The island of Lanai is the smallest of the main Hawaiian Islands (excluding Niihau and Kahoolawe) as well as the least populated one. There is just one small town in the center of the island, where not much is going on. But that’s the whole point of coming here – to see a Hawaiian island that doesn’t know crowds, traffic or stress.
Some people who come to Lanai don’t bother doing any sightseeing because they think there is nothing there. But it all depends on how you define “nothing.” Sure, you won’t find shopping malls or entertainment complexes.
However, what you will find is some of the most remote beaches in Hawaii, where sea turtles feel comfortable to sun themselves right on the beach, ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs (rock carvings), mysterious locations, such as the Garden of the Gods, and scenic hiking trails. Man-made attractions include two renowned championship golf courses. Below is a list of some of the best things to do on Lanai.
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Legend shrouds these mystic rock formations, also known as Keahikawelo. The Garden is a vast expanse of large boulders in a spectrum of red and earthen colors, scattered so perfectly that you’d think they were placed here by hand. Read More
This heiau is one of the most impressive archaeological sites on Lanai. It makes a stunning presence with its stark color and intricate construction, set against the peaceful backdrop of the seaside village of Kaunolu. Read More
Kahekili's Leap is a rock ledge on Lanai's south shore. It was here where King Kamehameha's warriors proved their bravery by leaping 80 feet (24 m) into the ocean below. Read More
Located on Lanai's southwestern shore near the ancient village of Kaunolu, Kane'apua is a lava rock ledge. The small offshore tide pools and sea cliffs make for scenic views. Read More
The Kanepu'u Preserve is a vast garden of rare flowers and native birds. This 590-acre (2.4 sq. km) lot is home to one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems, where dozens of native plants and avian fauna can be seen. Read More
This harbor is Lanai’s principal commercial seaport, which used to be a busy port during the island’s pineapple-growing period. It is surrounded by dramatic sea cliffs, making it an impressive sunset-viewing location. Read More
Art buffs exploring Lanai won’t have a lot of luck: there’s only one multicultural community arts program on the island. But the Lanai Art Center more than makes up for it with its impressive collection of local and international art and cultural events. Read More
Manele Harbor has the only public boat harbor on the island. Visitors who take the ferry from Lahaina on neighboring Maui arrive here (five times daily), as well as a few fishing and snorkeling tour boats. Read More
The most popular hike on Lanai is the 7-mile (11 km) long Munro Trail, which leads up to Lanaihale, the highest peak on the island. This is the only spot in the state of Hawaii from where one can see five other Hawaiian islands. Read More
Pu'u Pehe, also known as Sweetheart Rock, is a beautiful location, with red rocks and cliffs that contrast beautifully against the deep blue ocean. An ancient legend tells of two lovers, who met their fate here. Read More