Lanai Hawaii Travel

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

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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.

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Polihua Beach

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.

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Shipwreck Beach

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

Molokini Crater

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.

Haleakala Crater

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.

Maalaea Harbor

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

Hotel Lanai

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

Best Lanai Hotels

28 Comments

  1. Charity

    Hello there, thank you so much for sharing this. I have been wanting to vacation to Hawaii, and now I am ready!  I’m glad I found your guide on Lanai.  Lanai sounds really interesting, and you have provided all the information I need to start planning. It will be really helpful and I have bookmarked! Thanks Leahrae!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Charity.  I have a trip planned to Hawaii this year, and I am so looking forward to it.  You will have a great vacation here.  Thanks for visiting my Lanai Hawaii Travel Guide.

      Reply
  2. Virtue

    Hi there! Such an amazing article! It was an exciting experience going through this guide on beach travel destinations! I must  say I never really knew Lanai had such beauty till I saw those beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing this! Thank goodness I stumbled on this! This is definitely a good place for a vacation with loved ones. Thanks again. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome and thanks for your visit to beach travel destinations!

      Reply
  3. Oviss

    Hi Leahrae, This article is simply spectacular. The beauty of this location in Lanai Hawaii Travels is superb. I really wish that the opportunity to just disappear into Hawaii right now and enjoy the beauty of the location. The beaches in  there really made the place up. I have put it to myself that visiting this location with myself and family is a must. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Oviss, I am glad you enjoyed.  Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  4. Thomas

    I heard that Larry Ellison from Oracle owns most of the island and that some of the hotels there are super expensive.  Are there more reasonable options for people who don’t make millions of dollars a year?  It seems like a great place to visit, but if you can’t find an affordable place to rent a hotel room then it seems like an impossible place to visit.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You know, Hawaii is not going to be super affordable no matter where you go.  But Lanai does have a few options.  Probably the most affordable is going to be Hotel Lanai.  Oahu is going to be the most affordable Hawaiian Island.  You can visit our Oahu Travel Guide here to find the best hotels on the island.  Please let me know if you need anything else.

      Reply
  5. Tina

    Oh Hawaii! I have always wanted to go to hawaii and hopefully will one day!

    This post just gets me feeling all excited and I can’t wait to be able to go and travel again!

    Thank you so much for listing all the possible places we can visit in Lanai Hawaii 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Tina!  I hope you get to Lanai Hawaii soon!

      Reply
  6. Astrostar

    Hey there

    have been thinking where are the best beach travel destinations and I found my self reading this article which seems to have answer to few of the questions running through my mind, but not withstanding I still have few more questions I would really love to get answers to 

    1. Which among the beach destination is perfect for two lovers to visit probably for vacation 

    and thanks for these article 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome 🙂  Glad you enjoyed!

      Reply
  7. Alejandra

    Thanks so much for sharing a good article to read to know more about Lanai Hawaii, we need to stay at home for a few more months, but nothing will stop me to make plans and travel again as soon as it’s allowed, mean while reading your post helps me to know more about interesting places to add to my dreams list, it looks like this small island is a paradise on Earth, your review is good as always and you share a good number and activities to visit and do while visiting this place. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Alejamdra…I think we are all waiting for the green light to travel without a mask and precautions.

      Reply
  8. Dan Stenabaugh

    You website is beautifully presented. I got an immediate rush from it having had the opportunity to visit Maui in the past.  I never made it to Lanai, but your post makes me want to do that the next time I got to go to Hawaii.  My only comment about the post centers on the fact that I think a subheading could be added when you move away from discussing Lanai beaches and then move to Maui.  I realize its a 9 mile ride from Lanai to Maui, but if someone doesn’t  know that, the mentioning of the Maui sites leads one to think they are on Lanai.  I think a header line just before you move off to Maui would be useful.

    Also, as you moved through your Lanai intro, I was waiting for more about the resor and the town for window shopping.  I think you moved away from Lanai too quickly.  All in all I will put Lanai on my to do list.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for your input Dan and glad you enjoyed your visit to beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  9. Cogito

    What a beautiful place. I’ve been few times on Hawaii but never heard about Lanai island before. It seems as a perfect place for quiet time close to nature, without crowds and overwhelming commerce. I will definitely include it in my travel plans for 2021, thank you for bringing this magic island to my attention.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome.  Wow, can’t believe you have been to Hawaii and not heard of Lanai 🙂  You’ll love it!  Thanks for visiting my Lanai Hawaii Travel Guide.

      Reply
  10. Max

    I have a travel goal to visit all 50 states, and in every state I always look for the lesser known places to explore.  I am saving Hawaii for last (holy cow, it’s expensive), and Lanai was completely off my radar before this article.  It is going to be on my must-do list for Hawaii.  I really want to check out the crater, Hana Highway, and Polihua Beach.  How hard is it to get to Polihua Beach?  Thanks for the great read.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes I agree, it is a bit expensive but well worth it!  To get to Polihua Beach is an adventure!  Take a 4-wheel drive adventure about an hour northwest of Lanai City. Or, hire a tour guide to take you to this beautiful two miles of pristine and empty coast.  

      Reply
  11. Jongabriel

    Haha thanks for the article my guy! Wow, Hawaii?!? Hawaii looks so beautiful.. it’s definitely a place that I aspire to visit some day. I just love traveling to all these beautiful places and having even more beautiful experiences! Whether that’s by myself or with a friend/lover, I can’t wait! 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think you could easily visit Lanai alone and have a great time, as well as going with a friend or lover 🙂  Hawaii is just a great place.  Thanks for the visit.

      Reply
  12. Mike

    Hello there! Wow, Hawaii is one of those places I wanted to try visiting in my lifetime and this post just makes me that much more excited to visit. I am also a big fan of eating sushi so Nobu Lanai sounds like a great place to stop by when I get the chance to visit Hawaii. Thanks for creating this post with nice pictures.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Mike, thank you for visiting my Lanai Hawaii Travel guide.

      Reply
  13. Karin

    I can’t wait to visit, after reading your exotic review. I am born in a town famous for Father Damian, who lived and died on Molokai, but my knowledge of Hawai does not reach further than this.

    I learned and fell in love with Lanai after reading your review. I love the sea and the oceans and wild nature. Seafood is my passion.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh then you will fall in love with Lanai.  Sounds like you can learn more about Father Damian too.  I am glad you enjoyed my Lanai Hawaii Travel post.

      Reply
  14. Sean

    I have seen a lot of beaches and so far his has placed itself in the list of some of the best I have come across in recent times and it’s been a pleasure to see these wonderful natural places. As a lover of nature, I have taken my Tim to visit some very great places and this is one that I must admit caught my eyes. I have a bucket list of places to to visit and I’ll love to add these Hawaii beaches to it.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Sean, thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

      Reply

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