Fern Grotto
Fern Grotto
3.5
About
This fern-capped cave is a favorite wedding site.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

Top ways to experience Fern Grotto and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles471 reviews
Excellent
104
Very good
133
Average
128
Poor
62
Terrible
44

Paola010
Oklahoma City, OK98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We had not returned to the Fern Grotto for 36 years, and with so many visitors, pollution, etc, did not know if we would still find it beautiful. We went upriver with the Smith boats--a family business that has been on the Wailua River for years and happily discounts seniors and special needs. It's a short walk from the pier to the grotto. And, yes, the grotto is still enchanting with its little waterfall, misty ambiance, and a little music and dance from the Smiths.
Written 12 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melea P
Orlando, FL69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Friends
I had read about this adventure as something low cost to do on the east side of Kauai. After exploring waterfalls on the east side we ended up at the Fern Grotto boat tour. I hadn’t done enough research beforehand to look at the boat schedule or realize you can purchase your tickets online. We arrived just before the last tour at 3:30, rushed inside to buy tickets ($30/adult) and jumped on the boat. Everyone was super friendly and patient with us. I am so glad we arrived just on time. On the way to the grotto, the boat captain gave us the history of the Smiths family, the land, and the exorbitant amount of rain in the mountains. The walk to the grotto and the grotto were so picturesque. We arrived at the perfect time to see the sun shining through the dripping water, so beautiful! The musicians played music while following us on the walk path then entertained us at the grotto and entertained us more on the boat ride back. The lead singer was funny and a lovely singer, we learned a little bit of a hula dance and enjoyed the music of the ukuleles. The total time for this tour is just over an hour and highly recommended by me and my friends.
Written 5 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

love2laffx3
Phoenix, AZ11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
The hosts were happy to be back in business after months of being closed. In fact, we were on the trip on their first day back in business. The walk to the Fern Grotto was lush and lovely. There was adequate social distancing on the boat. One thing they could improve, however, is that they should have two lines or better instructions for people who have already bought and paid for their tickets. Apparently, we could have gone straight down to the boat for check in instead of waiting in the box office line. Perhaps they were just out of practice.
Written 13 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sweetra
United States293 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
When we arrived for our boat trip to the grotto, there were two busloads of people that arrived and went on their boat trip first. We were on our way 5 minutes later with a tour bus. It wasn't too bad as our boat was half empty.

They told stories, played music, and sang and danced on the boat ride. The fern grotto was interesting and it was nice to hear the stories and of course more singing and dancing. From what they said, it wasn't as full and lush as it used to be. Still, it was very pretty.

We were treated to some wild pigs squeaking and running around on our way back to the boat. That was fun.

If you want to see the grotto, go for it. But it's not something that I would consider a must-see. We did not opt to do the luau as we had done an amazing one at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Oahu and did not want to diminish the feeling.
Written 2 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravlLvr7
Pleasanton, CA34 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
At first glance, the old grotto boats and the building screamed "old and touristy". However, what made my friends and I embarrassed (we're originally from Hawaii but now live in CA & OR) was the rudeness of the boat driver. When we were ready to leave the dock, one of the passengers in the back, shouted to the boat driver "can you speak up-we can't hear back here", the boat driver shook his head (in disgust) and blatantly went to the mike and said "if you cannot hear me, move up-there are plenty of seats in the front"!!
For an establishment that is coming back from the pandemic, I would expect minimum courtesy to paying patrons. Nonetheless, he displayed attitude that we (previous locals) were totally embarrassed by.
All in all, we definitely overpaid for our 'experience' plus the grotto looked unkept. However, the female singer on our way back had a beautiful voice and was entertaining - she gets a '4'.
Written 1 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Catherine
Walla Walla, WA233 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
If ambivalent about seeing the grotto you might feel the boat trip and local entertainment not worth it. For us, it was a nostalgic return to one of the places we saw on kauai honeymoon in 1991...a year before hurricane iniki tore through the middle of the island. So the ride was entertaining...local info one way and music and hula the other. Again, some may sneer, but everyone did get up to join the dance. So get over yourself! The grotto is still lovely. Kauai is just so magical and tropical.
Written 14 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deacon Peter Miranda
Slidell, LA46 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
The fern grotto reminded me of a trip to the redwoods of California. For years I saw the post card pictures of the huge tree you could drive through. Same goes for the fern grotto river Cruise. Go thirty minutes the boat takes you leisurely to the dock while you hear some history of the Smith family and some facts about the river. Once you get to the point of disbarment, you meander through a rainforest path filled with beautiful native flora then you arrive at the filled in grotto, watch a hula and are rushed back to the boat. Seems to me more than 25 minutes could be allowed to photograph and take in the beauty at least since the grotto barely baring any ferns is a disappointment. Thirty minutes back then with some entertainment. Don’t get me wrong the people/family are supper. I guess my expectations were a bit higher.
Written 17 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

qzxyw
5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
This was ridiculous. I very seldom leave reviews but I want people to know what to expect. They packed 2 large full boats onto a small wooden platform to view the grotto. Some people did not even fit, they had someone speak but most people could not hear. It could have been a good experience if they had broke this group into 4 separate groups.
Written 17 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kim S
Wisconsin458 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
The boat ride to the grotto was filled with history and stories of the River and family business. Once at the shore, it was an easy walk to the grotto where we had a quick entertaining show and more history. When we returned to the boat, we had musical entertainment on the ride back to the dock. Perfect way to see the grotto and learn more about Kauai.
Written 3 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JHAC
Salinas, CA12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Couples
Mellow cruise with the very knowledgeable Smith Family tour. Short ~150 yard walk via paved path to the grotto. Angelic Ukulele player singing the Hawaiian Wedding Song. Easy walk back.
Written 20 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 408
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

FERN GROTTO (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All Kauai HotelsKauai Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Kauai
All things to do in Kauai
Day Trips in KauaiZoos & Aquariums in Kauai
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire