The Lyon Arboretum is a botanical garden and arboretum that offers trails and water features in an artificial tropical rainforest environment. Located in the lush Mānoa Valley, the Lyon Arboretum is run by the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Used as an educational and research facility, the Lyon Arboretum is a popular destination for locals and travellers alike. Each year, around 1,500 visitors come to the garden and take a guided tour from the arboretum’s trained docents. With its relaxing atmosphere and stunning array of botanical life, the arboretum is a lovely place for a romantic trip or day out with the family.

Lyon Arboretum - one of the highlights of 10 Things to Do Off the Beaten Path in Honolulu (Read all about Honolulu here)

Lyon Arboretum highlights

The Lyon Arboretum is home to a variety of native Hawaiian plants and exotic botanicals, but its collection is expanding every year. In total, the facility has over 15,000 accessions that include palms, heliconias, aroids, bromeliads, and gingers. Both cultivated and wild examples of Polynesian plants are displayed, as well as recreations of native ecosystems.

Some of the highlights include the Stemmermann Memorial Garden and Mapes Memorial Garden, a set of small gardens designed in traditional Japanese style with temperate and ornamental plants and seating areas. The Native Hawaiian Garden is a local treasure with small bridges and walking paths to take in spectacular plant life.

photo by Daniel Ramirez (CC BY 2.0) modified

Good to know when visiting Lyon Arboretum

The Lyon Arboretum is open to the public and free to visit, but you need a reservation. Tours are available with a trained docent, so it’s best to book a tour to learn about the arboretum and its collections.

Several natural areas and hikes are near the Lyon Arboretum, such as the Aihualama Trail and the Ka’au Crater Trail. The Wa’ahila Ridge State Recreation Area is nearby and offers hiking and other outdoor activities for the whole family. You could also visit the Mānoa Heritage Centre, a cultural centre that highlights Hawaiian history and heritage.

Lyon Arboretum

Location: 3860 Manoa Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Open: Monday-Friday from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on weekends)

Phone: +1 808-988-0456