If you are seeking peace, tranquility and an escape from the hustle of everyday life, you will find solace in the serenity of Lanai. Lanai is Hawaii’s smallest island and Lanai offers visitors a great reprieve. Lanai is known for its quiet beauty and luxurious five-star resorts. Enjoy world class resorts, go window shopping in charming boutiques in the island’s central town of Lanai City, or make memories along the Norfolk pine-lined Munro Trail. Make sure to visit Hulopoe Bay, a protected marine reserve with a wealth of sea creatures including Hawaii’s famous spinner dolphins. To find more information on all of Hawaii’s best beaches, visit here. Continue reading our Lanai Hawaii Travel guide:
Lanai Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Lanai is between June and November, when you’ll find the warmest and driest months. However, the island’s trade winds help keep temperatures comfortable year-round, with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the mid-60s. Since the island sees the least amount of rain of all the Hawaiian islands, rain is rarely a threat. Peak whale-watching months are between January and April. Winter is the most popular time to visit Hawaii, so airfare and accommodation rates will be at their highest.
Best Lanai Beaches
Hulopoe Beach Park
Hulopoe Beach Park is a sweeping crescent-shaped beach located on the southern coast in Hulopoe Bay, fronting the Four Seasons Resort Lanai. With fantastic snorkeling in the crystalline water, large tide pools to explore and Puu Pehe just a short hike away, this is the Lanai’s most popular and accessible beach. Restroom and picnic facilities are available.
Take a 4-wheel drive adventure about an hour northwest of Lanai City to find two miles of pristine and blissfully empty coast perfect for sunbathing or beach combing. The strong winds and currents make the ocean too dangerous for swimming, and no restroom facilities are available.
This 8-mile-long windswept strand on Lanai’s northeastern shore is a beachcomber’s dream. The strong currents yield all sorts of sea debris, from hand-blown glass fishing floats and paper nautilus shells to lots of junk. Shipwreck isn’t good for swimming, but is a great place to spot whales from December to April, when Hawaiian humpbacks cruise in from Alaska.
Best Tours & Activities Near Lani by Viator
Creating a perfect crescent shape in the sea, the sunken Molokini Crater is a snorkeling wonderland just offshore from Maui. Dubbed among the world’s top 10 diving locations, Molokini is prized by underwater enthusiasts for its protected reef, crystal-clear visibility and schools of tropical fish. The crater is also a favorite with birdwatchers, who come here to spot seabirds like petrels and shearwaters. Come here by organized tour for a day of swimming and diving, and terrific views across the water back to Maui. Learn more about Molokini Crater Tours here.
The lunar landscape of Haleakala Crater covers an enormous expanse – so big that Manhattan could squeeze inside. The world’s largest dormant volcano, the crater is protected by the Haleakala National Park. This is the place for stunning views of cinder cones, wild hiking trails, Hawaiian legends and rare endangered species. Learn more about Haleakala Crater Tours here.
Road to Hana (Hana Highway)
Technically called the Hana Highway, the Road to Hana is 52 miles of winding two-lane road connecting Kahului with the tiny town of Hana. You could certainly make the trip in a few hours (it’s slow going with all the twists and turns, and most of the little bridges narrow to a single lane), but why would you? The scenery along the way is some of Maui’s most beautiful, with waterfalls to see, beaches to visit, and short hikes to do en route. Learn more about the Hana Highway Tours here.
Ma’alaea Harbor is the launching point for many of the Island’s best sunset and dinner cruises, fishing charters, snorkeling adventures to the Molokini Crater—a submerged volcanic crater atoll—and more. Between late November and early April, head to the scenic lookout between mile markers 8 and 9 to the west of the harbor for sweeping vistas of leaping humpback whales, or any time of the year to spot the dolphins that sometimes ride waves alongside harbor-departing cruises. Learn more about Maalaea Harbor Tours here.
Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park
A pleasant stop on the road to Hana, the Pua’a Ka’a Park offers the chance to take a scenic break from the long drive. Stretch your legs on its dirt path to nearby waterfalls and natural pools. The farther you’re willing to walk, the taller the waterfalls become and many people bring a picnic to enjoy as a part of this diversion. Learn more about Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park Tours.
Best Lanai Restaurants
Nobu Lanai $10 – 30
Take a seat at the intimate sushi bar for a hand-selected meal of fresh-caught fish, share a one-of-a-kind dining experience at their private teppan table, or join friends and family on the cliff-side terrace: At any spot, you’ll savor the innovative Japanese cuisine. Telephone: 1-800-819-5053 Web: Nobu Lanai
No Ka Oi Grindz Lanai $10 & Under
A local favorite, this lunchroom-style café has picnic tables in the landscaped front yard where diners can watch the town drive by and five more tables in the no-frills interior. The menu includes local favorites like kimchi fried rice and massive plate lunches, plus daily specials. Telephone: 808-565-9413 Web: No Ka Grindz Lanai
Blue Ginger Cafe $10 & Under
Local paintings and photos line the walls inside, while townspeople parade by the outdoor tables. For breakfast, try the Lanai omelet with Portuguese sausage. Lunch selections range from burgers to local favorites such as saimin noodles. For dinner you can sample generous portions of shrimp tempura or roasted pork. Telephone: 808-565-6363 Web: Blue Ginger Cafe
One Forty $30 & Up
Named after the island’s 140 square miles, prime cuts of beef and the freshest local fish are served in airy comfort on the hotel terrace, which overlooks the wide sweep of Hulopoe Bay; retractable awnings provide shade on sunny days. Comfy rattan chairs, potted palms, and tropical decor create an inviting backdrop for the ocean-view restaurant. Telephone: 808-565-2290 Web: One Forty
Best Lanai Nightlife
Sports Bar & Grill
At the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, the oceanfront Sports Bar & Grill is an open-air lounge serving casual fare such as kiawe-smoked chicken wings, burgers, and kalbi-beef short ribs. This isn’t your average sports bar food though, as an expansive menu tempts with fresh seafood appetizers, lavish salads, and healthy entrées. Pool tables, shuffleboard courts, and a 90-inch TV make for an amusing time out. Telephone: 808-565-2000 Web: Sports Bar & Grill
A visit to this small, lively bar lets you chat with locals and find out more about the island. Enjoy performances by local and visiting musicians in the big green tent two nights a week. Get here early—last call is at 9:30. Telephone: 808-565-7211 Web: Hotel Lanai