Nostalgic TV fans may recognize this view of Allerton Garden as the home of Ricardo Montalban and friends on Fantasy Island. In real life, these beachfront acres were the home of John Allerton, who bought the property in 1937, and lived there with his lifetime companion, John Gregg Allerton. The two men constructed fanciful fountains and cultivated rich plant life to create one of the nation's five National Tropical Botanical Gardens.
A second NTBG is adjacent inland: McBryde Garden. Guided tours are offered for Allerton, but guests are free to roam McBryde, a dreamland of native plants and trees, as well as spices and exotics that are spread along the pools and cascades of Lawai Stream.
The misted tunnel of the Biodiversity Trail is way cool, especially on hot days.
Dedicated to research, McBryde has the largest collection of Hawaiian flora in the world.
This is the perfect place for families to wander in wonder.
Patrick Doughery's Birthday House, woven from local trimmings, was created in 2014—not as a permanent installation.
Scientists are credited with bringing Alula (above) back from the abyss of extinction. A field researcher had to hang from a Napali cliff on the north shore to retrieve one of the few remaining plants.
Kauai Trailblazer has more on these gardens, as well as the island's other NTBG, Limahuli, and other botanical treasures.