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“An arborist's and plant lover's dream!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Foster Botanical Gardens

Foster Botanical Gardens
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Waikiki Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Honolulu
Ranked #48 of 319 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This 14-acre garden is home to over 4,000 species of rare tropical plants.
Kaneohe, Hawaii
Level Contributor
54 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“An arborist's and plant lover's dream!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2012

It is surprising to find this oasis in the middle of urban Honolulu, and the best part is that it is only blocks and minutes away from my favorite part of Honolulu: Chinatown. Spend an afternoon at the Garden's and then go into Chinatown for an inexpensive Chinese, Thai, Filipino, or Viet Namese meal.

1 Thank istagner11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
64 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Disappointing and mundane”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2012

As an avid gardener and president of a Bromeliad club, I was looking forward to seeing an impressive collection of these tropical plants. Not seeing any sections devoted to bromeliads shown on the map given to us at the entrance, I asked the lady at the desk about the location. She didn't even know what a bromeliad was! Turns out, there are some drifts of them co-located in the area labeled "Orchid Garden" (which had a few vandas but nothing more).

Having wandered through many botanical gardens worldwide, I would give this a "C" grade. Only half the specimens are identified, and 80% are very common plants. They give the non-gardener lots of pretty plants to look at, with some in bloom, and a pleasant walk through shaded pathways. The orchids in the greenhouse called "Butterfly Garden" (no butterflies there -- just placards with photos) are common species you can buy at any commercial nursery.

Now, if you really want to experience a fine five-star botanical garden, drive to Waimea Bay on the North Shore. Entry fee is a bit high ($15) but just $7.50 for seniors. We spent a full day there. Waterfall and pool at the end of the trail where you can take a cool dip (free with admission). Lifeguard on duty. Life vests provided. Lots of ID tags on plants. Hawaiian craft and history demonstrations. An ancient heiau on the grounds before you pay for a ticket. Lots of walking, but you can buy a tram ticket for $4 one way, $6 round trip. Or, drive up the mountain to the Lyon Arboretum. Another winner. Foster is for tour groups who don't know a dandelion from a dendrobium. Or for locals who can buy an annual membership and find an oasis in the city to relax among lush landscapes and pleasant walking paths.

Visited February 2012
4 Thank ArthritisDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elburn, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A garden amidst the city.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

Not knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised as we entered. We came on a day that several hobbyists were painting scenes of the Gardens on their easles. The Greenhouse has gorgeous tropical plants and flowers that just yell "take my picture". If you like photography, you'll love this off-the-beaten-path place. There are a lot of displays also showing different stages of plant growth. Definitely a must see if you are into this type of scene.

Visited September 2011
Thank peppermintparrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“a relaxing walk”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

An amazing variety of plants and trees! I never would have guessed there were that many types of palm trees!

Visited February 2012
Thank mollyhuber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
79 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“An oasis in the middle of a big city”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

Love this place. Lovingly tended with many excellent exhibits. Well-worth the $5 entry fee. Take an umbrella and bug spray just in case!

Visited October 2011
Thank VGinParadise_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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