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“You'll get your money's worth!”

Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
Ranked #5 of 28 things to do in Kilauea
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
San Jose, CA
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“You'll get your money's worth!”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

I mention the money because this riding tour can be pricey if you are taking your whole family. But for $50 per person (children may be cheaper), you get a very thorough tour of the botanical gardens.

One possible negative is that, for our tour at least, the tour guide did not pay attention to the clock so our 2.5 hour tour ran over 4 hours! We loved all the additional information and opportunity to get off the trolley and look at plants, but you might have found it frustrating if you had a date to be somewhere else. My advice, if you are time-constrained, tell your guide. Even better advice, sit back and listen to the stories and take lots of pictures.

High point for us were the baby albatrosses. Who'd have thought we could walk up as close to them as we wanted? It gives you some idea how threatened they could be if people let cats and dogs run around.

They also offer walking tours. I don't know how much less you'd see. The covered carriages will keep you dry in light rain. They also have umbrellas for the passengers.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank CalifTravelerOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
california
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Joyce Doty is a Jewel!”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

There really are no words to describe what a wonderful, talented and exceptional woman Joyce Doty is. Her ideas are spread all over this beautiful property. We visited just this last week, to our absolute joy the queen of Na Aina Kai just happened to be our guide! We took a tour with 2 women who visit every single year, and explained to us why they return annually...because the quality of growth at these gardens is exceptional! There is something for everyone; children of all ages are obviously welcome. We felt honored to have Joyce as our guide, however...she will be seen throughout the garden...in her design and style, history and forersight are to be observed on every tour. Next year, I would like to take the 5-7 hour hike!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank playridebikehike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Interesting gardens”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Very nice gardens. Linda (our tour guide) was full of great information. Wear walking shoes. Enjoyed it and recommend it, but was definitely ready for tour to end.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose
Level 6 Contributor
213 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Expensive but Worth It”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

$50 for a tour of a botanical garden sounded a bit much, and I said so the to person at the cashregister. She said that by the end I would think it a fair price. She was right. I was a full three hours in a cart with a very knowledgeable guide. He said it was only his second tour, so they clearly do a great job of training their volunteers.

He was able to talk about the plants, the birds and the sculpture. We expected the bronze statues to be out of place, but each one has been carefully selected and placed to it fits with its environment.

Considering that the owners started with a bare hillside, the garden they have created is really amazing.

Would I go again, probably not, but one time was certainly worth it.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Halems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mission Viejo, California
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful Gardens and Exotic Plantation!”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We reserved ahead, then took the "Stroll & Ride" Formal and Wild Gardens "tram" tour. Dick was our driver and narrative guide. I was so amazed that he knew the names of so many plants. At one point I commented to my wife that one almost enters a state of sensory overload because of so many beautiful flowering plants. The bronze statuary alone is an incredibly tour, but when you add to it the beautiful array of flowering plants you can't help but marvel at what the developers of this attraction have accomplished.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank PaPaDave42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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