Off the North Shore’s beaten path, this magical garden and hardwood plantation covers 240 acres, sprinkled with 70 life-size (some larger-than-life-size) whimsical bronze statues. It’s the place for avid gardeners, as well as people who think they don’t like botanical gardens. It has something for everyone: a poinciana maze, an orchid house, a lagoon with spouting fountains, a Japanese teahouse, a streamside path to a hidden beach—even re-creations of traditional Navajo and Hawaiian compounds. A host of different tours is available, from 1 1/2 hours ($35) to 5 hours ($85) long, ranging from casual, guided strolls and rides in small covered trams to treks from one end of the gardens to the ocean; they’re open only to ages 13 and older. Younger kids are invited on tours of the wonderful “Under the Rainbow” garden, featuring a gecko hedge maze, a tropical jungle gym, a pint-size railroad, a treehouse in a rubber tree, and a 16-foot-tall Jack-and-the-Beanstalk giant with a 33-foot wading pool below. The 2-hour family tour is $35 for adults and $20 for kids 13 and under, and includes the maze and koi pond in the formal gardens. Tip: Most tours are limited to eight or nine guests, and held just four days a week, so book well in advance. The last Saturday of the month (Jan–Nov) is Keiki (Children’s) Day, when the children’s garden is open from 9am to 1pm for just $10.
Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
4101 Wailapa Rd., Kilauea, HI
Our Rating Neighborhood North Shore Hours Tours Tues–Fri; most tours start at 9 or 9:30am, with some repeated at 1 or 1:30pm; $35–$85. Dec–Apr bird-watching tours, 8:30am Wed; $60. Phone 808/828-0525 Web site Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens Other Reservations strongly recommended.
Map4101 Wailapa Rd. Kilauea HI Kauai
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.