For some reason, it seems that many people dismiss Lanai as being boring or too small to visit. They’ve clearly never been or know anyone that has been. There are a ton of things to do in Lanai. In fact, for me, Lanai rivals Maui as the best island in the Hawaiian Islands. These 5 awesome things to do in Lanai will help explain why.
Eating on Lanai is a true treat. There are so many different types of restaurants and experiences that you could be in food heaven your whole trip in Lanai. My favorite restaurant, or actually hole in the wall shack, is the Lanai Ohana Poke Market in town just off the main square.
I literally ate here 3 times in six days on Lanai. It would have been more but I didn’t discover it until my second day and it is closed on the weekends! It is that good. You get different types of poke to choose from each day. They range from basic to spicy and a bunch on between. I couldn’t get enough.
It goes without saying that the restaurants in the two Four Seasons Lanai are fantastic. My favorite was of course Nobu in the Four Seasons Lanai Resort at Manele Bay. Nobu is a classic all over the world and the first Hawaiian addition is no exception, it’s fantastic.
I also loved the Lanai City Grille in the Hotel Lanai. They had fantastic food and great service just in the center of town. Also around town there were a few other good little places and even a great coffee shop called Coffee Works. There are no chains like Starbucks on Lanai
If you like seafood, you can’t go wrong in Lanai!
Lanai is a really cool place because it is essentially two completely different ecosystems. Down by the Four Seasons Lanai Resort at Manele Bay it is tropical, hot and beach like. Up in town there are mountains and it gets pretty chilly at night and often cloudy and rainy. But the mountain and hills make some great outdoor activities including hiking.
My favorite hike was the Koloiki Ridge trail hike. For this hike, you leave from the Four Seasons Lanai Lodge at Koele and it takes about 45 minutes walking through some cool forest until you reach the peak, which gives you amazing views out to the sea and the gully below.
The hike is not at all challenging physically but it is a good way to see the forest and eventually some great views with a relaxing walk. The paths are well marked with numbers and there is never any doubt, which way you’re supposed to go so you can’t get lost.
The hotel asks you to alert them that you’re going just in case. However, they also say that the hike takes 3 hours round trip and that’s untrue if you’re in decent shape it shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half.
There are also some cool hikes down by the Four Seasons Lanai Resort at Manele Bay including an easy walk to Sweetheart Rock and another along the Cliffside coast up toward the golf course. Lanai is a great place to hike.
You must rent a car on Lanai. Lanai is one of the most fun places to drive I can think of. The off roading on Lanai is fantastic. There are some serious paths to take and some otherworldly scenery to see.
If you continue down past the Garden of the Gods; which is really cool in and of itself; you will come to one of the nicest beaches I have ever been on, Polihua Beach.
Polihua Beach is amazing because it is absolutely gorgeous and because it is empty. There is nothing better than having an entire beach all to yourself. The waves crashing, the rocks formations and even the incredible colors all contribute to this great beach that I couldn’t get enough of.
Another great beach to check out is shipwreck beach. The actual shipwreck is OK and there are some old petroglyphs that you can see if you can find them up a confusing path. For me though, I will always remember shipwreck beach because I got my jeep stuck in the sand!
It took about an hour of digging and the generous help of a random Australian man and his dog who happened to be driving by to get us out of the sand. It was pretty funny and makes for a great story. The moral of the story is don’t drive on the sand too close to the water or the wheels may get stuck!
Clay Pigeon Shooting
Yes seriously! For those of you who know me, you might think is weird for me to do and I must admit I had my apprehensions but sporting clay shooting with Lanai Grand Adventures was a ton of fun and I am not gonna lie, I crushed it! I didn’t think I’d hit any but I batted about .750.
Aside from shooting, the experience also includes a great ATV to drive out and you get to go off road and through some really cool territory. It’s great because you can be that much less careful than you are in a car. I highly recommend this!
I did two ocean excursions with Trilogy Ocean Adventures and each was pretty good. My favorite was far and away the sunset sail; which takes you from Manele Bay to the thousand foot cliffs. It is a beautiful sail and the sunset pictures are breathtaking.
My other excursion was a morning snorkeling trip; which was OK. The water was a little rough and it wasn’t the sunniest day so the snorkeling wasn’t great. However, just the experience being out on the boat and then in the water is always good in my book! Not to mention the people that world for Trilogy are fantastic and very engaging.
So these are 5 awesome things to do in Lanai; which is definitely one of my favorite islands. I would also include golf in this list as well but I will be writing a separate post on golf in Lanai soon! Until then, aloha!
Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Lanai Visitors Bureau for this trip. I am not obligated to write about anything in this article and was not paid to write this article. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.