An extraordinary tour of this garden, part of the multisite National Tropical Botanical Garden, wanders deep into Lawaʻi Valley. Robert Allerton, a wealthy Chicago transplant, spent three decades modifying this beautiful tropical valley, which has its own jungle river and ocean beach, by adding stone walkways, pools, sculptures, waterfalls, gazebos and a tremendous variety of plants. Book ahead for all tours. You can only go here on a guided trip.
Tour guides are knowledgeable and enthusiastic as they leisurely lead groups through the meticulously landscaped grounds. Highlights include otherworldly Moreton Bay fig trees (as seen in Jurassic Park), golden bamboo groves, a pristine lagoon and valley walls blanketed with purple bougainvillea during summer. More expensive three-hour sunset tours peek inside Allerton's historic home, where drinks and appetizers are civilly served on the lanai. There's a little cafe and gift shop at the visitor center. From there, you hop on a bus to go out to the gardens.