Allerton Garden

Allerton Garden — Where to See Exquisite Art Set Against Superb Tropical Plants
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When you want to see the magic that happens when imaginative artwork meets stunning tropical plants, all it takes is a tour of Allerton Garden. Set near the oceanside in South Shore Kauai, the landscape guides you through a well-curated rainforest filled with fruit trees, flowers, and so much more. As you explore the vegetation, you’ll find fountains, sculptures, and many other works of art sitting amongst the plants.  

- The Local Expert Team

Located right along the southern shores of Kauai, Allerton Garden features 80 acres filled with spectacular tropical plants plus gorgeous works of art, including fountains and sculptures galore. The garden began as a result of the vision of the original owner, Robert Allerton. Upon purchasing the land from Queen Emma of Hawaii, Robert and his son, John Gregg Allerton, set out to add their personal touches to the rainforest and surrounding grounds.

Together, they promoted the lush growth of all the native tropical plants, including the Moreton Bay fig trees that were featured in the hit film, ‘Jurassic Park.’ Then, they added many additional plants to the grounds, separating them into distinct collections based on their order. The collections focus on Zingiberales, Palmetum, Araceae, and so much more. Through that process, many non-native plants joined the garden, but each collection remains well-controlled even to this day.

In addition to all the plants, Robert and John added their favorite works of art, including the ever-popular mermaid fountain. They also expertly sculpted the land to add impressive landscape elements, including waterfalls.

If you’d like to see all this beauty up close and personal, all you have to do is take a tour of the grounds. To do so, just book your spot ahead of time, and then meet the group at the Visitor Center. Your guide will arrive by shuttle and take you all back to the garden while sharing interesting stories. You’ll then get to walk the grounds to see all the most popular sights and hear about the wide variety of plants and artwork on display.

Must-try tours available here include:

Twilight Tour
The Twilight Tour lets you see how the garden changes after the sun goes down. You can hear the birds singing their evening ballads and watch in awe as the night-blooming flowers open up. You’ll also get to see awesome sights that are normally off-limits, like the enchanted trails and secret garden tunnels.

Garden at Sunset
If you want to go beyond the grounds and see where the Allerton family lived, grab your spot on the Garden at Sunset tour. You’ll get to mosey through their house plus view all the garden rooms to start your journey through the family legacy. After that, you’ll get to see their personal photos and memorabilia collection before sitting down for dinner and a drink.

Allerton by Fire
Prefer dinner and a show? If so, the Allerton by Fire tour is just what you need. While enjoying a dinner in the garden, you’ll get to watch Polynesian dances, listen to live music, and even watch a fire knife performance. You can then explore the garden space at your leisure to finish off your tour just right.

You can book private tours as well if you’d like to take a trip through the garden with just your family and friends. You can book either the daytime guided tour or sunset stroll as a private affair. Either way, you’ll get to take a leisurely walk through the garden space while the guide tells you all about the sights, sounds, and scents all around.

Insider Tips:
-Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes or you won’t be allowed to go on the tour.
-Mosquitos abound, so bring your own locally-made bug spray. If you forget, you can buy some when you get your tickets at the Visitor Center.
-Although you should bring your poncho on drizzly days, the guides will provide umbrellas if downpours start in earnest.
-Bring your own water, so you can stay well hydrated on your garden adventures.
-If you’re taking the nighttime tour, take a flashlight, so you can see all the flowers open and nighttime pollinators get to work.