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“Great Tour”

Princeville Botanical Gardens - Tours
Ranked #1 of 27 things to do in Princeville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Princeville Botanical Gardens is a family owned and operated garden paradise located in the Princeville area on the magnificent north shore of Kauai. The Robertson Family, with the help of their close gardening friend, Michael, have transformed their 8-acre retirement home into a breathtaking garden with dramatic landscaping in two steep valleys. The Robertsons grow a small cacao (chocolate) grove and part of every tour is a chocolate tasting and lesson on how chocolate is made. Longer tours include samples of delicious tropical fruits. The fun, educational tours of the garden include ethnobotanical and medicinal uses of plants, stories and information about native Hawaiian and "canoe" plants, and much more about a diverse collection of species from around the world. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Visitors can experience the garden on pre-scheduled tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tours are not recommended for children under 6 years. We strongly recommend good walking shoes. Please be sure to call us before visiting. Thank you!
Concord, North Carolina
Level Contributor
62 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great Tour”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Not only beautiful gardens, the staff is very informative. At the half way point you get to try all kinds of chocolate. This tour is beautiful especially since it is actually a persons private property!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Joyce L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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443 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
san diego
Level Contributor
105 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“A family-owned gem and slice of paradise in Kauai”
Reviewed December 27, 2012

I've been to Kaui twice, and visited all sorts of places here, but this is my favorite of all. It's a family residence that has been turned into a magical garden that is open to the public a few days a week. You must have a reservation to visit here. Our guide Holly is a local college professor, and has a PhD in medicinal ethnobotany. She was the best guide I've ever had. We spent about 3 hours strolling through the 8 acre paradise created by Bill, his wife Lucy, and their master gardener, Michael. There are plenty of orchids, but the best part is learning about how cacao is grown, seeing the trees with the pods, and then tasting the homemade chocolate made by Lucy from these very cacao trees. We got to taste local honey from the bees on the grounds, and it too was fabulous. Holly would stop and point out trees and shrubs, such as annato (used for red dyes) and noni (a medicinal plant) and and acai palm, and explain a lot of how they are grown and used today, and by indiginous people too. If you're into plants, and are up for an education garden tour, this is the best of the best. If you just want to see pretty flowers and sit on benches, then this isn't the garden for you. This is a REAL garden, lovingly created by a family, and shared with the public. Our group had 8 people in it, but we were told there can be as many as 20 in a group. We had plenty of stops to rest in the shade, and we got to taste fruits fresh from the tree. I had the MOST delicious tangerine I've ever tasted here. We had star fruit and much more. I give this place a big thumbs up.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank honurider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
58 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Well Worth The Price”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

The gardens are small, but they pack a lot into the space they have. The focus is heavily on medicinal and food plants, although there certainly are plenty of ornamental specimens on display.

Our guide, Holly, is a PhD ethnobotanist. We’ve been on just about every garden tour on the island, and she is by far the best guide we’ve ever had. She has a vast amount of knowledge, experience and boundless enthusiasm. The tour group was small enough that everyone was able to ask Holly lots of questions.

Between the fruit, honey and chocolate, I doubt you will leave hungry.

This is a work in progress. Just before our visit, they had opened a new bridge providing access to a new section of garden. You can see the pride the Robertson’s have in this place and how much time and energy they have invested here.

A couple of warnings:
- Bring insect repellant. I’m glad I did.
- The trails can be steep, wet and slippery, so wear the right shoes.

After the tour, we agreed that we would make a return visit to Princeville Botanical Gardens when we visit Kauai next year.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank biker_dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Spend you time and money on something else.”
Reviewed December 1, 2012

This tour is way overpriced. They even raised admission from $40 to $47. Really? Honestly, I don't see that much value in walking about 500 feet for 3 hours and looking at about 15 different palms. I would not even call it a garden because it is so small. It is just a 7 acre ranch with nicely done landscape. I am pretty sure that it was quite expensive to build it, and maintenance is probably not cheap, but, hey, it was their choice to do that. And, our choice is to make a wise decision of how to spend our time and money. Here are the facts. They do fruit testing, but it is ridiculous because they didn't have anything special. If you go to a local farmers market, you can get better selection for a fraction of what we paid for this tour. Chocolate tasting? Please, give me a break. Out of 5 samples, only one was edible. The tour is pretty boring and slow. I visited several botanical gardens in different places on earth, and this tour was the most boring one. We could do it in 20 min. max, but in this case people would be pretty upset that they paid too much. Of course, if you are a retiree (95% of our group), all your life you believed that fruits grow only in supermarkets, this is your first trip to tropics, you don't know how to use the Internet, and you have time and money that you need waste, you will find this tour educational. The gimmick is that they do tours by appointment only, and they require your credit card info at the time of reservation. So, if you don’t show up, they charge your card. If you show up, you would feel yourself like an idiot who paid too much. The real value of this tour is not more than $15. So, my fellow travelers please think twice before you decide to book this tour.

Visited November 2012
8 Thank RAV311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Draper, Utah
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A must see.”
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Simply beautiful and a must see. This is a wonderful place to learn about and appreciate the natural beauty of Kauai.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Craig F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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