Hawaii: Kauai, Allerton Gardens

The National Tropical Botanical Garden includes the 100-acre Allerton Gardens, and the 252-acre McBryde Gardens. These gardens have a fascinating story that begins back in the 1700s. Be sure to check the website for the full story. Basically the namesake came from the McBryde family, who ran a sugar cane plantation, then sold the property to Robert Allerton in 1938. After many years of working to have the gardens recognized as a Botanical Garden, Congress granted it full status as Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden in 1964. After Robert Allerton’s passing (that same year), it was left to his partner, John Gregg Allerton, who continued to run tours until his death.

Richard Bilow photographing Allerton Gardens

While in Kauai, my husband and I chose to take the Allerton Garden at Sunset, South Shore tour.…after all it was our honeymoon. Rich had a great time photographing these majestic trees. Our tour guide led us on an easy walk (not a hike) through lush gardens with spectacular views, all the while, telling stories and teaching us about indigenous plants and fauna. We ultimately ended at the beachfront property and home of Robert Allerton and John Gregg Allerton where celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy have been known to visit.

This particular beach and the legendary Moreton Bay fig trees were made famous by the Jurassic Park films. One can see why so many films have used Lawai Kai beach as a backdrop. Here, we enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner was served. 

Allerton Garden; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG;

The McBryde Garden is adjacent to Allerton Garden and features a wide variety of tropical flora and native Hawaiian flora, you will also find flowering trees, rubiaceae, heliconias, orchids, and lots more. Allerton Garden was included in ’50 Places of a Lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveler.

Check the website for additional info and to purchase tickets – https://ntbg.org/

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