The smallest publically-accessible island in Hawaii is Lanai. Larry Ellison, the fifth wealthiest person in the world, owns 98 percent of the island with the remainder belonging to the state. Named one of the most endangered historical sites in the United States about 3,100 people live there. Enjoy a tropical Savanna climate all year long Rain falls about seven days monthly during the winter. Locals often call the island the pineapple island. James Dole arrived on the island in 1922 where he soon created flourishing pineapple plantations. Soon, farmers grew 75 percent of all pineapples exported in the world on Lanai Island. Serving tourists is now the major industry.
Lanai Traveling Overview
Enjoy visiting the beautiful weather by exploring the many wonderful outdoor activities. Explore the rugged beauty of this Hawaii island which looks exactly like you have seen on many Hawaiian postcards. Play golf at the island’s two courses set among picturesque seaside landscapes. Relax on the area’s beaches including Hulopoe Beach, Shipwreck Beach and Polihua Beach. Hike along the island’s fabulous trails like the Munro Trail winding its way through the rainforest before arriving at the island’s remotest beaches. Consider also hiking the shorter trail to Sweetheart Rock. Explore the island by driving a jeep to Garden of the Gods. Ride a horse to explore the island’s more remote areas. Rent a boat at the Manele Small Boat Harbor to explore the crystal-clear water near this island. Visit the beaches to see whales and seals playing in the nearby ocean waters. Hear the meows and feel the love of over 500 cats at the Cat Sanctuary.
Art lovers adore visiting Lanai. Mike Carroll Gallery features original Hawaiian paintings from this artist who draws inspiration from daily morning walks around the city. He brings many historical settings to life in his oil paintings. Visitors also see many works from over 30 other artists at this studio including photographs, jewelry, and various painting medium. Lanai Art Center regularly features workshops on the area’s historical crafts along with having a gift shop filled with works by local artists. Visitors find woodcarvings, paintings, photos, ceramics and even handmade fabrics in the gift shop.
King Kamehameha I declared a small spot on the island his favorite fishing spot. Visitors can view the ruins at this site now called the Kaunolu Fishing Village. See where the pineapple industry started at Keomuku. Hike up the lava fields near Shipwreck Beach to see the petroglyphs left by some of the earliest residents.
Two Lanai Hotels
Visitors do not need a map to get around this area. There are only two places to stay.
Larry Ellison oversaw the development of the new Resort Lanai on Manele Bay containing the most expensive hotel room in Hawaii at $21,000 a night. Learn to make a lei, dance the hula and play the ukulele at the resort’s Hookipa Cultural Program. Relax on the sandy beaches while enjoying a fruit skewer or popsicle. Stroll through the resort’s botanical gardens or talk to the birds at the aviary. Play tennis or snorkel using the resort’s complimentary equipment. Children adore their own activities at the popular children’s program. Dine on innovative Japanese cuisine at Nobu Lanai or enjoy a juicy locally-raised wagyu steak at One Forty. Alternatively, dine poolside on vegan coconut curry or soy-marinated steak sandwich prepared with locally organically grown ingredients.
- Prices starting at $875/night;
- Reservations through the hotel portal;
- Best for families;
- Address: 1 Manele Bay Road, Lanai City, Hawaii 96763;
James Dole built Hotel Lanai as an exclusive retreat for businessmen opening it in 1923. Hawaiian décor, much of it made by local artists, invites each guest to linger awhile at this hotel which was the first to open in on the island. Enjoy Asian-influenced dishes served family style at the Lanai City Grille. History-loving visitors adore staying here since the property contains many period pieces. Consider staying in one of the four rooms with a patio.
- Prices starting at $179/night;
- Reservations through hotel portal;
- Best for couples;
- Address: 828 Lanai Avenue, Lanai City, HI 96763;
Top 4 Places to Grab a Quick Bite
Guests looking to dine away from the resorts can find wonderful restaurants in Lanai.
- Blue Ginger Café at 409 7th Street serves authentic local cuisine. Stop in the morning to enjoy a blueberry or cherry turnover. Grab a hamburger later in the day.
- Lanai Ohana Poke Market at 898 Gay Street serves poke made with fish. Understand that they sell out frequently.
- Pete’s Other Garden Grill at 811 Houston Street is a great place to find good sandwiches during the day. Pop in for a beer and pizza at night. Finish off the meal with a cappuccino.
- Café 565 located at 408 8th Street offers good Korean food for lunch.
Other Things to Do in Lanai Hawaii
This island is very rugged with picturesque scenes everywhere. Swimming and snorkeling are popular near Hulopoe Bay. Try to be the first to spot dolphins and humpback whales. Play in the tidal pools filled with hermit crabs and starfish. Alternatively, plan your visit to coincide with the Festival of Aloha. Enjoy learning more about native Hawaiian culture during this event featuring street parties and a parade. Visit the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center to learn more about the history and customs of this island.
Experience Hawaii’s natural beauty with a visit to the sixth largest island in Hawaii. Guests find two places to stay on this island owned by Larry Ellison. The island only has two hotels. The elegant Resort Lanai offers guests a variety of experiences along with fantastic dining experiences. James Dole built the other one to entertain businessmen when over 75 percent of all pineapple exported in the world was grown on this island. Guests can enjoy cafes and grills around town. If you have been here, then we would love to hear your experiences.
Images taken from depositphotos.com.