Thursday, November 16, 2017

Garden of Eden Botanical Arboretum

Located on the northeast coast of the Hawaiian island of Maui, the Garden of Eden is an island paradise worthy of its name. It was created in 1991 by Alan Bradbury, a certified arborist and musician. Mr. Bradbury's original intent was to create a recording studio retreat, but he soon discovered that the salty, humid air was not good for his recording equipment. Not wanting to let the gardens go to waste, he decided to make it a place where people could enjoy the natural ecosystem of the island. He named it, "Pua Nani," which means "flower from heaven." When it was opened to the public in 1996, many visitors said it looked like the biblical Garden of Eden. The name stuck.

The Garden of Eden Botanical Arboretum covers 25 acres and has 500 labeled tropical plants. It's claim to fame is that it was seen in the opening sequence of the movie, Jurassic Park. Don't worry though, you won't see any dinosaurs roaming around if you visit.   

The garden is open daily from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Cost of admission is $15.00 per adult and $5.00 per child. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Smith's Tropical Garden Paradise

If you visit the Hawaiian island of Kauai, make time to experience Smith's Tropical Paradise. It's a thirty-acre botanical and cultural garden on the east side of the island, known as the "Coconut Coast." It's located within the Wailua Marina State Park, and is home to the island's most popular luau.

Walter Smith, Sr. started the business over sixty years ago, as a way for visitors to experience the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Kauai and the Wailua River Valley. As you wander the mile of meandering pathways, you can see peacocks, Polynesian huts, a beautiful Japanese garden, and an orchard that contains twenty types of fruit, including breadfruit, starfruit, and macadamia nuts.

The luau is what you'd expect from a traditional Hawaiian experience:  roasted pig in an earthen imu oven, lots of traditional food, a Hawaiian hula dance, Tahitian drums, and a fire-knife dance.

The gardens are open from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. The cost to visit the garden is $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children. (The luau is extra and starts after 5:00 PM. It's costly, but worth it:  $98 for adults, $30 for kids ages 7-13, and $19 for kids 3-6.)