There are plenty of natural
sights, such as the wondrous
Keahikawelo (formerly known as the Garden of the Gods), a
rock formation sculpted by wind and water, which looks like it's from
Beaches are spectacular here,
Hulopoe Bay and Beach, which was once named the best beach
Lana’i has plenty of history,
too, including petroglyphs, heiaus and other archaeological sights.
The Kahea Heiau, located on
Lana’i, is said to be the reason why the island's sugar plantation closed
down. Some sacred stones were taken from the site to build the sugar
railroad, and not long after that, the mill's sweet water turned salty for
no apparent reason.
There's only one town on the
island and only one place for services:
Lanai City, in the heart of the island. This 1920s
tin-roofed plantation town still looks the same as it did back when
pineapple was king.
You can browse and shop in a
resort-wear shop and in interesting boutiques featuring the works of Lanai's
local artisans. There are also restaurants, such as the Blue Ginger, which
features local-style food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with plate
Lanai's two luxury resorts, the
Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay and the
Lodge at Koele, with their respective championship golf
courses, the Challenge and the Experience, are the biggest draws on the
island. These full-spectrum resorts offer a world-class selection of things
to do. The facilities at both hotels are fully accessible to guests at
Hawaii's fishing boats
sometimes use different flags to note the type of catch, and seafood
restaurants on the shore only need binoculars to see what the fresh fish on
the menu for that evening will be.
Where You Can Stay On Lana’i
three hotels. One is a little 10-room, one-cottage facility called Hotel
Lana’i, overlooking Lana’i City. The two others are mega-resorts: the Four
Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay, overlooking Hulopoe Bay, and the
upcountry Lodge at Koele, at the base of the mountains. There are also a few
bed & breakfasts.
For physically challenged
clients, all hotels and many smaller properties have at least some rooms
with disabled access.
This barren, rock-strewn plateau
was formerly known as the Garden of the Gods. Keahikawelo was created by
volcanic forces and sculpted by wind and water into strange, wondrous shapes
that look like a moonscape. The bizarre rock formations are colored in a
variety of hues: bright reds, oranges, yellows and various ochers. Viewing
this desolate, windswept area is best during sunrise or sunset, when the
light casts strange shadows. Here, too, you might catch a glimpse of axis
deer foraging on the green grass that borders the rock formations.
Located on the southern end of
the island, Hulopoe Bay is a protected marine preserve. Great clouds of fish
and spinner dolphins frolic in these crystal-clear waters.
During winter, humpback whales
can be seen passing by. The palm-lined gold-sand beach, bordered by black
lava, is by far the nicest beach on the island.
The lava rock tide-pools along
the south shore of Hulopoe Bay provide some of the best low-tide exploring
in Hawai’i. This, however, is a protected area - you should not to try
to collect specimens.
Lanaihale (Munro Trail)
Lanaihale is the 3,700-foot
mountain that towers above Lana’i City. In the early 1900s George Munro, a
New Zealand naturalist, arrived here with seeds, plants and flowers from his
native country. Along a ridge of Mount Lanaihale, he planted these specimens
along a trail that has been named in his memory. This is a rigorous, 11-mile
hike (it can also be driven) past Lanai's highest point. From there you can
see the islands of Maui, Molokini and Kaho’olawe. On a clear day, they might
even be able to see O’ahu, Moloka’i and Hawaii's Big Island.
Lining the trail are Norfolk and
Cook Island pines, which proved so adept at trapping moisture on this arid
island that they've been planted in Lana’i City to keep it cooler.
Keomuku, a once-thriving
community of 2,000, is now a ghost town, having been abandoned in 1901 when
the nearby sugar company failed.
Lanai's only small boat harbor,
Manele Bay, and adjacent Hulopoe Bay form a marine life conservation area
and serve as home to Hawaiian spinner dolphins. Between the bays lies Puu
Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock. Legend has it that Pehe's adoring husband
kept her there in a cave and she drowned in a storm while he was away.
Heartbroken, he buried her there and jumped to his death.
Once a thriving ranching and
fishing village with a population of 2,000, Keomuku has been a ghost town
since the 1950s. There are a few dilapidated buildings, a graveyard and some
empty beaches for snorkeling or picnicking.
Deserted in the 19th century,
this shoreline area was once King Kamehameha the Great's favorite fishing
spot. This royal fishing village is now completely deserted, but there are
the ruins of 86 house platforms, including Kamehameha's, and the Halulu
One way ancient Hawaiians
showed their bravery was by cliff jumping. Near Kaunolu Bay is a place
called Kahekili's Leap. The chief of Maui proved himself by throwing himself
down this 62-foot drop, with a 15-foot wide outcropping of rocks, into just
10 feet of water. He survived.
Luahiwa Petroglyph Field
Lana’i is second only to
Hawaii's Big Island in petroglyphs, which are ancient carvings in the
volcanic rock. The Luahiwa Petroglyph Field contains some fine examples of
early Hawaiian art (and some more modern carvings, too).
Named "nest egg" by early
Hawaiians for the numbers of sea turtles that laid their eggs here,
this remote north shore beach is unsafe for swimming, but can be a
The two mega-resorts on Lana’i,
the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay and the Lodge at Koele, both
offer championship golf courses. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Challenge at
Manele is considered one of the most challenging in the state, while the
Experience at Koele, designed by Greg Norman and Ted Robinson, offers
remarkable scenery along with a world-class course.