Lanai is the sixth biggest of all of the Hawaiian islands with a landscape so unique it almost seems like you are on another planet; one that is only 40 square miles with 3,000 inhabitants. There is plenty to do in this mystical place including shopping and dining in the six blocks of streets that make up friendly Lanai City.
Here are 7 experiences you need to try when you visit Lanai.
1. Explore and Hike Keahiakawelo aka The Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is the glittering gem in Lanai Island’s crown, with enormous slabs and boulders of salmon pink and violet rock jutting from iron-rich orange soil overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This otherworldly landscape is located 7 miles north of Lanai City and is best accessed by a mountain bike, or four-wheel drive vehicle
2. Sunbathe and See Marine Life at Polihua Beach
This two-mile stretch of white sand is windy with rough waters. It borders the Garden of the Gods and is not recommended for swimming, surfing, or watersports. However, it is a beautiful place to sunbathe and a great place to observe sea turtles and whales during the winter months – just keep your distance and respect the wildlife.
3. Hike Through the Rainforest to the Top of Munro Trail
Just north of Lanai City is the twelve-mile Munro trail, named after explorer James Cook, that takes you through lush pine forests and eucalyptus trees to Lanai’s highest lookout point at 3,370 feet. Once you reach the summit enjoy the 360-degree view of six of the Hawaiian Islands. If hiking is not your cup of tea, then consider hiring a helicopter at Lanai Circle Experience that will fly you by Lanai’s famous volcano and most famous rock faces.
Enjoy Spectacular Sunsets at Sweetheart Rock
Just a short stroll from the stunning Lanai Four Seasons Hotel, this famous cliff face embraces Manele Bay with a view of a solo 80 ft. large cliff jutting out of the ocean. A trail leads to a beach where you can explore a natural sea arch, a cove, and tide pools that expose all kinds of unique marine life. Just keep your distance and be respectful.
Snorkel and Swim at Hulopoe Bay
This famous beach in the southern part of Lanai boasts plaster-white sand and clear sapphire-blue waters. It is the beach front attached to the luxurious Manale Bay Resort hotel. Hulopoe Bay is an underwater Marine park and sanctuary harboring octopus, moray eels, butterflyfish, and beautiful coral.
Feast on Authentic Hawaiian Food
There are no fast food or chains on this small, self-sustaining Island. The city boasts home-grown cafes and street food at its famous Dole Park market. Here you can buy a variety of delicious items and local ingredients such as hot spices, pineapple, poi, and seafood. Filipino, Japanese, and even Portuguese culture influences much of the cuisine.
Buy Clothing, Art, and Souvenirs at Dole Park Market
Dole Park is the central meeting point of Lanai and the site of its open-air marketplace. Lanai is a cultural center with artisans, painters, jewelers and has many art galleries. The Lanai Arts Center sells handmade tourist souvenirs and is also a central location from which you can book cruises, tours, and guides.
Lanai is a whole other world within the Hawaiian Islands, largely unspoiled and unpolluted with plenty to offer both the luxury hotel dweller and the low-budget traveler. Hiking, snorkeling, horseback riding, and even clay pigeon shooting are offered at the various luxury and more affordable hotels in this paradise-like setting that is the backdrop for many romantic Hawaiian myths and legends. Explore the beauty of Lanai by participating in these 7 amazing experiences.
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