Should You Visit Limahuli Garden on Kauai with Kids?

Are you planning a trip to Kauai with kids and working on your itinerary? Keep scrolling to find out whether or not Limahuli Garden is worth visiting with kids.
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Are you looking for a family-friendly activity on Kauai’s North Shore?

The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is one of the most beautiful places to visit in all of Hawaii. It’s located at the end of an incredible road that winds through dense jungle, past waterfalls, and along cliffs overlooking the ocean. T

he garden itself is filled with plants from around the world that are native to Hawaii. There are also several trails where you can explore this beautiful place even more deeply.

But there’s just one problem… it might not be right for your family!

Keep reading to find out if visiting Limahuli Garden with kids will work for your family or not.

If you want to see some truly amazing views while exploring a unique garden, then I definitely recommend bringing kids along on your trip here!

However, if you want something more interactive than what I describe below (or if you have younger children), then maybe skip this stop on your tour of Kauai’s North Shore and check out the Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden in Kilauea instead. That way everyone will be happy!

Keep scrolling to read my blog post about visiting Limahuli Garden with kids!

Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Kauai Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

Get your copy of this Kauai travel guide for families by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids

Kauai Botanical Gardens FAQs

How many botanical gardens on Kauai are there?

There are 5 beautiful Kauai botanical gardens. These include the Allerton Garden, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, McBryde Garden and the Princeville Botanical Gardens.

How long does it take to get to Limahuli Garden from Poipu?

If you are driving up to Limahuli Garden from Poipu, it will take you about 1 hour and 45 minutes with no traffic or road closures. It’s best to pair this with a stop in Hanalei town and Hanalei Bay to maximize the drive to North Shore Kauai.

What’s the best Kauai botanical garden worth visiting?

That’s a tough call because they are all so pretty! We’ve been to most of them and I have to say the Limahuli Garden is a great stop because you can explore the entire garden in 1-2 hours and see sweeping views of mountains, oceans, and tropical plants.

Where is Limahuli Garden & Preserve?

The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is located just steps away from the entrance to Ha’ena State Park at the end of the road on the North Shore of Kauai. The address is: 5-8291 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714.

Should you explore the Limahuli Garden in Hanalei Kauai? Read this review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of the Limahuli Garden sign.
The Limahuli Garden & Preserve is on the edge of Hanalei. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

You can drive yourself and park in their lot. You don’t need to worry about taking the Ha’ena shuttle or making reservations for Ha’ena State Park, unless you plan on going there too.

What Can You See at the Limahuli Garden?

Limahuli Garden and Preserve is located on the north shore of Kauai. It is home to many endangered plants and birds that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. They use Hawaiian plants and show people what life was like in Hawaii before it changed too much.

Should you explore the Limahuli Garden in Hanalei Kauai? Read this review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of the view of the visitors center and ocean.
View from the middle of the Limahuli Garden overlooking the visitor’s center. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The Limahuli Valley has had people living there for more than 1,500 years. The valley is still intact with a cool archaeological complex, native forest, and beautiful stream. They also have people living there who are descendants of the original people of the valley.

Honest Limahuli Garden Review

We booked a self-guided tour of Limahuli Garden during the summer in 2021 when the road through Hanalei was only open during specific hours due to a mud slide. That really threw off our schedule because we had to cross through Princeville earlier than we originally thought.

That meant, we had time to kill before our tour. So, we ended up doing lunch at Tahiti Nui but it was super crowded with everyone else who had just crossed through Princeville. So, everything took longer and we ended up being 10 minutes late to the garden.

By the time we got there, my 4yo had fallen asleep in the car, so we ended up having my husband stay in the car with him so he could keep sleeping. So, I explored the garden with my mom and my 7yo son.

Check In

The first thing you’ll need to do is head to the visitors center to check in for your tour. They usually offer both self-guided and guided tours.

Should you explore the Limahuli Garden in Hanalei Kauai? Read this review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of the Limahuil visitor center on Kauai.
Visitor Center at Limahuli Garden on Kauai. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Because we were late for our reservation, the staff members made us feel really bad and it was pretty uncomfortable. We also had one of the last reservations of the day, so that might have had something to do with it. I think we (hopefully) had an unusual experience.

We were told to spray and wash off our shoes before heading into the garden. That’s because they don’t want us bringing in anything that might disrupt the garden.

Highlights

Once we had cleaned our shoes, it was time to go explore. And WOW, was there a lot to explore!

Should you explore the Limahuli Garden in Hanalei Kauai? Read this review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of the view of Limahuli Garden from the visitors center.
The gorgeous Limahuli Garden on Kauai. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

This picture above shows the view from the visitor center looking up toward the mountains. It’s simply breathtaking.

There’s a clear path to meander around the garden. The path will take you across little bridges, near waterfalls, designated sitting areas, and even a historic Hawaiian house.

The trail itself goes up the hillside, but it never feels too steep. There are some stone stairs, too. And you can even stop to read signs about the different plants.

Once you get near the top of the hill, there are tons of benches available so you can rest and just marvel at the beauty of this Kauai botanical garden.

Should you explore the Limahuli Garden in Hanalei Kauai? Read this review by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a boy and grandma sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean.
Soaking in the view at Limahuli Botanical Garden. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

After the sitting area, the trail makes it way back down to the Hawaiian hut and then down to the visitor center.

So, Is It Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! This is definitely one of the prettiest places on Kauai that’s easy to explore. I’d even say it’s a kid friendly Kauai hike for families.

We were there for one hour and didn’t even stop to read the signage or sit and enjoy the views for too long (because my husband and son were waiting in the car).

I admit, my family isn’t “outdoorsy” so this was the perfect easy hike for us. I also couldn’t stop taking photos the entire time because it was just so pretty!

Since my husband and youngest son weren’t able to join us, this is definitely on the list for our next trip to Kauai.

Tips for Visiting Limahuli Garden with Kids

Find the right tour for your family

When we visited in June 2021, the only tours available were the self-guided ones. We still had to make a reservation for our time slot, though.

You’ll want to check the Limahuli Garden website to see if/when their guided tour and family tour and back up and running. I think it would really enhance the experience to explore it with an expert.

Visiting with babies and toddlers

If you’re heading to Kauai with a baby, the Limahuli Garden would be a great place to put your child in an baby carrier while you walk around. It’s definitely not stroller-friendly.

I’d also think twice about visiting with toddlers. If your toddler tends to run off, I’d save this for another trip. There are lots of places for little ones to trip or step on plants. However, it would be an awesome place to bring a toddler who would hold your hand or stay close.

Restrooms

There are restrooms in a separate building near the visitor center. Our whole family made a stop here and they have the best smelling soap ever!

What to wear

You’ll definitely want to wear sturdy shoes to explore Limahuli Garden. I wore athletic shoes and my son wore closed-toe hiking sandals.

We all also wore big straw sun hats because the sun was super strong when we went. Bug spray and sunscreen would also be helpful.

Kauai Botanical Gardens Wrap Up

If you want to explore the beauty of Kauai without too much effort, Limahuli Garden is a must-see. It’s perfect for kids who are looking for an easy hike with some amazing views and it’s also a great place to learn about Hawaiian culture and history on Kauai.

Looking for more things to do in North Shore Kauai? Check out the best things to do in Hanalei, the North Shore Food Tour, and my review of the Ahi Lele Fire Show in Kilauea.