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“Drive right on by Manoa Falls”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Lyon Arboretum

Lyon Arboretum
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Ranked #46 of 321 things to do in Honolulu
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Owner description: Part of the University of Hawaii, the Lyon Arboretum offers 194 acres and a research facility.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Drive right on by Manoa Falls”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

Unless you are a big "Lost" fan, keep driving right on past the Manoa Falls trailhead, and all the tourists, up the hill to the free(!) parking lot.

Be sure to stop in the visitors' center and drop your $5 into the donation box to support the cultivation of the native plants on the grounds.

The trails wind all around the arboretum, visiting many different micro-climates, re-planted with real native plants (not the tropical invaders you see elsewhere).

If you really want to see a waterfall, head up the valley for about a mile round trip hike to the Aihualama falls. It's not as big as Manoa Falls, but it's a bit more remote, and certainly less traveled.


Visited February 2012
1 Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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316 reviews from our community

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Roswell, GA
Level Contributor
141 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Unique and very beautiful area!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

I spent a morning at the arboretum and had a private tour with one of their volunteer guides. The arboretum is in the Manoa Valley, which is a really beautiful area of mountains and rainforest. I really enjoyed seeing the wide variety of trees, flowers and gardens, as well as a wild Cockatoo who flew around in the trees overhead screeching, and a beautiful native Thrush who flitted around from tree to bush and seemed to be accompanying us as we walked. I learned a good bit about plants that were used by the Hawaiian people for food staples, as well as for essentials like bowls and clothing.
I hadn't realized that there is also a waterfall not far from the arboretum, Manoa Falls, that I wish I had time to go see. I'm hoping I get to go back again and include that in my/our next trip to Honolulu. I really recommend a trip to the arboretum, it is a beautiful spot and very interesting!!

Visited October 2012
Thank carybenn53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
100 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

Walking along the paths here, just a 10 minute drive from downtown Honolulu, one is submerged into a thick rainforest with lush flowers galore and chirpy cockatoos. And it's free. But beware of mosquitoes!

Visited October 2012
1 Thank shaidan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
96 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Fascinating and beautiful garden”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

Enjoyed a walk in this beautiful garden. You could make it very educational or leisurely. Lots of information available in the shop at the entrance.

Visited September 2012
Thank JulsVern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Citrus Heights, California
Level Contributor
90 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Gorgeous gardens”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2012

Was taken here by a friend that lives in Hawaii. She just loves this place and brings all her guests from the mainland to the area. This arboretum is not as well known as Manoa Falls trail. This area is just past the Maona Falls parking lot. If you drive up further, you will reach the arboretum. We had no problem parking as there was hardly anyone there. They were all at the Manoa Falls. This is really a serene place with all the plants and trees native to Hawaii. If you like gardens, you'll love this. The trail is quite easy in the beginning but gets more challenging as you head further up to the falls as there really is no trail and sometimes you are walking on roots extending from the trees. We did not go all the way to the falls as we met someone coming down who said that there really was only a trickle of water, and besides, we didn't want to get eaten up by the mosquitoes that was beginning to appear the further we went. Definitely use mosquito repellent and wear a hat.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank grandkids7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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