Discover Lanai: An Island of Splendid Seclusion

Many who venture into the Hawaiian Islands set foot only on Oahu, the most populous of the seven inhabited islands. Others explore Maui by car or take a helicopter tour of Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Relatively few, however, make it to discover Lanai island. The island, located just nine miles off Maui, is the smallest of the inhabited islands and is nature at its best. Visitors can hike through pine trees and walk through pineapple fields. Discover Lanai island and you’ll come across beaches that offer serenity and seclusion. Anyone who seeks privacy with world-class views need look no further.

Discover Lanai Island Regional Offerings

Discover North Lanai Island

Shipwreck Beach

The rugged yet peaceful topography of northern Lanai island is its biggest draw.  Visitors to this remote area will need to either hike or rent a four-wheel drive vehicle to explore Shipwreck Beach or Polihua Beach. The former is just 30 minutes north of Lanai City and has excellent views of Maui and Molokai. The latter is a beautiful stretch of secluded beach perfect for sunbathing. 

Note: Swimming is not allowed at either location due to strong currents.

Discover South Lanai Island

Sunset at Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) on Lanai, Hawaii
Sunset at Uhu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)

On a Hawaiian cruise to Lanai, you’ll likely disembark at Manale Harbor on the southern part of the island. Not far from the harbor is the famed Hulopoe Bay and Hulopoe Beach, voted one of the best beaches in America. Snorkeling, swimming, and golfing are just a few of the activities offered in this region of the island. Hulopoe also has most of the accommodation options including the stunning Four Seasons Resort Lanai. End your day at Kaumalapau Harbor, said to be the best place to view the sunset.

While in the area, make sure to visit Kaunolu Village, an historic former fishing retreat favored by King Kamehameha I. It is the largest surviving ruin of a prehistoric Hawaiian village and is a designated national historic landmark. In addition to petroglyphs and the ruins of a Hawaiian temple, the village also provides stunning views of Shark Fin Cove and discover Lanai island’s southern sea cliffs.

Discover Central Lanai Island

View of Maunalei Gulch in Lana'i, Hawaii
Maunalei Gulch – Lana’i, Hawaii

The vast majority of central Lanai revolves around Lanai City. It serves as the island’s cultural epicenter, with art galleries and local restaurants.  Before Lanai City became the commercial hub it is now, it was the residential area for the Dole Plantation employees.

Sip coffee at Coffee Works, a local favorite before embarking on a hike along the Munro Trail. Cool weather and scents of pine and eucalyptus will fill the air as you walk along the one-way dirt road. There are various scenic lookouts along the route, culminating with incredible views of the Maunalei gulch. On a clear day, you can also see glimpses of the other six inhabited islands.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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