Smith’s Tropical Paradise introduces visitors to the rich flora, fauna, and culture that makes Hawaii special. Whether you want a pleasant walk or a vibrant dinner party, this family-run business offers both.
The Gardens at Smith’s Tropical Paradise encompass 30 acres of cultivated land. Walk along the mile-plus of pathways, and you’ll be surrounded by tropical splendor. Fruit forests, bamboo forests, and other native plants abound, and you’ll find the occasional Polynesian or Filipino hut too. Make sure to visit the island Japanese Garden near the center (where weddings are often held), and always yield the right-of-way to any peacocks strutting about.
To see Hawaii’s fauna in a less cultivated setting, take the open-air riverboat to Fern Grotto. The scenery along the island’s only navigable waterway showcases rich diversity, and the natural grotto is truly unique. The grotto itself is a natural formation from millions of years ago, and ferns now grow upside down on it. For some cultures, this was also the birthplace of Hawaii’s royalty (Ali’i).
If you’re able to, come to Smith’s Tropical Paradise during one of the Luaus. They’re some of the best on the island, and you’re guaranteed both a good time and a full stomach. The highlight is a traditionally cooked pig roast that’s baked in the ground, and there’s also teriyaki steak that’s made with a family sauce. The poi is also not to miss, and there’s chicken adobo and Mahi Mahi if you prefer.
Like any good luau, the festivities are filled with music and dancing. Watch the Hawaiians dance to the beat, and later you can dance up on stage.
A few of our favorite features at Smith’s Tropical Paradise include:
Rich with tropical diversity, all of the gardens are wonderful to wander. A bit out of place, the Japanese garden is particularly picturesque — many weddings are scheduled here.
The fern grotto at Smith’s Tropical Paradise is a truly unique geological and ecological feature, and the boat rides up to see the grotto itself is interesting.
Hawaiians know how to have a good time, and they’ve been hosting luaus for centuries. The food and festivities here make this one of the best to attend.
Pigs are traditionally roasted for hours in the ground here, with hot stones or bricks baking them. The result is juicy and tender meat that’s absolutely delicious. It also feeds an entire village (or party), since a hog is so large.
Poi is a traditional Polynesian food that’s made of mashed-up starchy vegetables (e.g. breadfruit, plantains, or taro). It’s a good complement to the meat-heavy meal at the Luau, and you’ll want to try it even if you prefer a carnivorous diet.
Lots of places on the island give a sense of Hawaii’s nature and culture, but few make it as immersive an experience as the Gardens and Luau. Smith’s Tropical Paradise definitely brings that experience to life. Bring the whole family, and everyone will enjoy the beauty and fun.
-Make sure you bring a camera. The flowers, fruits, and peacocks make any photographer’s pictures look great.
-The Gardens at Smith’s Tropical Paradise are located within a larger state park, which is also worth exploring. If you have some time to kill between seeing the Gardens and attending the Luau, take a rest at a peaceful location in the park.