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“A great off-the-beaten-path spot for a real sense of Hawai'i”
Review of Lyon Arboretum

Lyon Arboretum
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$69.00*
and up
Go Oahu Card
Ranked #49 of 335 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Part of the University of Hawaii, the Lyon Arboretum offers 194 acres and a research facility.
Reviewed December 12, 2011

An arboretum is a great place to get a sense of native flowers and plants and trees, and to walk quietly and safely away from the hustle and bustle. This is true of the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, and especially true of the Lyon Arboretum in Honolulu. It is way off the beaten path -- all the way at the furthest end of Manoa Valley, probably 25 minutes uphill and into the mountains -- but still technically in the city.

We set off on one of the many walks -- there are numerous paths, some which offer shorter paths and some longer, more energetic walks. In the first few hundred feet, we passed lots of people working on plantings and maintenance, but after that, we were alone. Really alone, surrounded by huge trees, amazing gigantic leaves, flowers, plants.

For us, the best things were the solitude and the very thoughtful signs identifying and explaining the plants and trees you pass. Even more fun -- many of the signs have QR codes -- point your smartphone's QR reader at them, and a web page opens that explains the history of the plant, it's origins, how endangered it is, and so on.

A great way to spend an afternoon. The fee is only "suggested", as far as we could tell. On the day we were there, we put $15 into the box for the 3 of us, but nobody said we had to, and we didn't receive any ticket or receipt. I don't know what would happen if you didn't want to pay -- they'd probably say "welcome" anyway, but because it is such a great resource, I can't imagine going there and not chipping in at least a token amount.

2  Thank djsmapping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"manoa falls"
in 60 reviews
"main trail"
in 18 reviews
"inspiration point"
in 15 reviews
"native plants"
in 11 reviews
"tropical rainforest"
in 9 reviews
"accept donations"
in 8 reviews
"small waterfall"
in 6 reviews
"wild cockatoos"
in 5 reviews
"nice trails"
in 4 reviews
"plant life"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful gardens"
in 6 reviews
"visitor center"
in 13 reviews
"winding road"
in 4 reviews
"a small gift shop"
in 5 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 5 reviews
"walking shoes"
in 5 reviews
"short hike"
in 4 reviews
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293 - 297 of 349 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2011

It is a botanical garden & University of Hawaii research center, so there many native Hawaiian plants, as well as other interesting SE Asian plants & trees. Sprawling gardens set in beautiful Manoa Valley; check out their gift shop for homemade jams & jellies.

Thank Kahiau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2011

Travelled here twice on my stay in honolulu, got the number 5 bus and got off on the last stop. Paid a donation ($5) to have a guided tour, which was very worth it. Even though the first time it rained for 2 hours!!.

Be prepared for bugs, though i didnt get bitten and to get wet!!! Umbrellas are provided.

Overall, very nice place to visit and get away from the crowds at Waikiki

Thank Daniellejohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2011

This place is amazingly beautiful and if you have a car, quite easy to reach. It's somewhat like walking thru a tropical jungle with the most wonderful flora & fauna. Be aware this is not your touristy, well manicured garden. Shoes for walking are recommended and with all the rain it can be somewhat muddy /slippy. Not good maybe for people with disabilities or who are unsteady on their feet.

1  Thank Oppem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 10, 2011

The flowers in these gardens were absolutely spectacular!! And there was virtually no one else around!

3  Thank Michele M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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