Just past the 21 mile-marker on Highway 56, take the first right turn onto Wailapa Road. At the end of the half-mile road, enter through our iron gate and park next to the Orchid House Visitor Center of Na 'Aina Kai (Lands by the Sea) Botanical Garden.
Garden founders Joyce and Ed Doty returned to Kauai from their ranch in Northern California in 1982. What was begun as a landscape project has grown to 240 acres that have been developed into a myriad of diverse gardens, complete with one of the largest collections of bronze sculpture in the United States. In 1999 the Doty's created a Not-for-Profit Foundation, to which they donated the entire gardens, including their home. At that time Na 'Aina Kai was opened to the public for tours and events. The Foundation's mission supports and promotes tropical horticulture, agriculture and forestry, in addition to a constantly evolving garden and art experience for Kauai's residents and visitors.
Na 'Aina Kai's gardens include a hedge maze, a waterfall, a koi-filled lagoon, a forest of 60,000 hardwood trees, miles of trails, and a beautiful secluded white sand beach. The hardwood plantation was established as an educational experiment for tropical forestry interests, and will sustain the future of the gardens financially at harvest.
In addition to the sculpture collection, the gardens showcase numerous natural and designed water features, unique gazebos, bridges and benches - all envisioned and built by the Doty's.
Tours of the property vary from 1 1/2 hours to 5 hours in length and are conducted each morning and afternoon on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and on Friday mornings. All tours are conducted by guides who have intimate familiarity with the property.
No trip to Na 'Aina Kai would be complete without a stroll through their Orchid House Gift Shop and Bamboo Gallery which offers a variety of island- and garden-oriented gifts, books, jewelry, porcelain and bronze sculpture including many unique creations by Kauai artisans.
For more information visit the Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Garden website.
Back on Highway 56, our next stop is in the town of Kilauea, just a few miles up the road.