If you’re looking for a serene and remote island experience that feels like a stay-cation, this weekend needs to include escaping to Lana’i. Only 16 miles away from Lahaina, you can take a short ferry ride over – currently available five days a week. Untouched hidden gems, tucked away natural wonders, and peaceful isolation, await you on every corner of Hawaii’s smallest visited island. On one side of the island at Four Seasons Resort Lanai you are welcomed to a luxury resort setting with 5-star dining and poolside cocktails. On the other side, you have thrilling off-roading adventures and exciting rugged terrain sure to entice the explorer in all of us. There is also Sensei Lanai - A Four Seasons Resort, where you will experience an adults-only, luxurious wellness enclave. Whatever you choose to fill your Lana’i itinerary you’re sure to embark on the most romantic, authentic, and wondrous Hawaiian experiences yet.
Explore the most beautiful stretch of white sand, colorful reefs, native fish, and swaying palms that Lanai has to offer. A snorkeler's dream and a beach bums playground, Hulopoe Bay is a must-see for any Lanai visitor. Sometimes a hot spot for dolphins, humpback whales, and turtles, it’s safe to say this beach is enjoyed by ocean animals and locals alike. Along the east side, you’ll find pristine tide pools filled with tiny hermit crabs and perfect for wading in. Picnic tables and shaded palm tree areas make for a perfect beach picnic or afternoon nap under the sky. So pack your snorkel gear, bring the beach umbrella, and get ready for the most beautiful beach day along Lanai’s shoreline.
Dole Park is at the heart of Lanai and is home to one of the most beautiful parks in Hawaii. Sky-high pine trees and big grassy fields make for a perfect day of picnics, strolling along the walkways, and spending time in peaceful solitude. Along the way is the best shopping, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants in Lanai, an easy way to grab a bite to eat after enjoying the views of Dole Park. You can choose from local favorites like Blue Ginger Cafe, Coffee Works, and Pele’s.
It’s no secret that Hawaii has some of the best whale watching in the world. There’s nothing better than marveling at one of the most majestic ocean animals while mere meters away from the beautiful Hawaiian coastline. Situated along the Auau Channel, Lanai has front-row seats for whale watching during the season. The channel boasts warm, safe, and shallow waters that humpback whales happily flock to with their young. To make the most of your adventurous day, some tours offer delicious meals, snacks, and beverages on the boat ride. Most of the Lanai whale watching tours dock in Lahaina Harbor, so be sure to check with your tour company for details of where they are based. Even if you’re not on a guided tour you could still spot a flipper or two from almost any beach! So keep your eyes peeled.
Manele Golf Course
Manele Golf Course is situated on the Four Seasons Resort property, overlooking the coastal beauty of Lana’i, and is exclusively available to guests. If you find yourself enjoying a staycation or visiting the island for the first time, stepping on this beautiful green might just be worth the stay. Golfers can walk along the course that’s built over miles of lava rock, deep ravines, and sweeping fields. Sunset and sunrise tee times are privy to magnificent views out on the Pacific Ocean, a scene straight out of a postcard. Once you’ve had your fill of some of the best golf, head on over to the Views restaurant for excellent food and even better service.
Stepping into a scene straight out of a treasure-hunting pirate story sits Shipwreck Beach situated on Lanai’s northeastern coast, off of Kaiolohia Bay. The first and biggest thing people notice is the huge abandoned ships in the ocean. Strong tradewinds and huge swells have left dozens of ships taking permanent residence in Lanai’s waters.
According to Hawaii Magazine, “The two most prominent wrecks you see when visiting the area are World War II-era navy vessels that were intentionally grounded: the YOGN-42, a ferro-cement navy fuel barge (the first visible offshore wreck at Kaiolohia Bay), and the navy yard oiler YO-21 that’s on the western end 6 miles away at Awalua Bay. The YO-21 is one of the few remaining vessels that were present at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.”
The expansive 6-mile shoreline is an exciting and beautiful hike that definitely makes you feel like you've entered a different time. Get ready to take some breathtaking photos and capture even better memories.
Keahiakawelo (Garden of The Gods)
If you’re looking for an excuse to hop on a mountain bike or trek rugged roads in an off-roading vehicle and see Lanai from a higher perspective, then Keahiakawelo is where you should visit next. Keahiakawelo is a garden of rock formations that sit at the top of the mountain resembling a Mars-scape versus anything earthly. Hawaiian legend says that the native dryland forest came to be from a Lanai kahuna (priest) who challenged a Maui kahuna to see who could keep a fire burning on their island longer. The Lanai kahuna used all the vegetation and plants to keep his fire burning, leaving the area with its natural red dryscape. At sunset the rock formations cast off a beautiful glow, highlighting red and purple tones.