14 Amazing Botanical Gardens in Hawaii You Must Visit

Table of Contents

When you think of Hawaii, you think of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and incredible sunsets.

But did you know that there are also some amazing botanical gardens to explore in Hawaii?

With its unique climate and geography, Hawaii offers an array of botanical gardens that are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but is also home to rare and exotic plants you’ve most likely never seen before.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic and serene stroll, a fun and educational experience, or an adventure in nature, these gardens are sure to delight you with their natural beauty and diversity.

Here are 14 amazing botanical gardens in Hawaii you must visit to experience the best of the islands.

Oahu Botanical Gardens

1. Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

When it comes to botanical gardens, there are few that shine quite like Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Oahu.

This 400-acre city park offers a remarkable range of experiences, from relaxing lakefront picnics to overnight camping surrounded by lush greenery – there’s something for everyone here!

Not to mention, the breathtaking view of mountains and the grand entry lined with abundant palms are enough to take your breath away.

But what really sets this garden apart is its diverse collection of flora classified according to their region; you can find plants from almost everywhere around the world.

And if you’re a fan of fishing, cast your line into Ho’omaluhia’s 32-acre catch-and-release lake! Best of all, the park provides you with the equipment; all you need to bring is the bait.

Whether you choose to drive or to amble along on foot, you’ll be enchanted by this exotic paradise.

2. Wahiawā Botanical Garden

Experience true sanctuary among 27 acres of native Hawaiian flora when you visit Wahiawā Botanical Garden.

With free parking and admission, this gem of lushness has something for everyone. Even though it’s not as polished as other botanical gardens, its natural beauty is worth appreciating.

Meander through nature’s bounty, seek out the magnificent rainbow eucalyptus trees, relish a quiet stroll or have a picnic lunch. Perfect for all ages without fail!

3. Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens

When you find yourself on the North Shore of Oahu, Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens should most definitely be at the top of your itinerary.

This 300-acre botanical wonderland is an absolute must-see, with over 5,000 plant species across 40 themed gardens.

Plus, with a 1.5-mile round-trip paved trail, no one in your party will get left out!

And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, daily tours with a botanical specialist at 12:30 pm are included in your admission fee.

17 Must Eat Places in Oahu: Where to Find the Best Food

4. Koko Crater Botanical Garden

Straddling the eastern end of the gorgeous island of Oahu, the Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a sight to behold.

A city-run botanic garden featuring rare and endangered dryland plants, its true star attraction is its burgeoning plumeria grove that bursts into life – quite literally – during the summer months.

Take yourself on a self-guided hike around the crater trail, and you’ll feel like an intrepid explorer unearthing a myriad of gems, such as spiny plants from Madagascar and cacti from Southwest America.

Foster Botanical Garden
Photo by Foster Botanical Garden

5. Foster Botanical Garden

Located near the vibrant neighborhood of Oahu’s Chinatown, Foster Botanical Garden is much more than just a pretty flower paradise. At 14 acres and featuring over 4,000 species of rare tropical plants, it’s a veritable wonderland!

Wander through winding pathways, take in the fragrant aromas from exotic plants from all over, and bask in the peace and tranquility that only an urban garden can provide.

If you visit, be sure to join the free guided tour that takes place every day. It’s guaranteed to be an illuminating experience as the friendly local guide shows you around the grounds and shares interesting stories about the plants.

All that knowledge in just two hours? That’s definitely worth skipping your afternoon nap for!

But that’s not all – Foster Botanical Garden is a living museum; some of its trees were planted as far back as the 1850s, yet they are still standing tall today.

24 species of trees in this garden are protected under Hawaii State law; some might say even more reason to visit this lovely corner of paradise.

And if that wasn’t enough, marvel at the Palm Garden or get mesmerized by the Conservatory – it’s just the thing for some serene soul-searching!

Maui Botanical Gardens

6. Kahanu Garden

Located just off the Road to Hana, Kahanu Garden and Preserve is a botanical oasis that is equal parts fascinating and awe-inspiring.

Take a step into the past by touring through this ancient garden where Hawaiian gods were once worshipped.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by Polynesian plants, like Breadfruit, which was brought to Hawaii by seafarers centuries ago.

Essentially, it’s an educational paradise for anyone looking to dive into botany with a hint of history in every corner.

Not to mention, this garden is home to Pi’ilanihale Heiau – Hawaii’s largest ancient temple and an important spiritual site for Hawaiians.

It’s definitely a sight worth seeing though you might need SPF 100 – there isn’t much cover from the sun!

7. Garden of Eden Arboretum

Step into paradise at the Garden of Eden Arboretum, where 30 acres of botanical gardens, trails, and waterfalls await you. Take in the coastal views and relax in one of the park’s picnic spots.

Since its opening to the public in 1996, this extraordinary garden has received recognition from the State of Hawaii for its responsible conservation practices and low pesticide use.

With species of flowers, shrubs and ground covers originating from the Amazonian lowland jungles, this arboretum is one-of-a-kind.

Everyone is welcome to explore over 700 botanical specimens, exotic plants, and trees as you meander through 2.5 miles of walking paths.

The Garden of Eden Arboretum is open every day – even on holidays! – so don’t miss your chance to experience a truly secluded sanctuary full of beauty and abundance.

11 Best Luau in Maui for the Most Authentic Experience

Kauai Botanical Gardens

8. Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens is much more than a breath of fresh air! With its unusual bronze statues and a 240-acre gift from nature, this non-profit garden is one of the most appealing places on Kauai.

Make sure to join one of their guided tours which are available Tuesday through Friday. What’s more, the breathtaking ocean coastline will leave everyone truly awestruck.

There’s something different to discover at every turn in this peaceful botanical garden, so come prepared to explore…and be amazed.

9. Limahuli Garden & Preserve

Venturing to the stunning North Shore of Kauai, you’ll find yourself engulfed in one of the most bio-diverse valleys of Hawaii: Limahuli Garden.

Home to dozens of endangered plants and animals which are found nowhere else on the planet, this preserve is an absolute must-see on your island getaway.

It emphasizes native species, which just happens to add a little bit of magic to an already breathtaking atmosphere.

And while you must schedule reservations ahead of time, there’s no need to race as soon as you step foot inside.

Take your time and be sure to take it all in, because Limahuli Garden is a web of Hawaiian enchantment that takes botany to a whole new level.

Big Island Botanical Gardens

10. Liliuokalani Gardens

Take a stroll through the incredible Liliuokalani Garden if you find yourself in Hilo – it just might have you feeling like you’ve teleported to Japan. Not surprising as it’s the largest and most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan!

Built as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants, this garden is filled with spectacular views overlooking Hilo Bay and Mokuola (Coconut Island).

This tranquil spot offers a plethora of peaceful moments and incredible vibes, with its waterfront views and ornate pathways, bridges and pagodas.

And the best part? It’s totally free and open 24/7 – pretty sweet deal if you ask us!

11. Paleaku Gardens

Paleaku Gardens may be a peaceful sanctuary and garden, but there is a lot more than meets the eye. This South Kona oasis is bursting with life, featuring many popular tropical plants native to Hawaii. Not to mention an impressive array of monuments and shrines!

Explore the 7-acre tropical haven of plants, trees, and other botanical delights native to Hawaii.

And if that wasn’t enough, they even offer classes ranging from Yoga to Tai Chi – so take your pick! So if you’re up for some serenity… head straight to Paleaku Gardens.

12. Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

Unrivaled in its collection of tropical plants from all over the world, The Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating visitors about the preservation of our rainforests.

Miles of walking trails will lead you over bubbling streams and waterfalls, into breathtaking views of Onomea Bay.

But don’t forget your camera – this unique paradise will make all your friends jealous when you post those holiday snaps!

18 Best Restaurants in Wailea With a View

13. Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens

Are you longing for an adventurous yet educational experience in the middle of nature? Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo & Botanical Gardens is exactly what you’re looking for.

Established back in 1978, this unique botanical garden is located just south of Hilo.

While enjoying vibrant gardens and exotic plants, you can also marvel at over 80 species of peculiar wildlife such as spider monkeys and nene geese.

The garden doesn’t only provide a magnificent sightseeing experience; it also offers a great way to learn about various edible plants.

Oh yes, don’t forget about weekends – that’s when the petting zoo and playground are open for the little explorers to have some fun!

14. World Botanical Gardens

Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? Then you’ll definitely want to head over to the World Botanical Gardens in Hakalau.

With 400 acres, the verdant land will make you feel as if you’ve stepped right into paradise; thousands of exotic plants from all around the world are just waiting to be enjoyed.

Delight in beautiful flowers and vibrant greenery, explore the second-largest children’s maze and experience stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Mauna Kea.

Kamaee Falls is the pièce de résistance – a breathtaking waterfall that is simply unforgettable – and perfect for memorable family photos!