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best gardens to see

Philadelphia
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best gardens to see

I'll be going to the North Shore for a week in late June and am interested in seeing the best (1 or 2) gardens that the North has to offer, as I know this is what Kauai is famous for.

If I was going to spend a day exploring the gardens where should I head??

Thanks so much.

Natalie

Saint Cloud...
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for Oahu
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1. Re: best gardens to see

I'm not a Kauai expert, but here's a list of gardens that might help:

http://www.hawaii.edu/sciref/botgarden.html

Kauai, Hawaii
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2. Re: best gardens to see

Natalie

Don't know that you need to spend an entire day, but please look into Limahuli Gardens, and the guided tour. Very interesting and quite beautiful.

the tour that we originally went on ( guided ) not only presented the information on the gardens, but local kauai mythology. This was years ago. I was so impressed that we purchased a book at the gift shop called KAUAI TALES.

Limahuli Gardens is located up on the NORTH shore, on the mauka side more toward the end of the road. be sure to call them for reservations.

We have recently taken the unguided tour, but there was lots of magic in the original guided and narrated walk.

Other than the gardens, You can spend days exploring the beautiful north shore, as it really is a unique and marvelous work of nature.

Honestly, no matter where you look, moutains, beaches, or trails, it is fantastic. To us, it reminds us of french polynesia, the islands of Tahiti.

You will be very pleased.

Denny

Gig Harbor...
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3. Re: best gardens to see

kalapkidooley - I, too am interested in Limahuli Gardens and wonder how rigorous the terrain?

mahalo

Seattle Washington
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4. Re: best gardens to see

We did the self guided tour last week. There are alot of natural stairs...but many benches along the way to just sit study the plants and soak in the beauty and reflect on the history and legends of hawaii. We found the self guided book to be very informative of the plants and how they were used along the changes over time to the rain forests. I am sure the guided tour is wonderful.

I like Denny bought a book at the end " Myths and Legends of Hawaii'.

We found the Limahuli gardens to be a very special place. The North shore is very magical.

enjoy

Enumclaw, WA
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5. Re: best gardens to see

The terrain can be a little steep, but the paths offer good firm footing and as sallyho mentions, there are lots of benches to use to rest and reflect. As I recall, there's jugs of drinking water stationed around the garden as well. Limahuli Gardens is a special place indeed, and well worth the time and effort.

Gig Harbor...
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6. Re: best gardens to see

Sallyho & WAmayberry - thanks for the info - I have looked at photos and saw lots of stairs and seemigly steep areas - this will have to be saved for a very good knee day -

here is one that you two can compare perhaps... terrain steeper than Pt Defiance within the park? That I can manage. Steep is a relative term, I live on a hill that I cannot climb from my mailbox - argh -

Denver
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7. Re: best gardens to see

I don't remember so many stairs at Limahuli as much as stepped terrain - unlike a true staircase, the steps are wider (deeper?) - I think it's easier than walking up flat but steep trails, but only you know how you'll do. Does that make ANY sense at all?

Limahuli is definitely less strenuous than McBryde, which is a 3 mile loop over gently sloping terrain. The guidebook you get at Limahuli is great - drawings of all the plants, the history and uses of them, and some legends and stories of the area. As Denny mentioned, you don't need a full day - maybe 2-3 hours. Be sure to bring bug spray and a big memory card for your camera (use the Macro feature to get the best close up shots).

You can get details about all of Kauai's National Tropical Botanic Gardens at www.ntbg.org. Na Aina Kai is the other one on the North Shore, but I haven't been there (too pricey).

Gig Harbor...
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8. Re: best gardens to see

blueflamingo - hubby loves to take macros of plants and we have enough extra cards,

mahalo to all replies

I think if I take my time and pause often I will be fine - that may take care of a days worth of exercise (arthritis & will travel) but since we are focusing on Northshore, can't really hike, it seems a decent alternative outing for us.

Enumclaw, WA
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9. Re: best gardens to see

Does your arthritis do better in warmer weather? Because if so, late June should be mighty nice and hopefully you should be having a good knee week!

San Francisco
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10. Re: best gardens to see

If knees are a problem (and I can relate), you might want to think about the Nai Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. The garden offers several tours, including one with a tram. Further, there is a walking garden tour that is mostly flat. The upper gardens are more cultured than at Limahuli, which is supposed to be a (somewhat) natural botanical garden.

If you go to Nai Aina Kai, you probably should avoid the beach walk tour if knees might be a problem. While there is a tram back to the top of the garden, the walk down to the beach can be steep at times. Garden is about 6 miles south of Princeville. Web site is http://www.naainakai.org/visitor/visitor.html