This overgrown, fern-fringed lava cave is one of the most spectacular natural features in the entire state of Hawaii and a must-see for every visitor to the island.
Fern Grotto illustrates well why Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Isle.” This overgrown, fern-fringed lava cave is one of the most spectacular natural features in the entire state of Hawaii and a must-see for every visitor to the island.
The Grotto is very beautiful and the most romantic spot on the island. It’s the ideal place to pledge you undying love. Indeed, it’s a popular spot for marriages. The cave’s natural acoustics are amazing and unique and once you get there, you’ll hear Hawaiian musicians playing traditional songs. There’s nothing quite like hearing the sonorous Hawaiian wedding song echo through its passages.
You can reach the Grotto by taking a boat trip up Wailua River, the only navigable river in Hawaii. All along the way, you’ll have great photo opportunities of the lush grasslands lining the river and of Mt. Waialeale, the wettest spot on Earth.
This is a very popular visitor attraction, where one can learn more about the native vegetation in the informative visitor center.
Visit the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands – Kilauea Point, located on a lava peninsula, which protrudes from Kauai’s north shore. Here you can visit the Kilauea Lighthouse, a 52-foot structure built in 1913 by the U.S. government.
For the next decades, the lighthouse served as a navigational aid for ships heading to and from the Orient. The lighthouse’s beam could reach 90 miles out to sea and it had the largest lens of its type at that time. In the 1970s, its light was turned off and was replaced by a light beacon.
Besides the lighthouse, there is the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a diverse population of nesting seabirds, including the Laysan albatross, the great frigate bird and red-footed boobies.
This is a very popular visitor attraction, where one can learn more about the native vegetation in the informative visitor center, bird watch and take great pictures of the spectacular sea cliffs and coastline.
Kokee Natural History Museum
Kokee Natural History Museum is a very interesting place for those of you who are interested in Kauai’s ecology, geology and climatology.
Located at the end of the breathtaking Waimea Canyon, Kokee Natural History Museum is a very interesting place for those of you who are interested in Kauai’s ecology, geology and climatology. The museum is opened 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, including the holidays. Besides the interactive programs and exhibitions offered, Kokee’s Museum also provides basic information about the trail conditions in Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Parks.
On exhibit you will learn about:
Hawaiian & Pacific Weather featuring Hurricane Iniki of September 1992.
Woods of the Hawaiian Forest, featuring hands-on samples of native Hawaiian & introduced trees in Kaua'i upland forests.
"The Ascent of Emma," an account of an early royal visit to the Koke'e region
Native Hawaiian Birds & Introduced Birds of Kaua'i
Hawaiian stone artifacts
Shells of Kaua'i
Hunting & Fishing on Kaua'i
Koke'e Museum provides translations of selected exhibitions in Japanese, German and French. For more information about the programs and activities offered by the Koke'e, please contact them by phone or visit their website.
Kokee Natural History Museum
3500 East Waimea Canyon Drive
Kekaha, HI 96752
Limahuli Gardens, located in Haena in Kauai’s north shore, extends for more than 1,000 acres of tropical jungle covering three distinct ecological zones.
Limahuli Gardens, located in Haena in Kauai’s north shore, extends for more than 1,000 acres of tropical jungle covering three distinct ecological zones. Seventeen acres are open to the public and the rest is a protected nature preserve.
Here you can take a guided or self-guided tour and marvel at the various plants. You’ll see taro growing on ancient lava rock terraces and learn more about native Hawaiian plants, plants brought by the Polynesians and introduced species.
In 1997, Limahuli Gardens was rated the top natural botanical garden in the United States. It’s dedicated to preserve native Hawaiian culture and plants and it’s the site of ongoing educational programs and research.
The path is a ¾ mile long loop trail and steep in some areas. The garden is open Tuesdays through Fridays and on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Opaekaa Falls is one of Kauai’s major waterfalls that is also accessible by foot.
Opaekaa Falls is one of Kauai’s major waterfalls that is also accessible by foot. Indeed, the hike down to its pool is terrific, but also a bit tricky. You’ll find the trailhead at the top of the falls, near the 2-mile marker that is past the fall’s lookout on Highway 580 (Kuamoo Road).
From there, an unmaintained dirt trail leads to the stream below. The trail can be quite muddy, but if you come prepared, it’s definitely worth it to go down to the pool. It takes about half an hour and the reward will be a close up view of Opaekaa Falls and the lush jungle surrounding it.
You might find yourself all alone here since many people watch the falls from the lookout, which is situated on the highway. Opaekaa Falls means “rolling shrimp” in Hawaiian. It was named after the shrimp, which were once abundant in the stream and pool.
Located on Lawai Road in Poipu on Kauai’s south coast, the Spouting Horn is one of the island’s natural wonders.
Located on Lawai Road in Poipu on Kauai’s south coast, the Spouting Horn is one of the island’s natural wonders. It is a blowhole that frequently spurts water up to 50 feet into the air. It occurs when water from the ocean flows under the lave shelf and bursts through a small opening at the surface. The higher the waves, the higher the spray. If you can, come here at high tide or at sunset, when the spray creates a rainbow. There’s another hole close by which only blows air, creating a groaning sound. Legend has it that the coastline was once guarded by a large moo, a lizard, that ate people, who fished or swam here. When one day a man named Liko entered the water, the moo tried to attack him. Liko swam under the lava shelf and escaped through the blowhole. The moo went after him, but became stuck in it. It is believed that the moo is still in the hole and that the groaning sound is the moo’s cry of hunger and pain.
Wailua River, in the heart of Kauai, is the only navigable river in the entire state of Hawaii.
Wailua River, in the heart of Kauai, is the only navigable river in the entire state of Hawaii. It’s the result of the constant rains pouring off Mount Waialeale, which is the wettest spot on Earth. It receives an amazing 40 feet of rain per year.
You can take a boat trip up the river and marvel at the breathtaking natural scenery and wonders of the “Garden Isle.” The lush river valley is truly magical and once served as the capital of the ancient Kauai. It was reserved as a sacred place of the island’s alii, the royalty.
The boats are all open-air and guarantee you a front-row seat of everything. At the end of the tour, you’ll reach the most romantic and famous spot on the island – Fern Grotto. This fern-fringed lava cave illustrates well why Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Isle.”
Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific.
At ten miles long and more than a half-mile deep, Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific. It is an amazing natural feature that even Mark Twain was so fascinated by that he called it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
There are many tours that bring you close to this incredible chasm, which has been carved by non-stop rains cascading down from Mt. Waialeale’s summit for thousands of years. The mountain features a rainbow of colored rock layers that reveal its geological history.
Waimea Canyon is located within Kokee State Park, which encompasses more than 4,300 acres including 45 miles of walking trails, which offer unparalleled views of the canyon and the forest environment.