Surround Yourself With BloomsBig Island

There’s little else that says “Hawai‘i” better than a flower lei—this GARLAND OF FLOWERS that is given as a gift upon greeting guests is a fragrant symbol of aloha.

Lei can be as simple as a daisy-chain-like string of perfumed plumeria or as intricate as a multi-braided haku lei composed of flowers, berries and leaves. Either way, it’s an honor to receive one. In Hawai‘i, MAY DAY IS LEI DAY, when many kama‘aina (locals) wear lei. Lei displays and even competitions are a part of the celebrations. During other days of the year, one can find lei at lei STANDS, FLORISTS AND FARMERS’ MARKETS, and even at island grocery stores.

Many hotels and resorts offer LEI-MAKING CLASSES, sometimes for free. Ask your concierge if there’s a class nearby.

Another way to see Hawai‘i’s gorgeous blooms is to stop by AKATSUKA ORCHID GARDENS in Volcano, where over 500 orchids are on display. Browse the 13,000 square foot showroom full of orchids and tropical plants, take a tour of the Akatsuka greenhouse or shop the gift store for florainspired trinkets. Be sure to try the world’s first orchid maze, too! The 8,000 square foot maze houses thousands of orchids in a maze layout, where you can smell the fragrant flowers with a self-guided tour. The maze is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Akatsuka Orchid Gardens is located on Highway 11 between the 22 and 23-mile marker on the way to Volcanoes National Park, and is open daily from 10a.m.–4p.m.