5 Awesome Things to do in Lanai

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

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.
Lanai, poke, food, Lanai Ohana Poke Market, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, poke, food, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, poke, food, sushi, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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
Lanai, poke, food, Lanai Ohana Poke Market, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
If you like seafood, you can’t go wrong in Lanai!

Hiking

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.
Lanai, Koloiki Ridge Trail, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, Koloiki Ridge Trail, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, Koloiki Ridge Trail, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, Koloiki Ridge Trail, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.

Driving

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.
Lanai, offroading, Lanai Grand Adventures, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, offroading, Polihua Beach, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, offroading, Polihua Beach, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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!
Lanai, offroading, Shipwreck Beach, Polihua Beach, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands, jeep
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.
Lanai, Hawaii, skeet shooting
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!

Water Excursions

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.
Lanai, Trilogy Ocean Adventures, sunset, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.
Lanai, golf, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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!
Lanai, Polihua Beach, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands
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.

Comments

  1. Lee, great article as always. I’ve been skeet shooting before and loved it as well. It is much easier than you’d expect but still takes a while to get used to especially the kick of the gun.

  2. Has the Oracle founder buying the island changed tings at all?

    • Hi Pam, my understanding is that it is as changed for the better thus far, meaning changes at the Four Seasons Hotels and the fact that he will be increasing flights to and from Lanai because he bought the airline as well but it’s still somewhat of a mystery what he will be doing with the island. There is a lot of space available obviously and there is a lot of talk of sustainability but I cannot tell you exactly what that means.

  3. Michael says:

    I totally agree about Lanai. It is Hawaii’s undiscovered eden. I hope this article doesn’t make too many more tourists go there ;-)

    • Well I think the LVB might disagree with you, haha! However, it really is undiscovered especially by Hawaiian standards and honestly I was so pleasantly surprised how much I loved the island. 6 days was the perfect amount of time there and to be honest I could’ve stayed a few more easily.

  4. Wow, those beach pictures are incredible. The colors are something out of a storybook.

  5. The food looks delicious, I love visiting places that have great food so thanks for the tip.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Is that you digging the car out?

    • Haha, no that’s the random Aussie guy try to help out. He had a spade in his car and was using it to dog out. That was certainly more efficient than my hands. Eventually he towed it out with the truck you see in the back…he had a chain. He was a blessing, trust me because the rental car place would’ve charged me $300 for a tow if I hadn’t had his help!

  7. Lanai seems like a lot of fun. You packed in a ton of things over that trip… Only thing I think you didn’t do there was chill out and relax!

  8. Kristin says:

    Hi Lee, Lanai seems like an amazing place. I love Hawaii (who doesn’t?) but have never thought to go to Lanai because I have heard exactly what you just said about peoples perceptions of the island. I almost did a day trip from Maui a few years ago but decided against it. I will definitely keep it in mind for our next Hawaii trip. It would be nice to see a new place.

  9. Ok, so rivals Maui? I just got back from Maui, as you know, so I think I’ll have to see if you’re blowing smoke. The TWO Four Seasons properties on the island alone are enough for me to want to make the trip over.

  10. Doug Flatley says:

    Wow! Been to Hawaii many times but never Lanai. Looks like that will be our next Hawaiian adventure. Thanks for the great post.

  11. This island looks charming; perfect for a romantic gateway. Polihua Beach especially seems surreal; aren’t the currents quite strong over there?

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