Na‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens and Sculpture Park is known for its 320 acres of botanical gardens, 120 life-size bronze sculptures, a life sized maze, and many more outdoor activities for the whole family. Na’Aina Kai means “Lands by the Sea,” in Hawaiian—a fitting name, since the end of the gardens is overlooking the ocean.
Na’Aina Kai is located after mile marker 21 off of HI-56 North. After driving past mile marker 21, make a right on Wailapa Road and drive further down until you reach the Garden’s gate at the end of the road.
Phone: 808 828-0525
Check out their website at naainakai.org before heading down there. There is so much to do, you might want to plan it out and reserve your outdoor activity before heading down. Na’Aina Kai Botanical Gardens are mesmerizing. For instance, they have monthly weddings held near their man made waterfall, with a Japanese tea house sitting on the top of the hill for the bride to hide in. As the wedding starts, she walks down the rock path with her dress flowing down as she takes her grand entrance. It sure will capture the heart of any groom who is waiting for his bride.
Na’Aina Kai has monthly tours of the botanical gardens and life-size bronze sculptures. They are almost always booked, so it’s recommended to reserve a tour ahead of time. When you take a tour, you will see the design of the gardens created by a loving retired couple: Joyce and Ed Doty who visited Kauai many times before finally settling down in 1982. They wanted Na’Aina Kai to open up after they passed away (to honor their lives). But after some mini tours in 1998, the couple decided to open it up to the public in 2000.
Every year since then, they’ve come up with something new. They started with the botanical gardens, the man made waterfall, the life-sized bronze sculptures, a Hawaiian village to educate visitors on the Hawaiian culture. Next the couple built a maze for the whole family to have some fun, without totally getting lost! For the keiki (kids), they recently built a water park, which is open to the public once a month.
That water park requires a reservation made by phone or in person, but is heaps of fun for all. The kids will enjoy random fountains of water that shoot upwards sporadically. The cost is $10 per person, and you may bring outside drinks and snacks. You can even host a mini birthday party for your child. What a fun way to spend a special day with your family and friends.