Visiting Hawaii for the first time, any advice?

Phoenix, AZ

Coming from Phx to visit Kauai in a week. We will be staying in Kapaa. My whole reason for going is to see the fruits and flowers that I hear so much about. Any tips on where we should go? This is my 1st trip there so I dont know squat. Thank you in advance

Pasig City, Philippines

Wait till you hear from Metrosideros and Bravesheartsmom!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Nawiliwili highway (where Grove farm is) has all the Moragne plumeria trees....

I love Kauai...

send me a Dmail if you want more suggestions.

Keaau, HI

You'll want to visit the State Parks along the Na Pali Coast, Hanalei, Kilauea Point, Barking Sands, the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

You won't have enough time to see everything!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I would also include the Na Ana Kai Botanical Gardens

Oh I love Kauai....

Kapaa, HI

I live on Kauai.

Type in the Kauai County website/sunshine market. Find out the locations and times of the markets. GO! If you want to see the real people/farmers/ our exotic fruits and vegetables.

Go to the Hindu monastery and visit their over 300 acres of gardens. They have been working on the gardens for 30 years. It is an absolute knock out .The only all-granite, hand-carved Hindu Temple in the Western Hemisphere is on Kauai. Here is some information i picked up on their website. (Wailua Homesteads)
If you are interested in a tour of the monastery grounds, please call toll free 1-888-735-1619 to find out upcoming tour dates and reserve your parking space.

Na Āina Kai another botanical garden In Kilauea

Allerton Garden in Lawa`i is another knock out. (interesting Leeward/dry side plants)
425 Lawai Road
Koloa, HI 96756
(808) 742-2624

LimaHuli Gardens---Magnificent...a must
5-8291 Kuhio Highway
Hanalei, HI 96714
(808) 826-1053

These are a few of my favorite Beaches....all on the North Shore
Hanalei Bay

type in "Kauai Festivals and Events" has info on Festivals being held in May

If you are going to be on Kauai on May 30th I recommend the Banana Poka Kokee

Kapaa, HI

I also suggest a map. Some of these places you will need a map

Keaau, HI

Now I want to go to Kaua'i!

Virginia Beach, VA

Among all the Islands I love Kauai most. It is so green!! Have Fun!!! Belle

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I agree on the Hindu monastery recommendation - it was one of the highlights of our latest visit. You have to book it ahead of time!!
And yes also on the markets.

Kapaa, HI

I just thought of a couple other leads.

Type in Kauai Farmer's & Produce Markets...It has a number of private farmers markets.

I know it might sound strange but if you like orchids Walmart has large and lovely selection. They are cheap and you can have some of them packaged to take back to the mainland. The laws are very strict here so they have to be specially prepared for leaving the state. There is also Orchid Alley in Kapaa. There is also the Kauai Nursery in Puhi....(good luck with our tongue twister town

One more thought. The traffic in Kapaa can get really really stuck.....did i say grid-lock stuck?....yesssssssss......avoid it....Take the bypass...Avoid heavy traffic hours....There are mountain routes around it but they are hard to explain....good

Again its all about the MAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phoenix, AZ

Wow!! My thanks to everyone for taking the time to help me out. I have a feeling all the info is going given is going to make the trip all the more special. I am really excited to see large versions of all the exotics im trying to grow in my backyard. Thank you again. Don

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

On the East coast there is a wonderful bike path that runs right alongside the ocean, roughly from Kapa'a northwards. I recommend a relaxing bike ride with lunch at Scotty's Barbecue.... where you can sit and look at the water too.
I love Kauai..... ^_^

Phoenix, AZ

Scotty's BBQ was delicious!!

Baytown, TX(Zone 9a)

Pictures, please.........

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I second d_thomcat2000 suggestion for Allerton Garden. It's a stunning place, and scientist have a research center there if I remember right. I drooled the entire time. The tour guide had my number as I lagged behind checking out the the fallen seeds. "catch up with the group!"

My friend is a Helicopter mechanic for Robinson, and I must admit, if you can afford it the ride is something you'll never forget, particularly if it just rained.

Plan lots of time if your driving, the road/highway is often congested.

My friends live in Kekaha (fondly dubbed the "sunny" side of the island. The beaches are great, and there are great festivals this time of the year, plus...camping grounds right next to the beach.

You are going to enjoy your visit so much! Have fun.


Winnipeg, Canada

Haave you thought about the big island? Some pretty amazing botanicals there. Some species that only grow on the rim of Kiluea. And the wild orchids, you find blooming in the giant prehistoric fern stands. AHHHHHHHHHH...can't wait to get back there. I have not been to Kauai yet, but plan to. And maps are yes, the best way to get around the Hawaiian Iles. The more rural, the more you need a good one.

I envy you so much. I was in Hawaii just this year, and miss it sooooooooo much. It is so beautiful. By the way, the plumeria is an amazing tree! Probably my fav, the scent is intoxicating!

Thumbnail by icangrowit2
Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

It looks like Plumeriaman is back from the Kauai..... Would love to see some Pictures?

I'm next, I'm going to the Big Island in October. Anyone have any advice for me?

Icangrowit2, you sound like you have some experience there. Where can I find those giant prehistoric fern stands with the Wild Orchids growing in them?

Plumeriaman, now that you have tasted all the exotic fruits, which ones did you like? I've been looking up some of the fruits that the Hilo farmers market sells according to their webpage. Cherimoya sounds pretty tasty. A sweet custard like fruit? What is White Pineapple? Does it taste any better than yellow pineapple?

I'm looking for some dwarf Plumeria starts. Did you see any Dwarf types over there?

Any Ideas & comments appreciated,

Phoenix, AZ

Cherimoya was tasty. soursop was odd. White pinnapple, sugarloaf, is a low acid type. I enjoyed very much. Lychees are delicious.yumyum. I saw hundreds of large plumeria trees, lots of cool colors. I brought back about 45 multibranched cuttings, some 4 ft tall. saw a 100 year old champaca

Thumbnail by Phxplumeriaman
Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

"I brought back about 45 multibranched cuttings, some 4 ft tall."

Wow, that's impressive 45 and one of them 4 feet tall, Whew..... That's way longer than my suitcase. Any hassles at all getting those through customs?

You sound like a serious Plumeria collector. Can you name me some varieties to look for that are compact plants, good for growing in pots?

This message was edited Jun 10, 2010 5:24 AM

Phoenix, AZ

I sent them back UPS, huge box. I hunted and found some large branches that were on the ground and also a couple trees that were being cut down. Never hurts to ask.Ive never been one to pay attention to names and types so I wouldnt be much help there. But any tree can be kept small by trimming and plumeria is a slow grower so very easy to keep pot size, just clip.

Virginia Beach, VA

My favorite fruits in any islands are chicos, jack fruit, mango, star apple and any tropical fruit. Yes the markets are a must in any Island.

I did not think you can mail plumeria cuttings , it is nice to know. I will get some next time we go. Belle

Phoenix, AZ

I put them in the bath and washed with a veggie brush and light soapy water to make sure no bugs. Dont announce what your sending and it will be fine

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

mmm hmmm...yep, I sent myself a large box back too. The best part is they were waiting for me when I got home.

(Mary) Poway, CA(Zone 10a)

Plumeria are growing along the sides of public highways all over the big island. I should have checked to see if there were pieces broken off. There's probably plenty after a good storm.

Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the UPS idea. I did notice that Hawaiian Air charges a per bag check in charge and for that reason I'm planning to take only one bag, as the second bag will generate another $35 charge, probably each way.

I think UPS would be less expensive than paying the airplane to bring back more baggage. Matter of fact, maybe I'll mail my clothes over ahead of time and mail them back before I leave! Just kidding, but I do think that it is a viable idea to UPS back whatever I aquire over there, be it a cutting or craft items, whatever.

Since we are staying with friends, I think I'll find out where the nearest UPS check in is. I have read that Plumeria cuttings without the soil attached are commonly sold over there and OK to bring back. While I don't think I'll be after any big tree limbs, I might get a few smaller cuttings, and I may want to throw in a seashell or two, maybe a wood craft, and some Island clothes.

Bellieg, thanks for your Input on the fruits, I have those on my list of things to try.

Plumeriaman, Cherimoya is on top of my fruit list, and sounds like it could be sour.....

Hillsborough , NC(Zone 7a)


When I send cuttings to the mainland I have to remove the soil and most of the foliage and wash them in mild soapy water. I then have to take them to the airport where our Ag inspection checks them over. If they are "clean" I package them there, in front of the inspectors, who then put an Ag seal around the package. Only then can they be taken to the post office for mailing. This ensures that they will not be seized or opened by the Ag inspectors that check the outgoing packages that leave the island, just a thought...

If you buy cuttings and plants from a Ag certified nursery they have the Ag certificate on them and are ready for mailing or taking on the plane - even the orchid and plumeria plants sold in ABC stores!

Soursop has a weird cotton wool texture and a lemon flavor. It really is not sour! Soursop makes a very pleasant ice cream.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

You can also wrap the cuttings in a paper towel moistened with a Hydrogen Peroxide drug store grade solution. About 1 cap full to a cup of water. This delivers moisture and oxygen to the cuttings and bare root plants during shipping.

Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

Oh, great tip about the Hydrogen Peroxide RJ, thank you I hadn't heard that before. Good to know just in general for sending starts around over here on the mainland too.

Braveheartsmom, thanks for the tips about mailing and about Soursop. I would like to try Mangosteen too, I know the juice is supposed to be one of the new miracle health drinks.

Other fruits I saw on the Farmers Market list were: Lychee, Chico, Star Apple, Jack Fruit, Passion Fruit, Longon, Rumbutan & Dragon Fruit (aka: pitajaya). Any of those worth trying?

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

I'm assumming you wish to grow these tropicals in a greenhouse? That would be fun to try, but to get any fruit, you would have to hand polinate, and some (avocado for instance gets 30 ft tall, and wide) would be very difficult to grow to maturity. Passion vine and dragon fruit should work, but I'm not familiar with the rest of your list.

Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

occarol, Thanks for your message. I'm just planning on eating the fruit, just to taste it in Hawaii in October when I go over there. I was just asking if anyone had ever tasted those fruits and if they are worth trying. Most if it I couldn't grow here.

I do actually have a greenhouse though, and I do have two blooming Avocado trees in big pots and they are smaller grafted varieties. I am hoping this year I might get some fruit as I do have two poliantors. I may have to do a little extra for them with a paintbrush. But the bees might help out with that job too.

Since you live in S. Calif. you must have a number of tropicals there. What are some of the tropicals you grow there? Any in the Edible category?

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

I personally have a Pinkerton avocado, a seedless lime , and a large ugly (but good) lemon. My back yard was humming with bees this spring, as all, plus a low chill peach, were blooming at the same time. Unfortunately, the high winds did a number on the avocado tree, but this year I'll have peaches, if I can beat the birds to them. As I drive around the neighborhood I see mango, papaya, all types of citrus, loquats, dragon fruit, Passion vines (they're weeds here), Some banannas, low chill apples, apricots, and some tropicals that I can't identify. We have the best, and worst, of both worlds. I even have a peony growing, tho I'll never see it bloom. I love to push the zones! In the higher elevations they can grow the plants/trees that need winter chill, but I'm in a delta, about 10 miles from the coast, so those things won't work here usually. This longer than normal winter improved my perenials, but slowed down my tropicals. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring! Here in Orange county, we're still trying to figure out where this "global warming" is taking place. LOL. While I understand what their concerns are when they talk about draught in Hawaii, I always have to chuckle as our average yearly rainfall is 12.76 inches. Of course they can't import their water from the Colorado river, 200 miles away. I went to the "big island" in a dry year, and loved the Hilo side, but the other side of the island looked just like home, except they got enough showers for rainbows. I would still rather be retired there than here, If I could!

Virginia Beach, VA

Try all of them, the dragon fruit are really good. It makes me want to go to hawaii to wat all those fruits especially the jack fruit Belle

Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

I looked up dragon fruit on Plant Files and they only have two pictures in the file. One of a young looking Orchid Cactus plant, and the other a round fruit that is white inside with black seeds.

I currently grow Ornamental Orchid cactus, as hanging plants.

What does this Orchid Cactus look like in comparison to the regular ornamental one?
Hylocereus polyrhizus is the botanical name that came up. Anyone have any pictures of the mature plant? It sounds like something that could be grown in a pot and wintered over in a garage, if it is similar to the ornamental Orchid Cactus.

That fruit looks pretty strange in the picture. Is that white part soft? You must peel it? What does it taste like?

Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

Oh, Thank You, Yes it looks just like the Orchid Cactus plants that I grow for the flowers.
I wonder what the fruit tastes like?

OK, here's another one. They have a fruit they call "Chico". I typed in chico and it comes up as a sweet paste tomato. I don't think that's it, there must be another Chico that is a fruit? Anybody know the botanical name of Chico fruit and/or anybody tasted Chico fruit?

Virginia Beach, VA

Yes i had tasted all the fruits you mentioned. The dragon fruit is plentiful in Singapore buy a little pricey. Chico must be eaten ripe otherwise it is very bitter. It looks like kiwi with out the hairy stuff on the skin. Try everything, all the different banana fruits and the yams. Bring a sturdy shopping bag and comfortable shoes. The best part is you can bargain at the farmers market. Belle

Kapaa, HI

I like all fruit. Some of my top favorites are lychee, papaya, apple banana.
I also like jabong. It is something like a grapefruit but with thick rind. I like it because one can pull it apart and eat it by hand.

The pomelo (or Chinese grapefruit, pummelo, pommelo, Lusho Fruit, jabong, boongon, shaddock, Balinese Citrus, or suha), Citrus maxima (Merr., Burm. f.), also Citrus grandis (L.), is a citrus fruit, usually a pale green to yellow when ripe, larger than a grapefruit, with sweet flesh and thick spongy rind.

Dallas, OR(Zone 8a)

Thanks Thomcat, My head is spinning! What's an Apple Banana?

I'm trying to visualize... If you should you happen to have any of these sitting around on your counter just now, or growing on a tree out in your yard....A picture might be fun to see ;-)

Keaau, HI

The true Apple Banana is the Manzano or Silk Fig Banana, it originated in China where it is known as "Go Sai Yung".

The Hawaiian Apple Banana, is known as Brazilian and Pome outside of Hawai'i.

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