At 140 sq. miles, Lanai (nicknamed the Pineapple Island) is Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island and an excellent place to vacation if you enjoy Hawaii – minus the crowds. Home to only about 3,200 people, Lanai has about 30 miles of roads (most not paved), only one town (Lanai City) and no stop lights!
What is there to do on this beautiful and quiet island? Here are a few suggestions to help you discover Lanai.
Located on the south side, close to the Four Seasons Lanai, Hulopoe Beach is a long crescent of golden sand. The snorkeling here is great and there are tide pools to explore on the far south end of the beach.
Hike to Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock).
Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, is located south of Hulopoe Beach and the trail can be accessed from the parking area or beach. Definitely worth the walk for the view; the story of Puu Pehe is equally as legendary. Read about the legend here. The water is so clear around the cliffs that you can spot brightly colored tropical fish from a distance. If you can get there early enough, it is said that the view is even more spectacular at sunrise!
If you enjoy a really good game of golf, you should be sure to bring your clubs to Lanai (or arrange for a rental in the Golf Shop). The Manele Golf Course (part of the Four Seasons Lanai) is a spectacular 18 hole golf course built on lava outcroppings high above Hulopoe Bay.
The views of the ocean from many of the holes will surely challenge your concentration, but losing a few balls may be worth it in this case. We were told that during whale season, you can spot whales breaching and playing in the waters below as you play.
If you find yourself in Lanai City, be sure to check out the Cavendish Golf Course. A pretty 9 hole course tucked between tall Norfolk pines, Cavendish was originally built for plantation workers on the island. Today it’s a free public course that anyone can play. Yes, free.
Take a scenic tour in a Razor UTV.
Arranged through the Four Seasons, tours through the old pineapple plantation and the hills surrounding in a 4 person UTV can be a thrilling way to explore the island. Stop at scenic overlooks of surrounding islands and pineapple fields and hold on as they get the vehicle up to 70 mph on the final stretch!
Treat yourself to a few nights of absolute luxury at the Four Seasons Lanai.
Although you can easily take the ferry from Maui to Lanai to explore for the day, you might consider treating yourself to several nights of luxury in this uber luxurious hotel. The recently redone rooms are over-the-top beautiful with a sophisticated style, 75 inch televisions that greet you by name, beautifully appointed bathrooms (don’t get me started on the, um, toilets with lids that automatically rise as you enter…) and room keys that are waterproof and worn on your wrist for convenience. The grounds are tropically luscious and meticulously maintained.
In addition to the incredible room amenities, you can choose from 5 top notch restaurants, including NOBU Lanai. Perfection comes with a price, but what an experience!
Although we didn’t get to experience all that Lanai has to offer during our short visit, here are a few things left on our list during our next visit to the Pineapple Island:
Polihua Beach and Shipwreck Beach on the northern coast
Garden of the Gods
Hiking the Munro Trail
Lanai Culture and Heritage Center
Have you discovered Lanai? Tell us about it!
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