Lanai, Hawaii Travel Guide
- Nature, nature, nature...Did we say nature yet?
- Friendly, helpful locals that seem to always be looking to converse and interact with tourists
- Some high-end boutiques in resorts
- Small, local shops and restaurants in the center of Lanai
- Lots of outdoor activities, such as golfing, biking, camping, and horseback riding
- Tons of water sports options: deep-sea fishing; kayaking; rafting; scuba diving; surfing
- No direct flights to the mainland
- Few typical tourist attractions, including restaurants or bars
- Boring nightlife scene (but it’s there!)
What It's Like
Sanctuary. Paradise. Oasis. Pineapple farm? These are just a few words that come to mind when attempting to describe the essence of Lanai. With not a single stoplight on the island, it really doesn’t need to be said that this island is a bit off of Hawaii’s beaten path. As for the pineapple reference -- for years, Lanai was nothing more than a tiny village surrounded by a a pineapple plantation.
Today, Lanai hasn’t changed much, except that some of the pineapple trees have been traded in for a few high-end resorts (where celebrity couples will occasionally stay as guests). Even though its jaw-dropping naturural beauty (which includes cerulean ocean and lush forests) is its best asset, small-town coziness accompanies this undeveloped isle. In Lanai, locals exude that renowned Hawaiian hospitality that has kept visitors coming back for ages.
Lanai also offers some of the typical resort destination activities, but with a distinct Lanai twist. For instance, the Challenge at Manele in Lanai City is your basic 18-hole golf course, but it spreads out over fields of lava pressing up against scenic coastal cliffs. Other attractions in Lanai City include the Culture & Heritage Center and the Lanai Art Center.
Where to Stay
Being that Lanai is so undeveloped and remote, hotels only fall into two locations on the island: near Hulopo’E Beach Park, on the southern tip, and in Lanai City, smack dab in the center. Visitors staying in Lanai City will be closer to restaurants, bars, and shops -- what little there are on the island. Travelers staying on the southern edge will experience a slightly different Lanai, one of almost complete isolation.