Fern Grotto

Take a fun and informative boat ride up Kauai's Wailua River to get to Kauai's oldest and most popular visitor attraction, Fern Grotto. The grotto is an unusual cave-like rock formation filled with giant cascading maidenhair ferns.

A great way to visit the Fern Grotto is to cruise up the Wailua River. At the grotto, you will be serenaded by Hawaiian musicians playing traditional, local songs. The acoustics within this natural amphitheater are fanatastic and greatly enhance the singing and guitar accompaniment. The trip up this historic and sacred river takes about 40 minutes via a long flat bottom riverboat. Boats depart from the south side of the river every 30 minutes. The Wailua River is the only navigable river in Hawaii and, along with the cruise boats, kayakers, motor boats and water skiers "go with the flow". On the way to the Fern Grotto, you will encounter numerous photo opportunities of the tropical gasslands lining the river and cloud-capped Mt. Waialeale looming in the background.

No photo because no photo can do justice to the Fern Grotto.

Take Highway 56 north toward Wailua. Cruise boats and kayak rentals are located on the south side of the Wailua River (before crossing the bridge).

You can also take a cruise to the Fern Grotto.

Useful Information:

  • Fern Grotto is accessible via tour boats or kayak. However, the main boat dock at the grotto is reserved for the tour boats.
  • Beautiful scenery along the river and at the grotto.
  • Cruise trip up the river to the grotto takes about 40 minutes.
  • Short, paved walk from the dock to the fern-draped grotto.

Fern Grotto Weddings

The Fern Grotto is a most romantic setting for a wedding in paradise. The wedding couple, guests, photographer, officiate, conch shell blower, wedding coordinator and whoever else the couple might want in the wedding ceremony meet at the Wailua Marina State Park. From there they board one of the Wailua River Cruise boats used for weddings. If the wedding couple is having cake and sparkling wine toast for their celebration, the wedding coordinator sets up a table with linens, champagne flutes, plates, silverware, and ice bucket on the boat. The scenic ride up the Wailua River takes about 15 to 20 minutes. From there the wedding party takes a short walk up to the Fern Grotto where the bride and groom can choose where they want there wedding ceremony to take place. The Fern Grotto is also a wonderful place for wedding photos. On the trip back to the marina, the newlyweds cut their cake and share in the sparkling wine toast with guests while more photos are being taken.

Call (800) 759-3238 or email Carole for more information.

Click here for information on vacation package departure dates and pricing.

Travel Experience PO Box 99 - Clements, CA 95227-0099 - (800) 759-3238 - (209) 759-3733 - Email

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