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Wailua, often known as "Two Waters," is known for its extra tall royal palm trees. It's quite a special place . . . the beaches are excellent, and shops, restaurants, and nightlife are close at hand.

Wailua Falls
Rolling terrain and mountain peaks covered with sugar cane take you up and away from the ocean on Route 583. Far below, Wailua Falls tumbles 80-feet over into a large round pool. The cliff over the pool once served as a
diving platform for the ali`i. Native chiefs dove over the cliffs in ancient time to prove their courage. Only royalty were considered sufficiently courageous and powerful to perform this test.

Made famous by the TV show "Fantasy Island", this is always a nice place to stop. No hiking is required, but there is a trail down to the falls. It's particularly tough and steep, but if you're brave enough to try it, you'll have the falls to yourself! To get to the "two falls," take 56 through Hanamaulu (just north of Lihue) to Route 583 (Maalo Road). Turn onto Maalo Road, follow 6 miles to the end and you will find Wailua Falls. Contact Wailua Kayak Adventures for tours.

Fern Grotto
The fern grotto is a natural rock amphitheater, with walls covered in fern. Growing because of perfect conditions for growth, the ferns grow wildly filling the cavern with a deep musty smell and green beauty! The fern grotto is a favorite spot for brides and grooms because of the natural
beauty. There are two local companies that run sightseeing trips to the fern grotto, which is the only way to get there. You're taken upriver for two miles as the crew tells legends of the area and serenades visitors with
Hawaiian songs.

The Coco Palms
This favorite tourist hotel sits among a coconut grove planted in the early 1800s. Every night, a torch-lighting ceremony takes place under the palm canopy that surrounds a lagoon. Even if you're not a guest at the hotel, the ceremony is a "must-see" if you're in the area. Often, when
Hollywood needed a "paradise" setting, they came to Coco Palms in such films as Blue Hawaii and South Pacific. As soon as you walk on the grounds of Coco Palms, you feel romantic ... it's such a peaceful garden.

Smith's Tropical Paradise
Proclaimed as a "tropical paradise," this 30-acre botanical and cultural garden is set along the Wailua River. It provides you with an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with the rare and exotic foliage that is sheltered and well-watered. There is even a luau house and lagoon
theater used in the evening for an international music show. Entrance fees are $3 for adults and $1.50 for children. An additional tram tour costs $2 and $1, for adults and children respectively. There is an additional charge for the luau musical show - $36 for adults, $23 children (ages 2 to 11).

Kamokila Hawaiian Village
This is a re-created folk village that is located at the bend in the Wailua River on the way to Fern Grotto. A guide will escort you around and explain the importance of each site in the village, as well as explain the methods of creating handicrafts and tools, the use of all ordinary and medicinal plants, and how the village operated on a daily basis. A free shuttle bus service to the village is available from area hotels. Entrance fee is $5 for adults, $1.50 for children under 12. A trip to this village is a must and is well worth your time and effort.

There are numerous other sites you might want to check out, such as Hauola O'Honaunau, the Wailua River State Park, Lydgate State Park, and the Poaiahu Arboretum. Wailua has few beaches, but they're excellent.

With a population of just over 1,500, Wailua is not overdeveloped. The natural charm is as vibrant as ever and is definitely a place you should visit.