Soak up some Hawaiian history with a contemporary face in the Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Gardens on Kauai's north shore. Walk among 15 shimmering bronze statues in the Ahupua'a Garden. Big Island sculptor Holly Young used local Hawaiians as her models to create scenes of life on an ahupua'a, an ancient pie-slice-shaped subdivision of land stretching from mountaintop to ocean. Inspired by a drawing by Kamehameha School students as well as stories and drawings old and new, cofounder Joyce Doty designed the garden to reflect the island's cultural heritage. Wander among thatched huts that shade bronze figures making kapa (cloth) and building canoes. Count native Hibiscus brackenridgei blossoms; watch hunters hoist a pig between them; and see Kuamo'o, one of the family's patriarchs, tend taro in the loi as you appreciate this slice of Hawaii's past -- and present. naainakai.org
- Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Garden and Sculpture Park tours range from $25 to $70.