Lanai is called “Hawaii’s Most Enticing Island,” and this unspoiled island paradise is well worth exploring. Home to just over 3,000 residents, Lanai has one small town and no traffic lights. This island of stunning contrasts is the perfect place to relax, unwind and get away from it all. Here you’ll find lavish five-star luxury and world-class vacation experiences juxtaposed against breathtaking landscapes, forty-seven miles of pristine coastline and networks of isolated red dirt roads perfect for exploring via four-wheel drive.
It’s easy to add Lanai to a Hawaii cruise vacation. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America overnights in Maui’s port of Kahului, giving its cruise guests two full days to explore. For guests who are already familiar with some of Maui’s delights, taking a day trip to Lanai should be at the top of their excursion list. The EXPEDITIONS ferry service conveniently departs to and from Maui’s Lahaina Harbor five times each day. Quick flights to Lanai from Honolulu make it convenient to visit Lanai for several days before or after a Pride of America cruise, too.
What To Do
Lanai’s aloha spirit can be felt everywhere. The island, the people and the culture combine to create a memorable destination experience. Here’s what to do during your stay in Lanai:
Find Your Perfect Beach. Lanai’s exquisite beaches will beckon lovers of sun and sand. Two of the most notable off-the-beaten-path beaches are two-mile long Polihua Beach and Kaiolohia, an eight-mile long strand known as Shipwreck Beach. Ancient petroglyphs can be found in this area and turtles are often seen sunning themselves on the sands there as well. Lanai’s Hulopoe Beach has been named as America’s Best Beach by “Doctor Beach,” Stephen Leatherman. Nearby Puu Pehe, also called Sweetheart Rock, is a must-visit spot.
Head for the Water. Hulopoe Bay is a protected marine preserve. Its rich waters are great for snorkeling, swimming and other water sports such as SNUBA, scuba and Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Get Off-Road. Only thirty miles of Lanai’s roads are paved, making it a superb destination for vacationers who want to get away from it all. Those who wish to explore Lanai on their own can reserve a 4 wheel-drive Jeep through EXPEDITIONS or make advance reservations to rent a vehicle through Dollar Rent A Car on Lanai. Guided tours with Rabaca’s Limousine Service or touring independently via four-wheel drive are popular here. Don’t miss viewing the lunar-like landscapes found at Keahiakawelo, also known as Garden of the Gods. The huge boulders and rock formations are extraordinary.
Take In the Vistas. Visitors also enjoy hiking or 4-wheel driving along Lanai's famed Munro Trail. This single-lane dirt trail leads up to the highest peak on the island and offers spectacular views from multiple lookout areas.
Explore Lanai City. Lanai City is home to some great restaurants & boutiques. Visitors enjoy viewing stunning artwork at the Mike Carroll Gallery and browsing through shops such as The Local Gentry. The historic exhibits at the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center make it well worth a stop, too.
Sample the Cuisine. Guests who are just visiting Lanai for the day may wish dine at one of the restaurants at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay such as VIEWS, offering breathtaking views of Puu Pehe and Hulopoe Bay. Blue Ginger Café is located in Lanai City, and it’s popular with both visitors and locals. Additional great spots to eat in Lanai City include Pele’s Other Garden and the Lana’i Ohana Poke Market.
Play Golf. Golfers should make advance reservations to play the Manele Golf Course, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay’s 18-hole par 72 championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Golfers will be rewarded with stunning views throughout this challenging course.
Give Back. The non-profit Lanai Animal Rescue Center (L.A.R.C.) outdoor animal sanctuary is home to well over 300 homeless cats, affectionately known as “Lana’ian Lions.” Island visitors can come every day between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help with the sanctuary’s “Pet & Purr” cat socialization program and other activities. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay has partnered with L.A.R.C. on voluntourism activities through its Kokua Project as well.
Where To Stay
Those who wish to stay on Lanai overnight have two superb options. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay is set overlooking the ocean and beautiful Hulopoe Beach. Named as one of world’s Best Beach Hotels by readers of Travel + Leisure, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay delights guests with its newly renovated and richly appointed rooms and suites. A wide variety of spa treatments can also be arranged with proper notice.
The historic Hotel Lanai was built in the early 1920’s to house Dole executives. This charming upcountry inn with 11 rooms is a good choice for those on more of a budget. Located right in Lanai City, the Hotel Lanai makes a great home base for exploring the island.
For more detailed information about planning a day or overnight trip to Lanai, visit http://www.gohawaii.com/lanai.