The smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, Lanai offers big enticements to its visitors. Only nine miles from Maui yet a world away, Lanai can feel like two places. The first is found in luxurious resorts where visitors can indulge in world-class amenities and championship-level golf. The other is found bouncing along the island’s rugged back roads in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to explore off-the-beaten-path treasures. You’re sure to find serenity, adventure and privacy on Lanai.
Wide open plains dotted with Cook pine trees give Central Lanai a more rustic feel than the other Hawaiian Islands. The higher elevations of Central Lanai also make for cooler temperatures similar to Upcountry Maui. If you’re traveling to Central Lanai from Hulopoe Bay you’ll pass through the Palawai Basin, an area once covered with pineapple fields. To the east, the Munro Trail leads to Lanaihale, Lanai’s highest peak.
The geographic and cultural epicenter of the island is in Lanai City. Centered around Dole Park, you’ll discover one of a kind shops, local dining and unique art galleries in Lanai City. You’ll also find the historic Hotel Lanai, which has welcomed guests since 1923. Just up the street is the lavish Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele. The Lodge is unlike any other resort in Hawaii featuring fine dining, horseback riding, tennis, archery, and a clay shooting range.
Only 30 miles of road in Lanai are paved, leaving 400 miles of dirt road to explore by 4-wheel drive, much of which is in North Lanai. Off road to Kaiolohia, also known as Shipwreck Beach, to see a derelict ship stuck in the rocky waters of Lanai’s north shore. Just north of Kanepuu Preserve is Keahiakawelo, or the Garden of the Gods, featuring the lunar landscapes incongruous to the sand and surf of Hawaii. Finally continue your bumpy drive to secluded Polihua Beach, where you may find yourself all alone on a 2-mile stretch of sand.
Sunny South Lanai is where you’ll find a mix of luxury and tranquility. Here you’ll find Hulopoe Bay and Manele Bay, a beautiful marine life conservation area where spinner dolphins can frequently be spotted soaring from the sea. Rising between the two bays is the Lanai landmark Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock. And fronting Hulopoe Beach is the exquisite Four Seasons Resort Lanai where you can find a full-service spa, fine dining and the Jack Nicklaus designed Manele Golf Course.
You can also get off the beaten path and four-wheel drive to Kaunolu, King Kamehameha’s summer fishing retreat on Lanai’s southern cliffs. Or take a drive to Kaumalapau Harbor to see an incredible Lanai sunset.
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