This historic nature park has gardens, cultural sites, and a waterfall that empties into a pool visitors can swim in. Don’t miss botanical specialist David Orr’s monthly full moon walks, which showcase plants that bloom at night. — Hoku Haiku
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The beautiful Waimea Valley is worth a stop if you enjoy botanical gardens and want an opportunity to swim under a 45 foot waterfall. This place is straight out of a movie and as a matter of fact many movies have been filmed here including The Hunger Games and the TV series Lost. The botanic gardens cover 150 acres but there is a nice 3/4 mile walking path leading to the waterfall. A tram is available for those physically challenged. This is a sacred valley to the Hawaiians and includes culturally significant wahi pana (storied places). Snack bar and gift shop.
Upon arriving in Waimea on Oahu, many people visit for the big winter waves or a jump off Waimea Rock. What many miss while watching the phenomenal surf is the lush botanical gardens that lay right across the street. Tropical flowers and forests from around Asia, the Pacific Islands, and America provide a gorgeous atmosphere for a short hike on paved paths. Beautiful Waimea Falls crowns the gardens with a natural waterfall that keeps the valley irrigated and green. A more recent addition than the natural waterfall are peacocks that roam freely on the grounds adding splashes of green and blue to the vibrant landscape. Notably, the onsite Proud Peacock restaurant is a great place for lunch whether you are spending the day on the beach or wandering around the gardens. The Island menu includes favorites like Ahi Poke and entrees like Haleiwa Shrimp and Steak Ehukai. Your meal won’t be complete without dessert – of which the Taro Latte Crème Brulee keeps my mouth watering.