Ways to visit McBryde Garden
Kauai’s premier garden offers visitors an exhaustive overview of Hawaii’s dazzling biodiversity with its collection of native plants, trees, and flowers, including ethnobotanical “canoe plants” imported by the first Polynesians to provide food and medicine to survive.
Visits must be booked in advance and begin with a scenic tram ride along Kauai’s southern coast to the garden entrance. Once inside, visitors are free to roam the themed paths at their own pace to admire everything from allspice and vanilla along the Spice of Life Trail, to rows of kalo (taro), ulu (breadfruit), and uala (sweet potato) in the Hawaiian Life Canoe Plant Garden.
Things to know before you go to McBryde Garden
Self-guided visits last two hours. Visitors are transported to and from the entrance from the visitor center parking lot via shuttle bus.
Closed-toe shoes or hiking sandals (no flip flops) are required to enter.
Combined day or evening tours of Kauai’s Allerton and McBryde Gardens include a group guide.
Children are welcome but must stay on the walking paths; the garden is accessible to strollers.
The shuttle to and from the garden is not wheelchair-accessible.
How to get to McBryde Garden
The McBryde Garden is in the Lawai Valley on the southern coastline of Kauai. There is no local bus to the garden, so visitors must drive or take a taxi wherever they’re coming from. Free parking is located near the visitor center where shuttle buses depart for the garden entrance.
When to visit McBryde Garden
Though many of the walking paths are shaded, the best time to visit the garden is during the early and late hours of the day to avoid the worst of the midday sun and heat. The McBryde Garden is entirely outdoors, so choose a clear day to visit to avoid the sudden tropical downpours for which Kauai is famous.
The National Tropical Botanical Garden
McBryde Garden is one of five gardens operated by the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a non-profit institution dedicated to studying and preserving tropical flora. The others are Allerton Garden and Limahuli Garden and Preserve on Kauai, Kahanu Garden on Maui, and the Kampong Garden in Coconut Grove, Florida. Together, they cover almost 2,000 acres (810 hectares) and include thousands of plant, flower, and tree species, many of which are endangered.