula, at an elevation of approximately 3,300 feet (1,000 meters), the garden offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a variety of plant collections and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. 

The garden spans over 8 acres and features a diverse range of plants, including native Hawaiian species, exotic tropical plants, and a variety of colorful flowers. Visitors can wander through well-maintained pathways and discover an array of flora, such as orchids, protea, bromeliads, succulents, ferns, and various trees and shrubs.

Kula Botanical Garden is located on the slopes of Haleakala, Maui's dormant volcano, offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding upcountry landscapes. From the garden, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of rolling hills, distant mountains, and glimpses of the sparkling ocean. The garden's elevated location provides a unique perspective on Maui's beauty.

The garden incorporates several water features, including ponds, streams, and small waterfalls. These elements add to the tranquil ambiance and create an atmosphere of serenity. Visitors can pause and relax by the water features while taking in the peaceful surroundings.

Kula Botanical Garden places emphasis on showcasing native Hawaiian plants and educating visitors about their cultural and ecological significance. You can find indigenous species that are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, allowing for a deeper understanding of the unique flora of the region.

Kula Botanical Garden

Na ‘Āina Kai Botanical Gardens

Na ʻĀina Kai Botanical Gardens is a stunning 240-acre private botanical garden located on the northeastern coast of Kauai, Hawaii. This expansive garden offers a unique blend of botanical wonders, artistic features, and cultural exhibits. 

The garden showcases a diverse range of plants, including tropical species, native Hawaiian flora, and plants from other regions around the world. Visitors can explore themed gardens, each with its own unique plant collections. The gardens include a palm garden, a tropical rainforest, an orchid collection, a fragrant garden, and a hedge maze.

Na ʻĀina Kai Botanical Gardens boasts an extensive collection of sculptures scattered throughout the property. These sculptures represent a variety of styles and themes, adding artistic flair to the garden's natural beauty. Visitors can admire the unique integration of art and nature as they wander through the garden.

One of the highlights of the garden is the Japanese Garden, known as the "Tuinkyo" Garden. This traditional Japanese-style garden features meticulously manicured landscapes, serene ponds, authentic tea houses, and Japanese architectural elements. It offers visitors a peaceful and contemplative atmosphere.

The garden extends to the oceanfront, where visitors can enjoy beautiful coastal views and explore beachfront gardens. These areas feature unique plantings adapted to the coastal environment, allowing visitors to appreciate the transition from garden to shoreline.

Na ʻĀina Kai Botanical Gardens incorporates Hawaiian cultural exhibits to showcase the rich heritage of the islands. Visitors can learn about Hawaiian traditions, crafts, and history through interactive displays, including a replica of a Hawaiian fishing village and traditional hale (thatched houses).

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden is a serene and picturesque botanical garden located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Situated in Kaneohe, on the eastern side of the island, this garden spans over 400 acres and is known for its lush landscapes, scenic vistas, and tranquil atmosphere. 

The garden's expansive grounds feature a diverse array of plants, trees, and flowers. Visitors can explore a variety of environments, including tropical rainforests, tranquil ponds, meandering streams, and open meadows. The garden's captivating beauty offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden is home to an extensive collection of tropical plants from around the world. Visitors can discover a wide range of flora, including native Hawaiian species, palms, tropical fruit trees, heliconias, bromeliads, and a variety of colorful flowers. The garden's plantings showcase the rich botanical diversity found in the Hawaiian Islands and beyond.

The garden is nestled against the majestic Koʻolau Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, lush valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas while strolling through the garden or from various viewpoints within the grounds.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden provides several picnic areas, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely outdoor meal amidst nature. The garden also offers a camping area, allowing visitors to spend the night under the stars and wake up to the sounds of birdsong and rustling leaves.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating (non-motorized), and nature walks. Visitors can enjoy peaceful moments by the garden's tranquil lakes, go on hiking trails that wind through the surrounding mountains, or simply relax amidst the serene natural surroundings.

Foster Botanical Garden

Foster Botanical Garden is a historic and enchanting botanical garden located in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Established in 1853, it is one of the oldest public gardens in Hawaii and offers visitors a peaceful escape amidst the bustling city. 

Foster Botanical Garden is renowned for its diverse collection of tropical plants from around the world. The garden showcases an array of palms, orchids, gingers, heliconias, bromeliads, and other tropical flora. Visitors can explore the garden's themed areas, including the Economic Garden, Herb and Spice Garden, and the Prehistoric Glen, which features plants that have existed since the time of dinosaurs.

The garden is home to an impressive collection of exceptional trees, including some of the largest and oldest specimens on the island. Notable trees include the towering African sausage tree, the immense Buddha's hand tree, and the majestic Cannonball tree, which produces large, round fruits. These magnificent trees add to the garden's serene ambiance and provide shade for visitors.

Foster Botanical Garden features an Orchid Conservatory, a greenhouse dedicated to showcasing a stunning array of orchid species. Visitors can admire the intricate and colorful blooms of these fascinating plants, which are known for their beauty and diversity.

The Lyon Orchid Center is a highlight of Foster Botanical Garden. Named after a prominent orchid collector, the center houses a vast collection of orchids from around the world. Visitors can witness the incredible variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of orchid blooms, and learn about their cultivation and care.

The garden incorporates several ponds, streams, and waterfalls, adding a soothing element to the surroundings. Visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the Lily Pond, stroll along pathways that meander through lush landscapes, and appreciate the garden's unique design and layout.

Foster Botanical Garden has a rich history and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The garden's location was once part of Queen Emma's estate, and it has evolved over time into the botanical treasure it is today. Walking through the garden, visitors can appreciate the sense of history and heritage that permeates the space.

Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens

Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens

Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and educational experiences. It serves as a place of preservation, where visitors can explore the diverse flora of Hawaii, learn about the indigenous culture, and appreciate the tranquil beauty of Waimea Falls and its surrounding landscapes.

The garden spans approximately 1,875 acres and features a diverse collection of tropical plants, flowers, and trees. Visitors can explore various themed gardens that showcase indigenous Hawaiian plants, native Hawaiian ethnobotanical displays, and plants from other regions around the world. The garden's plantings represent the cultural and ecological importance of Hawaii's flora.

Waimea Valley has a rich cultural heritage and is a significant place in Hawaiian history. The garden is home to several historical sites, including the Waimea Valley Archaeological Site, which contains ancient Hawaiian structures and remnants. Visitors can learn about the valley's cultural significance, traditional land use practices, and the history of the native Hawaiian people.

At the heart of Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens lies Waimea Falls, a majestic waterfall cascading into a natural pool. Visitors have the opportunity to swim in the pool and enjoy the refreshing waters. The falls serve as a picturesque backdrop and offer a serene and picturesque setting within the garden.

Waimea Valley provides well-maintained hiking trails and nature walks that wind through the lush landscapes, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the valley. The trails vary in difficulty, and along the way, visitors can encounter beautiful flora, wildlife, and scenic vistas.

The garden offers cultural demonstrations, including hula performances, lei-making workshops, and traditional Hawaiian crafts. Visitors can participate in these activities and gain insights into the rich traditions and arts of the Hawaiian culture. Waimea Valley also hosts various events, such as concerts, festivals, and community gatherings, which showcase Hawaiian music, dance, and food.


These are some of the most popular botanic gardens in Hawaii bus as we already mentioned, there are 33 of them in total. In other words, we have just scratched the surface. This aspect of Hawaii’s tourism somehow remains over-shined by some other activities but believe us, visiting at least some of these gardens definitely deserves a “must do” place on the checklist you’re preparing for your vacation.

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