Fern Grotto is a fern covered, lava rock grotto located on the Wailua River on the eastern side of Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago. It forms a natural amphitheater which greatly increases the acoustics of the many bands that are hired to perform live music, which has traditional themes. Several boat companies give river tours which lead to the grotto. On April 24, 2006, the Grotto was closed by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources for safety reasons. Heavy rains in March, 2006, caused a number of rocks and boulders to fall from the ceiling of the Grotto onto the viewing area below. It was re-opened in 2007 by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources following artificial reinforcement of the rock walls and installation of ramps to access to the grotto. Prior to the 2006 flooding visitors were allowed to enter the grotto. Today the grotto may only be viewed from the designated observation deck.
Access to the Grotto is by boat on the Wailua River as part of the Wailua River State Park. Tour boats ply the waters of the park and the Grotto has long been a popular stop on the tour. Fern Grotto was nearly destroyed when the island of Kauai was hit by hurricane Iniki in 1992. Most of the ferns hanging from the grotto were torn from the rocks and, though much of the plant life has rebounded, the grotto has yet to recover much of the grandeur for which it was previously known. In spite of the damage, it remains one of the most popular and beautiful spots on the island.
This attraction is known primarily as the most romantic spot on the island of Kauai, and the area can be rented for weddings. Previously, weddings were performed within the grotto, but now they take place on the observation deck facing the grotto.
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