Practice Your Aim At Lanai Shooting Clays And Archery Center
You may be surprised to learn that there are shooting clays and archery courses on Lanai. But its not a surprise once you learn that Lanai is also known for its world-class hunting on the island. It has one of the largest populations of Axis Deer in the world.
Im not a hunter, but I did enjoy checking out the 14-station shooting clay course! Included in the experience is all the necessary equipment, plus an introductory private lesson that covers gun safety, course rules, and shooting etiquette.
Can You Stay On The Island Of Lanai
Lanai is a luxury vacation destination and the accommodation options are really limited.
You can stay on the island of Lanai at one of the 2 luxury resorts or 1 standard hotel.
The cheapest hotel on Lanai costs like $400 a night.
And then there are maybe a couple of bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and airbnbs, which would cost likely at minimum $200 a night.
There are 3 hotels where you can stay on the island of Lanai:
So having these accommodation options really limits the amount of people who stay on Lanai as a tourist.
But the limited accommodation options doesnt mean you have to miss out on a visit to this quiet Hawaiian island just because you wont be staying overnight on Lanai!
Things To Do On Lanai: Reservation Required
Lanai is designed for exclusivity. The newly remodeled Four Seasons Lanai Resort and Sensei Resort are 5-star luxury accommodations. Larry Ellison invested $450 million in the remodel.
While the pools, restaurants, and bars are made for relaxing, resort guests can also explore more of Lanai. Unfortunately, the things to do below are only for resort guests. But, lucky you if you decide to stay the night!
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Stroll Through Downtown Lanai City
Lanai City, Hawaii’s tranquil and friendly town, is the perfect place to find peace and quiet away from the crowds.
You may learn more about Lanai’s history by visiting Lanai City, formerly home to a pineapple plantation.
If you have a Lanai itinerary in mind, you can see the whole island in under an hour.
Dole Park’s mom-and-pop businesses and Richard’s Market are great places to get groceries.
In the shadow of Cook Pines, meander through quiet streets with no traffic signals for an authentic taste of small-town Hawaii.
The Lanai Hula Hut and Cory Labang Studio on Lanai are great places to get unique gifts for your loved ones, as are the Lanai Art Center and Mike Carroll Gallery.
Visit the Blue Ginger CafÃ© for some authentic local fare, and then the Local Gentry for some authentically Hawaiian clothing to cap off your day.
Join A Yoga Class At Four Seasons Lanai
If you’re staying at Four Seasons Lanai, experience the zen of joining a yoga class.
Ten aerial hammocks set around the 1,100 square-foot floor area of the resort’s Yoga Studio provide various options for practicing yoga in the air.
Its multi-talented staff offer classes in meditation, sound healing, reiki, and yoga for all skill levels.
As part of its commitment to providing the best possible Lanai vacation, the resort has developed yoga programs for the beach and our Luau Grounds.
The daily schedule is accessible online, and many sessions are free.
Private sessions for individuals or small groups can be arranged upon request for an even more customized learning experience.
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Maui To Lanai Ferry Schedule:
- Ferry from Maui to Lanai at: 6:45am, 9:15am, 12:45pm, 3:15pm, 5:45pm. Tickets are $28.85 adults, $19.23 kids 2-11.
- Ferry from Lanai to Maui at: 8:00am, 10:30am, 2:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:45pm. Tickets are $28.85 adults, $19.23 kids 2-11.
From Manele harbor on Lanai it is 15 minutes by car to Lanai City, and only 3 minutes to the Four Seasons Lanai. You can easily walk to Hulopoe Bay for the beach or the campground.
Responses To Things To Do On Lanai: This Is Not Your Typical Hawaiian Island
Another interesting, fun fact about Lanai: Bill and Melinda Gates got married on this island and apparently rented all of the hotel rooms in the 3 hotels on the island to ensure privacy! This past June, Bill Gates was rumored to be in the running for buying the island, but in the end, it looks as if his rival Larry Ellison at Oracle bought it!
Anyway, looks like a nice, quiet place. Ive been to Kauai a number of times..I absolutely love this island. Every time I go there, I tell myself I will go to another island like Lanai or Molokai, but the only other island Ive gone to is the Big Island. One of these days, I will go to Lanai or Molokai!
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What To Do On Lanai For The Day
Be it a day trip from Maui or wishing to escape the resorts for the day, there are two ways to explore Lanai.
The first and easiest is to explore the area around Manele Small Boat Harbor and take a shuttle to historic Lanai City. This itinerary does not require renting a Jeep. See our video below on our experience of spending the day playing at Hulopoe Beach and then heading to Lanai City.
Lanai City is very walkable as it is a planned plantation town with Dole Park in the center.
Note that day-long parking in Lahaina can be challenging. Three-hour parking is available across from Kamehameha III Elementary School. They will ticket you. I recommend you take an Uber, Lyft, or taxi to Lahaina Harbor to avoid finding parking.
The second option for exploring Lanai for the day is to head to Lanai City upon arrival to get a Jeep rental. Once you are in the Jeep, you can take your time in Lanai City and then explore some of the more unique sights and hiking trails around Lanai.
For a perfectly planned out day on Lanai so you can stop researching articles like this one, check out our Maui Adventure Itinerary. A day trip to Lanai is one of the excursion days for your trip to Maui.
Why Lanai Is Unique
Lanai is like no other Hawaiian island. With a population of only 3,367 per the 2020 census, the island has few paved roads, no stoplights, one school, and one gas station. Few visitors make it out to Lanai compared to the other Hawaiian islands.
Choosing the right Hawaiian island to visit for you can be a tough decision, let alone throwing in an extra island when staying on Maui. But, if youre staying on Maui for seven days or more, then a day trip to Lanai should be on your radar.
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The proper spelling of Lanai is Lnai. It is pronounced laa-na-ee, with a pause or glottal stop between na and ee. For simplification, I will write it as Lanai in this article.
Lanai is believed to have been settled by Hawaiians from neighboring Maui or Molokai in the 15th century. They set up fishing villages on the coast and taro fields in the interior. It is believed the islands population was decimated by disease by 1792, shortly after Western contact.
The island was used for ranching and sugar cane farming during the 19th century until James Dole, the founder of Dole Food Company, bought the island and turned it into the largest pineapple plantation in the world. Hence, Lanai is nicknamed the Pineapple Island. Pineapple is no longer grown commercially on the island.
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Go Snorkeling At Lanai Cathedrals
What can you do underwater in Lanai? Scuba diving is a fun activity.
All of Lanai’s beauty is beneath the waves.
The First Cathedral and the Second Cathedral are two of the most popular dive destinations in the area because of their lava tube caves.
Apart from the beauty of these lava caverns and archways, scenic marine life is also abundant.
It’s possible to see whitetip reef sharks, golden butterflyfish, and green turtles when snorkeling.
Lanai Cultural And Heritage Center
Located at the old Dole Pineapple Administration Building the Lanai Cultural and Heritage Center takes you through the history of Lanai. We didnt know much about Lanai before visiting and this was the perfect introduction to Lanai and its pineapple history. It is a great first stop on Lanai to help you understand the sights you will be exploring and the people you will meet.
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Take Photos With The Rusty Tanker At Shipwreck Beach
Kaiolohia, popularly known as Shipwreck Beach, is a half-hour drive north of Lanai City.
The narrow, rocky channel that runs through this 8-mile length of windswept coastline has been the site of several shipwrecks.
On the other hand, the rusting hull of a 1940s oil tanker is still beached on Kaiolohia Bay’s coral reef, creating a mysterious atmosphere.
This is a beautiful spot for beachcombing and exploration, but swimming is not recommended due to the proximity of Molokai and Maui.
You’ll need a car with four-wheel drive to reach this location.
Visitors should use caution when driving along Keomoku road, as it is small and there may be approaching automobiles.
Experience Remote Island Luxury On Lanai Island Today
Lanai island is truly a Hawaiian island with attractions, amenities, and dining options to meet every traveler’s needs.
If you can visit Lanai for a day, it is definitely worth it, but it’s even better to be able to stay right on the island and feel as though you are on a private beach vacation.
The climate is much dryer than the other Hawaiian Islands, so you’re less likely to get rain and less likely to have to deal with overwhelming humidity.
Lanai City will make every visitor feel right at home, and you practically won’t want to leave at all by the time your vacation comes to an end.
If you plan to visit Hawaii but want to stay on an island that isn’t too overcrowded with tourists and is more likely to have a relaxing and isolated atmosphere, book your flight to Lanai today.
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Lanai Has Outdoor Activities That Appeal To Everyone
Lanai is known for having a few options for outdoor adventure activities that aren’t typical of the Hawaiian Islands. While Lanai is notorious for its quiet and pristine atmosphere, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of action and adventure to explore.
There is something that appeals to every type of traveler on Lanai island. Along with amazing outdoor adventures, there is also an art gallery and heritage center for anyone looking to learn more about the Hawaiian culture and traditions.
Grab your water bottle and hiking shoes for some of these incredible trails, coves, and overlooks that will make you marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the island. Once you start exploring Lanai, you’ll see that this remote island has no shortage of fun and exhilarating activities.
Feel Like a Martian and Drive Through the Garden of the Gods
When you think of a remote, tropical island, you probably don’t think of a deserted rocky terrain that looks like it came straight out of photos of Mars.
But the Garden of the Gods or Keahiakawelo is just that. Located about 6 miles north of Lanai City, this incredible landscape makes for the perfect start to exploring Lanai attractions.
The best time to visit the Garden of the Gods is at sunset. This is because the way the light will hit the rocks and dirt create such incredible reds and oranges you’ll seriously feel like you’re on another planet.
Gaze Upon Deserted Ships from World War II at Shipwreck Beach
Learn the Legend of Puupehe Trail
Reconnect With Nature At Kanepu’u Preserve
The original dryland forest that previously covered large portions of Hawaii’s lowlands is best represented at Kanepu’u Preserve.
The preserve safeguards the only remaining portions of rare native dry woodland made of ebony and olive , as well as numerous uncommon plant species.
Public access to a self-guided educational path with attractively drawn and instructive markers is available every day from dawn to dusk.
The 368-acre Kanepu’u section of the preserve is home to the self-closing gated path.
Lama and olopua trees, as well as other indigenous plant species, abound in the dryland native forestry of Kanepu’u.
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The Hawaii Nature Center
With a location on Maui, the Hawaiian Nature Center is a fantastic place to visit. Especially if you are looking for things to do in Maui with kids.
Visit the Hawaii Nature Center and participate in one of its many programs.
Here you can learn more about the innate characteristics of Maui preservation as well as Hawaiian environmental culture.
This is an excellent place to learn something new and even volunteer some time.
Getting To Lanai Hawaii Is Surprisingly Easy
According to official statistics, Lanai saw just 73,000 visitors in 2018 compared to nearly six million on Oahu and nearly three million on Maui. Even most of the locals who live on Hawaiis other islands havent been to Lanai.
But in fact, Lanai is not that difficult to access. Hawaiian Airlines runs several daily flights from the Honolulu International Airport, taking less than 30 minutes from runway to runway. Lanai Air also charters luxury flights aboard a Swiss turboprop, which can be booked out of Maui, Oahu, or Hawaii Island.
A scenic alternative to flying is the Expeditions passenger ferry, which operates five 45-minute trips a day from Lahaina, Maui, to the Manele boat harbor on Lanai. The ferry is popular among day-trippers, who dedicate a day out of their Maui vacation to discover Lanai and its magic.
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Best Things To Do On Lanai: Free Without A Rental Car And Reservation Required
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The private Hawaiian island of Lanai is worth a trip from Maui. But, the most popular things to do on Lanai arent open to day trip visitors or they will require a Jeep.
Welcome to Lanai, a privately owned island by Oracle Corporation founder and billionaire Larry Ellison. After purchasing Lanai in 2012 for $300 million, he took ownership of 98% of the apostrophe-shaped island. The purchase included Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort.
Now, you must be a guest at the resorts in order to visit the restaurants, Manele Bay Golf Course, horseback riding, boat tours leaving from Lanai, and other popular Lanai activities.
That doesnt mean there is nothing to do on Lanai. After numerous trips to Lanai, here are our favorite things to do that are free, require a car rental, or a reservation at the resorts. 14 of them are free!
Here are the 21 best things to do on Lanai for you to consider a day trip or stay the night!
Things To Do On Lanai Without A Car
Here are things to do around Lanai if you decide not to rent a car. Upon disembarking the ferry, you can walk 10 minutes from the harbor to Hulopoe Beach. While at the beach, you can fill your day with many things to do around the beach.
Going to lunch at Four Season Resort Lanai used to be a popular thing to do and a food option for non-guests. Now, one must be a guest at the resort to have lunch or enter the resort in general.
You can pack a lunch from Maui, pick up some snacks at the General Store at Manele Small Boat Harbor, or head to Lanai City for a great selection of local restaurants and two grocery stores.
All the things to do below are free.
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You Can Find Your Own Private Beach
Photo: Joe West/Shutterstock
The main beach on Lanai is Hulupoe. Its where locals go to camp, barbecue, and hang out with their families, but one end of it is reserved exclusively for Four Seasons guests. The beach has several tidepools carved into volcanic rock, plus its own marine sanctuary, best snorkeled in the early morning or evenings when the water is calm. This is also a popular spot for spotting spinner dolphins.
Hulupoe doesnt tend to get too crowded, but the islands other beaches are often entirely people-free. The best way to find them is to rent a Jeep and simply drive until you stumble upon your own private cove.
Kaiolohia, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is a sunny, tranquil spot and a haven for sea turtles. The beach got its name for its tendency to literally wreck ships along its rocky and shallow channel, and today, you can still see an abandoned Navy oiler off in the distance.
Getting to Polihua Beach takes effort, as its an hour drive northwest of Lanai City, but youre likely to be rewarded with two miles of empty white sand. Neither Kaiolohia or Polihua are considered safe for swimming, however, due to strong currents.