Most Stunning Hawaii Botanical Gardens You MUST Visit at Least Once

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii (or just dreaming about one)? You definitely need to check out this list of the best Hawaii botanical gardens for the ultimate tropical experience!
This list of the best Hawaii botanical gardens contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Did you know that Hawaii is home to some of the most stunning botanical gardens in the world?

Next to white sandy beaches, no Hawaiian vacation is complete without exploring diverse Hawaiian flora at local botanical gardens. Hawaii boasts year-round warm weather. Better yet, the state’s volcanic ash soil lends perfectly to the growth of blossoming flowers and plants.

You can find native plants in these Hawaiian botanical gardens. They are plants that grow only on this island and came here naturally, like by wind or sea. There are also other types of plants from around the world that people have brought to this state called introduced plants.

So, what could be more awe-inspiring than the lush and majestic beauty of a Hawaiian botanical garden?

These gardens are perfect for visitors to the island, as they offer serene settings which allow you to escape from city life. Whether you’re looking for an escape or just want to take in some of Hawaii’s natural wonders, these gardens will not disappoint!

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite botanical gardens in Hawaii that we think everyone should visit. We hope this article inspires your wanderlust and encourages you to make your own journey through paradise!

Hawaii Botanical Gardens FAQs

How many botanical gardens are in Hawaii?

There are currently 33 Hawaii botanical gardens and arboretums. Some of them are part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Bishop Museum, or the Honolulu Botanical Gardens.

What kinds of plants can you find in Hawaii?

You’ll be able to spot hibiscus flowers, plumeria blossoms, mangoes, and pineapples galore; heliconia plants as well as ginger lilies–and there are ferns of all shapes and sizes growing throughout the islands. It doesn’t stop at fruit trees either: Kukui nuts also grow here. These nutty treats were traditionally used by Hawaiians for their oil which would then fuel torches or lamps

What are the official flowers for each Hawaiian island?

The Big Island (Lehua flower), Maui (Lokelani rose), Kahoolawe (Hinahina plant), Lanai (Kaunaoa plant), Molokai (Kukui Nut flower), Oahu (Ilima flower), Kauai (Mokihana berry), and
Ni’ihau (White Pupu shell).

Prettiest Hawaiian Botanical Gardens Worth Seeing

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden on Oahu

This is the Instagram-famous garden that is on everyone’s Hawaii bucket list. But, it’s so much more than the iconic entrance.

The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden spans a wildly impressive 400 acres on the island of Oahu. Aptly named “a peaceful refuge,” this botanical garden hosts plants representing the Philippines, Malaysia, Hawaii, Polynesia, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and more.

Find out the most beautiful Hawaii botanical gardens recommended by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a woman at Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden on Oahu.
This is definitely one of the most Instagrammable spots on Oahu.

Upon entering this Oahu botanical garden, you’ll view Phillippine and Malaysian plants on a scenic route toward the visitor center. Pavilions and viewing areas sit across the garden. And there are walking trails offering breathtaking views not only of the gardens but of the local Loko Waimaluhia reservoir.

The drive into the botanical garden’s area is breathtaking alone. The Ko’olau Mountains steal the hearts of every visitor en route. The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden dominates not only in the size and wonder of its plants, but online as well.

And you’ll be pleased to know this garden has more than 2,800 reviews on Google with a 4.7 average star rating. Visitors cannot sing enough praises to the garden’s magical ambiance and exotic plants. It’s one of the best botanical gardens in Oahu Hawaii.

Visit these gardens early in your day to enjoy everything they have to offer, and to beat the crowds. You might even see some adorable ducks wandering about the park. Admission is free and the park is closed yearly only on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Foster Botanical Garden on Oahu

Located near Chinatown on the island of Oahu, Foster Botanical Garden measures 13.5 acres. Famed for its location in the middle of a busy downtown Honolulu, this Honolulu garden offers one-of-a-kind nature experiences without stepping far from city views. 

Additionally, Foster Botanical Garden is the oldest of all the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. Some of the trees seen today were originally planted in the 1850s. This garden also includes an Outdoor Butterfly Garden, Prehistoric Glen Cycad Collection, Palm Garden, and Conservatory.

In 1975, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a law called Act 105. This law protects trees that are very important to the island. The Foster Botanical Garden has 24 different species of trees that are protected by this law.

The Foster Botanical Garden is open every day yearly except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission starts at $5 per adult and $1 for children ages 6-12. Free complimentary tours can be enjoyed each day at 10:30 a.m., with reservations recommended. 

National Tropical Botanical Garden: Limahuli on Kauai

The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is one of five gardens under the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden, located on Kauai. It’s situated on the stunning North Shore and offers one of the most bio-diverse valleys in all of the Aloha state.

This Kauai botanical garden is dubbed a “pu’uhonua,” which is Hawaiian for “place of refuge.” That’s because this Hawaiian garden is scientific and traditional.

View of Limahuli Gardens in Hanalei on Kauai
Limahuli Garden on Kauai. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

It has an ecological system that preserves culture, values, and tradition. Plus, this garden uses ancient practices in conservation efforts to help the land live on for future generations. Many Hawaiians still live near the garden and it is a place for them to be proud of their roots.

The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is open Tuesday through Saturday. Tour times range from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The garden closes to all visitors at 4:30 p.m, and ticket prices start at $25 for adults. Discounts for college students and locals are available, and children ages 17 or younger can visit for free. Read our full review HERE.

Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden on Kauai

When Joyce and Ed Doty retired to Kauai from their ranch in Northern California, they found themselves surrounded by natural beauty. They started landscaping their front yard as a hobby project.

Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden on Kauai is one of the most beautiful Hawaii botanical gardens. Image of a boy sitting by a statue at a Hawaii garden.
Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden on Kauai. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

But. that quickly became a 240 acre garden – one containing more than 500 bronze sculptures! This Kauai garden is now run by a foundation supporting horticulture, agriculture, forestry and art walks for visitors who come to enjoy all the different areas throughout this maze-like treasure trove.

The Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden is open Monday through Friday. They are closed Saturday, Sunday, and all major holidays. They have a range of tours available starting at $20 for self-guided tours.

Garden of Eden Arboretum on Maui

The Garden of Eden Arboretum was first born in 1991 and opened to the public in 1996. Located along the famous Road to Hana, the property has received recognition from the State of Hawaii for its conservation practices.

One of our favorite Road to Hana stops is the Garden of Eden. Image of a tropical garden on Maui.
Garden of Eden on the Road to Hana in Maui.

The garden uses zero pesticides and close to zero herbicides. Over 700 botanically labeled specimens, exotic plants, and trees can be viewed at the Garden of Eden Arboretum. Some of the plants were donated by George Harrison of The Beatles, who was a plant enthusiast himself.

This is actually our favorite Road to Hana stop for kids because it’s one of the prettiest botanical gardens in Maui.

This Maui park also has 2.5 miles of walking trails and is open daily, including holidays. Admission costs start at $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-15.

Kahanu Garden on Maui

In the isolated Hana coast of Maui, Kahanu Garden is home to one of the largest hala forests in Hawaii. This garden features plants from all over Polynesia and was once a place for ancient Hawaiians to worship their gods.

Kahanu Garden is one of the most beautiful places on Maui. Image of the lush entrance to Kahanu Garden, one of the prettiest Hawaii botanical gardens.
Entrance to Kahanu Garden on Maui.

The gardens are also home to Pi’ilanihale Heiau which has been deemed “the most massive manmade structure” in all of Polynesia!

This Maui garden is open Monday through Saturday. Admission costs start at $12 for adults and $5 for teens (ages 13-17). Kids 12 and younger are free.

Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden on the Big Island

The Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden is a nonprofit botanical garden known for its wide variety of tropical flowers and miles of walking trails. Dubbed as a “living classroom,” the bioreserve hosts over 2,000 species from more than 125 families.

You'll definitely want to explore the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island. Image of two people walking on a boardwalk path in a Hawaii botanical garden.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island of Hawaii.

You will find a lush rainforest with bubbling streams and waterfalls when you visit these gardens of Hawaii. This is over 20 acres, made from fertile volcanic soil along the Pacific Ocean!

The Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden is a nonprofit experience for locals, tourists, and photographers. You can find it 4 miles off of Route 19 at 27-717 Old Mamalahoa Highway, and admission costs $25 per adult.

Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo on the Big Island

The Liliuokalani Garden, located in Hilo, Hawaii is the largest authentic ornamental Japanese garden outside of Japan.

One of the prettiest Hilo botanical gardens is Liliuokalani Gardens. Image of a pathway leading to water in Hawaii.
Walking path at Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii.

That’s because it was build as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants. They worked in the sugar cane fields from 1917 until they closed. It features arching bridges over fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas and traditional Japanese tea houses.

With views overlooking historic Hilo Bay and Mokuola (Coconut Island), this peaceful setting attracts families on nice days for nature walks. It also is perfect for a picnic lunch inside one of many gazebos scattered about the property.

This Hilo garden is open 24/7 and it’s completely free to visit.

Hawaii Botanical Gardens Wrap Up

Whether you’re traveling to Maui, Kauai, Oahu, or the Big Island of Hawaii, be sure to add one of these botanical gardens to your vacation itinerary.

We’ve provided some information about each garden in this blog post. Plus, a link for more details and photos so that you can plan an unforgettable day trip with family and friends!

Which Hawaii garden is calling out to you?

Looking for more beautiful places in Hawaii? Find out the prettiest places on Oahu!