This 400-acre botanical garden at the foot of the steepled Koolau Range is the perfect place for a picnic. Its name means “a peaceful refuge,” and that’s exactly what the Army Corps of Engineers created when they installed a flood-control project here, which resulted in a 32-acre freshwater lake and garden. Just unfold a beach mat, lie back, and watch the clouds race across the rippled cliffs of the majestic Koolau Mountains. This is one of the few public places on Oahu that provides a close-up view of the steepled cliffs. The park has hiking trails and a lovely, quiet campground. If you like hiking and nature, plan to spend at least a half-day here. Note: Be prepared for rain, mud, and mosquitoes.
Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden
45–680 Luluku Rd, Kaneohe, HI
Our Rating Neighborhood Windward Coast Hours Daily 9am–4pm. Guided nature hikes Sat 10am and Sun 1pm Transportation Bus: 55 or 56 will stop on Kamehameha Hwy.; it’s a 2-mile walk to the visitor center Phone 808/233-7323 Prices Free admission