Lanai Travel Guide
Aloha and welcome to Lanai, the small yet spunky Hawaiian island full of charm, gorgeous natural beauty and unique nuances that make it one of those places you just have to visit during your lifetime. With a resident population of just over 3,000, Lanai is the perfect retreat escape. Here you can hide away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, avoid the tourist traps offered on the bigger islands and appreciate tranquil days and nights interrupted only by the occasionally bird call or gentle rainfall.
Lanai is largely undeveloped, except for two spectacular resorts and two breathtaking championship golf courses. If you want an exclusive island experience, Lanai is the place. This island is perfectly suited for those seeking untouched natural beauty, with or without creature comforts and luxurious amenities. The unpaved roads of Lanai beckon adventurers of all sorts. Great for those seeking an adventurous vacation.
Geography and Climate
As the sixth largest Hawaiian island, Lanai's land area is a quaint 141 square miles (365 sq. km) with 47 miles (75 km) of shoreline. Formerly nicknamed "The Pineapple Island," Lanai's secluded white-sand beaches and broad range of activities make this island a unique destination. Residents and visitors of Lanai enjoy a varied climate due to quick elevation changes. Sea level temperatures are noticeably warmer than temperatures in Lanai City, situated at nearly 1,700 feet (518 m) above sea level. The average Fahrenheit temperatures in Lanai City can range from 66 – 72 degrees (18.8-22.2 C) depending on the season. Lanai is one of the drier islands with an annual average rainfall of only around 37 inches (94 cm).
Lanai sports 18 beautiful sandy beaches, 12 of them accessible to the public. Scuba, swim, snorkel or sunbathe on gorgeous white sand.
- Manele Bay
Manele Bay is a stunning marine preserve on the south shore with the only public boat harbor on Lanai. Pack a lunch and grab a cooler for a day on the water. Take off from Manele Bay to go deep sea fishing, yachting, whale-watching, snorkeling or ferrying.
- Hulopoe Bay
Once a quaint fishing village in old Hawaii, Hulopoe Bay is a cultural anomaly. Its crescent-shaped white-sand beach is bordered by intricate lava formations. Here, swimming, snorkeling and tide pool exploration are the activities of choice. You may even see an occasional school of spinner dolphins at play, or spot a majestic humpback whale in the winter season.
- Shipwreck Beach
Although this beach is not a swimming beach, “collecting” is a popular activity here. Beachcombers can stroll along Kaiolohia Beach, nicknamed Shipwreck Beach, to find a variety of treasures in the sand. This coastal area on the northeast side of Lanai is famous for its tendency to sink ships due to overwhelming currents and sharp, shallow coral reefs. Visitors can also find ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs carved into rock. The island of Molokai and the Auau Channel dividing Molokai and Maui are visible in the distance.
Hikers can enjoy this winding trail as it progresses upward through the beautiful Hawaiian rainforest. Once the 8 miles (12.8 km) of trail are behind you, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning aerial view of the island and sea atop Lanaihale, Lanai’s only mountain at an elevation of 3,370 feet (1,027 m).
Garden of the Gods
Lanai’s Garden of the Gods, located just northwest of the huge Kanepuu Preserve, is a geological landscape crafted by nature’s elements. Rock formations of brilliant magenta and other shades of red create a sense of peace and awe.
The Cathedrals is a wondrous dive site just off the south coast of Lanai. Like no other spot in the Hawaiian Islands, its hallowed namesake refers to the 60-foot (18 m) chambers that house hundreds of active marine life species, including octopus, blue-stripe snappers and pyramid butterfly fish. A skilled diver could spend hours exploring the nooks and crannies alongside some of the Pacific’s most beautiful inhabitants. This dive is considered an easier level dive and can be enjoyed by beginners as well as pros.
In the northwestern hills of Lanai, target shooters can play in the 15-acre Lanai Pines Sporting Clays course. There are four target shooting disciplines surrounded by incredible views. Explore the 14 stations of this scenic and challenging course as it winds through a range of unique terrains. Or check out the archery range next door, which offers lessons and is suitable for most ages.
Kanepuu Preserve in Lanai’s uplands is 590 acres of adventure and a hiker’s true paradise. Explore the last dryland forest of its kind in the midst of over 40 species of native Hawaiian plants.
What makes Lanai unique?
Why Lanai? Consider a visit to Lanai to experience Hawaii in a raw, unpackaged form, or for the unparalleled land and sea views. You won’t find tall buildings or crowds here. Visitors love the pristine, private-island feel in combination with the upscale resort pampering. Lanai’s scenic backdrop is the epitome of serenity and grace. Honeymoon on Lanai for a romantic trip with no distractions. This former pineapple-producing island is guaranteed to delight and inspire all who are lucky enough to traverse it.