Oahu’s got what it takes to give the Garden Isle of Kauai a run for its title. From a rainforest atop a plateau to cacti deep within a crater, Oahu’s botanical gardens present a variety of magnificent sanctuaries. Sure, you can glimpse the island’s flora on many hikes and hotel grounds, but most botanical gardens here have free admission, and all offer a peaceful place to reflect among native and imported plants. Take a stroll and enjoy some tea at Liliuokalani Botanical Garden, a meticulously-cultivated Japanese garden that was once the picnic spot of Hawaii’s last queen. Experience “urban renewal” at Foster Botanical Garden, tucked in bustling downtown Honolulu, where 160 year-old trees generate a tranquility that belies the frenetic world outside the garden walls. For those looking to settle in for a bit longer, and willing to travel a bit farther, Hoomaluhia’s 400 acres on Windward Oahu welcome picnickers and campers, so you can ditch the hotel and spend the night with nature.
We stumbled on the garden by accident—and what a great find it was! Individual gardens are organized by the world region where plants found in Hawaii originated. While plants are not always well-marked, there seemed to be enough signage to fill in the blanks in some of our knowledge.
Botanical Gardens and More Nearby