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“Classic Hawaii, crashing waves, beautiful beaches” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley
59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, Oahu, HI 96712
(808) 638-7766
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Ranked #4 of 10 Attractions in Haleiwa
Type: Gardens, Parks, Valleys, Waterfalls, Outdoors
Activities: Birdwatching
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Attraction details
Owner description: A waterfall park offering native Hawaiian history and culture.
Seattle, Wa
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Classic Hawaii, crashing waves, beautiful beaches”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

From Waimea beach st park to the Waimea falls, this a piece of Hawaii, that is truly hard to miss!

High surf alerts can make the waves even more dramatic but making swimming and boogie boarding more challenging!

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Napa, California
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Going for the waterfall is missing the point”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I read a lot of reviews before venturing to Waimea, and I'm glad I ignored the negative ones and came anyway.

Yes, the $15 pricetag is a little steep, but not too much. This is a sprawling, wonderful arboretum/botanical garden. That's really what it is, and thus what you should be expecting. Expect a natural garden with a huge diversity of tropical plants from around the world -- with a little waterfall and some ancient Hawaiian villages / cultural sites thrown in, as well.

Everybody seems to focus on the waterfall, and many people we saw ignored everything else and went straight to the water hole for swimming with the falls. They are fairly unimpressive, not nearly as beautiful as others I have seen, and overcrowded with swimmers. So if you are going just for that, prepare to be let down.

Good thing we didn't go for that. I liked seeing the archaeological sites, though I wish there were more informational signs up around the different locations and reconstructed buildings. I also would have appreciated some information on how to play the games at the traditional Hawaiian games location (it seemed interesting, but there was nobody there and nothing posted to say how to play them -- and no cell signal to look the rules up online)

Having said all that, we meandered for hours -- yes, hours -- amongst the sprawling paths, and visited nearly every location (grouped by plant type and geographic place of origin), and found it fascinating, relaxing, and enjoyable. We only made it to the waterfall after 2-3 hours of exploration, and it was just as lackluster and tourist-riddenas we had anticipated, so we simply turned around and came back.

All in all, it was worth it, although I agree the price could maybe be more reasonable at 1/2 to 2/3 of what it currently is.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
India
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice history of Hawaii”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

The walk through the valley and finally to the water falls is interesting. The guides explain the history of the plants and also the "Village" its setup and the stories behind the homes. A good trip in all.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Binghamton, NY
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Great experience but pricy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We found the Waimea Valley to be a wonderful introduction to Native Hawaii and to the plants of the island. We very much enjoyed the reconstructions of Native Hawaiian temples and homes. The park very nicely explains the Ahupua'a land ownership system that gave people access to resources from the sea to the mountains. The waterfall is nice and worth a dip although the water was pretty cold. We saw lots of families and the kids seemed to be having a good time. For a $15.00 a head entry fee, however, things seemed a little run down. For example, many of the signs labeling plants are so weathered that they are almost unreadable. But, I would do it again.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Relaxing stroll”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We were not planning on visiting this place but drove by it and decided to walk the grounds after talking to the volunteers at the visitors desk. We are glad we did as we learned a little more about the culture of the native Hawaiians and enjoyed looking at the beautiful plants.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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