Things to Do – Lanai


Lanai is not crowded with shopping malls, high-rises, or amusement parks. It has no large buildings, large businesses, or heavy traffic. Lanai is a place of tranquility where industrial expansion and development has not penetrated the island. Instead, Lanai is covered in the beauty of ancient Hawaii with mountainous and oceanic scenery to give visitors of the island a special gift of things to do to bring happiness, peacefulness, and relaxation to their inner selves.

Large cities does not mean that there is more to do than on an island that has put more importance into maintaining a part of its past. An island where its people have cared for its land and preserved their Native Hawaiian heritage has a lot to offer its visitors in the form of pure natural adventure.

The island of Lanai has few tours, but many attractions to share the beauty of the island with its visitors. There is a variety of fine and local dining, unique and locally owned stores for shopping, beautiful beaches where you can spend an entire day, and relaxing places to unwind, de-stress, and forget about the busy lifestyle that you normally live. Spending your vacation on Lanai will change the way you view the world.

Tours and Attractions

Exploring the island of Lanai is done on your own, except at the Kanepuu Reserve in the North Lanai region where, if you have a large group, guided hikes are conducted by the Nature Conservancy that protects this area. If you are traveling alone, as a couple, or with your children there are maps for a self-guided tour through this reserve of Native Hawaiian plants that have been kept safe from destruction and extinction. Other tours that are offered are on the open ocean with sunset cruises to view Lanai from its coast and chartered fishing tours for a day of fishing off the shores of Lanai. During the months of December through May, there are also whale watching tours. The other areas of the island are left for you to explore on your own. The first thing you want to do when arriving on Lanai is rent a hummer or another type of 4-wheel drive vehicle as most of the places you will want to explore is on dirt and rocky roads. Keahiakawelo, also known as the Garden of the Gods, is a popular attraction with its beautiful views, rock gardens, and lunar landscape. The hiking of the Munro Trail is best done early as it is a 12 mile hike up the peek to Lanaihale offering a spectacular view of the island and the Pacific Ocean. You can also go for a horseback ride at the Lanai Equestrian Center at Koele.


Dining options are available in Lanai City with local restaurants where you can receive a taste of the local foods of the island. The main three dining places in town are Blue Ginger Café, Café 565, and Canoes Lanai Restaurant. For fine dining options, there are restaurants available at the Hulopoe Court and Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele where they are known for not only great, fresh seafood, but also an Italian cuisine. Fine dining options are also available at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay with outdoor dining and a variety of food options for any taste. The Hotel Lanai also has a restaurant, Lanai City Grill, which is also popular on the island.


There are no shopping malls, but Lanai has unique shops in its only town – Lanai City. There are casual shops with no crowds so you can shop comfortably in its “laid back” style of the island. The shops run a total of six blocks, including art galleries, boutiques, local fashion, souvenirs, and handcrafted items. Some of the popular stores include Local Gentry, Dis ‘N Dat, and Gifts with Aloha.


The shoreline of Lanai is approximately 18 miles of white sand beaches. In the region of South Lanai there is one beach, Hulopoe Beach Park at Hulopoe Bay near the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. This beach is great for snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing. It has tide pools for exploring, restrooms, and perfect areas for a picnic. In the region of North Lanai, there are two beaches. Polihua Beach is accessible only with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. It spreads across two miles of white sand, is very secluded where you can have the entire beach to yourself; however, this beach does have strong currents so swimming is not recommended. The second beach is Kaiolohia, or Shipwreck Beach, where you also need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to access. Off its shoreline on a reef sits a WWII ship that got shipwrecked. There are no restrooms at this beach and it also has strong currents so it is not recommended for swimming, but is a great place to sunbathe and take a stroll in the beautiful white sands.


The beaches, site-seeing, and hiking are great ways to relax on the island of Lanai. A popular relaxing hike is the Puu Pehe lookout that takes approximately 20 minutes, but is worth the serenity and the beauty. The Munro Trail is another popular hiking trail, but it is 12 miles to the peak of Lanaihale so if you are planning on doing this hike it is recommended that you start early in the morning. It is a beautiful hike with Native Hawaiian plants in the rainforest area, pine trees, eucalyptus trees, and ohia plants. For some pampering, the resorts on the island offer full-service day spas where you can be treated to a relaxing massage or facial.