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Limahuli Garden and Preserve

Looking for a scenic spot to explore? The gorgeous Limahuli Garden and Preserve is full of amazing plants and birds you won’t find anywhere else on earth.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Hut and Terraced Taro Fields, Limahuli Garden and Preserve by Ron Cogswell / CC BY 2.0

A Rich History

The Limahuli Valley, on the north shore of Kauai, has been a Hawaiian valley for at least 1,500 years. It is full of ancient architecture and native forests and plants. This valley was originally part of the Ha’ena ahupa’a (traditional community). The Ha’ena community was known for creating songs, proverbs, and poetry, as well as for performing sacred ‘oahi, or fireworks. During the process of Hawi’i becoming a state, Limahuli Valley was assigned to Juliet Rice Wichman, who desired to preserve and protect the area. Wichman gifted the lower part of the valley– now Limahuli Garden– to the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Today, the NTBG also owns the Preserve area, which is another 1,000 acres. The Garden and Preserve are a part of the goal to restore Limahuli Valley, both ecologically and culturally. This historic site has even won awards for environmental practices and dedication to Hawaiian culture. 

Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Limahuli Garden and Preserve by Daderot / CC BY-SA 3.0

A Riveting Experience

When you visit the Limahuli Garden and Preserve, you’ll see Hawaiian culture fully preserved, embedded in every rock and tree. You’ll walk in the same places the first Hawaiians walked, discovering the beautiful plants and fragrant tropical flowers they brought with them. Such rare plants are a standout feature of this garden. Native plant collections are primarily from northwestern Kauai, and close to extinction in the wild, but kept carefully preserved at Limahuli. You’ll climb the Whale Trail to witness a breathtaking view of the ocean. Witness colorful endangered birds flying free in this pu’uhonua, or place of refuge, for Hawaii’s ancient ecological system. This is all part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s dedication to biocultural conservation.

Visiting Details

Currently, the self-guided tour is available Tuesday through Saturday, so you can take your time exploring the gardens. Masks are required when checking in and around the Visitor Center, and social distancing is requested throughout the garden. Before planning your visit for the day, ensure there aren’t any road delays or closures. Limahuli Garden and Preserve is open from 8:30am-4:30pm. For more details on tour times and pricing, visit their website


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