Things To Do On Lanai

June 1, 2024

 

6 Things You Need To Do On Lanai

 

Want to visit a bonus island while on Maui but don’t want to deal with the hassle of airports?

Consider visiting Lanai, Maui’s tiny neighbor to the west. Lanai is accessible via the Expeditions Ferry, which offers daily round-trip service from Maalaea Harbor.

Lanai makes a great day trip from Maui. This teardrop-shaped island is known for its rugged natural beauty, great beaches, adorable “city,” and relaxed pace. Here are six of the best things to do next time you’re on Lanai.

Lanai Activities Hulopoe Bay

 

Hang at Hulopoe Beach

Hulopoe Beach boasts 1,000 feet of sandy perfection. Lined with palm trees, Hulopoe looks like a postcard. It’s also great for swimming and snorkeling and features amenities like picnic tables, showers, restrooms, and a campground.

Hulopoe Beach is just a ten-minute walk from Manele Small Boat Harbor, where the ferry disembarks. This easy access makes Hulopoe the number one stop for Lanai day-trippers, who often don’t rent a car.

You can also stay the night on Lanai at the Four Seasons at Manele, in Lanaʻi City, or at a number of Bed And Breakfasts around the island.

Lanai Activities Hulopoe Beach

 

Visit the Lanai Cat Sanctuary

If you’re an animal lover, add Lanai Cat Sanctuary to your itinerary.

Spread across four acres near Lanai Airport, the Lanai Cat Sanctuary houses nearly 700 cats. Impressively, the staff knows each cat by name.

Lanai Activities Cat Sanctuary

The sanctuary was founded to protect Lanai’s endangered birds and give the island’s feral and abandoned cats a safe place to call home. And if you meet a cat you love while visiting, you can even adopt them!

To get to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary, you need to rent a car or take a taxi. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the sanctuary from Manele Harbor.

 

Explore the Puʻupehe Trail

The Puʻupehe Trail is a short and easy hike from Hulopoʻe Beach to Puʻupehe, also known as Sweetheart Rock. Puʻupehe is a rock islet that towers 80 feet above the sea. It’s one of Lanai’s most iconic landmarks, visible from Maui on clear days.

The mile-long out-and-back trail takes you past tidepools and a secluded beach — which you can stop and explore along the way. Wear sturdy shoes, as the rocky terrain can be a little unstable.

Lanai Activities Puupehe

Also, it’s common for uʻau kani (Hawaiian wedge-tailed shearwaters) to nest here, so please refrain from wandering off-trail. Look closely, and you might see them!

 

Visit the Lanai Cultural Center

Want to learn more about the history of Lanai? Stop by the Lanai Cultural Center in Lanai City. This small community museum features exhibits and artifacts from Lanai’s ranching, plantation, and pre-western contact eras.

The Lanai Cultural Center is open Monday to Friday from 1 pm to 3 pm. The museum is community-run, and they’ve been closed in the past due to staff shortages. It’s best to call or email ahead if you’re making a special trip here.

Lanai Activities History

 

Explore Lanai City

Lanai City isn’t much of a “city,” but it has all the charm in the world. The city is located in Lanai’s highlands at about 1,700 feet and houses most of Lanai’s 3,100 residents.

Stroll around Dole Park and explore the local offerings in the nearby area. You can grab a coffee at Coffee Works, a bite to eat at Blue Ginger Cafe, shop for souvenirs at The Local Gentry, or check out the works at the Mike Carroll Gallery. Take your time and talk story. You’ll likely meet lots of Lanai locals along the way.

Lanai Activities Explore Lanai City

 

Visit Lanai Adventure Park

Lanai is known for its slow pace, but if you need a dose of adrenaline, visit Lanai Adventure Park. Tucked near the misty forests of Koele in Lanai City, Lanai Adventure Park features an obstacle course, an aerial ropes course, and two ziplines – which offer views of Kaiholena Valley and the Palawai Basin.

Lanai Activities Adventure Park

The park also offers guided e-bike tours on nearby hiking trails. You’ll be accompanied by a guide who shares the history and moʻolelo (stories) of Lanai. This is a great way to learn about the island and see more off-the-beaten-path sites.

 

Bonus: Lanai Pineapple Festival

If you’re visiting Lanai in July, you might be in town for the Lanai Pineapple Festival – the biggest annual celebration on the island. Lanai was once the world’s top pineapple producer and plantation life is deeply embedded in Lanai’s history. While Lanai’s last pineapple harvest was in 1992, the island still gathers to celebrate its pineapple plantation roots each year.

The Lanai Pineapple Plantation is held every July in Dole Park. It’s an all-day affair with live music, hula performances, lots of food, and shopping from local vendors. The day culminates with an epic fireworks show. The ferry even adds a late-night route back to Maui, so people from the Valley Isle can enjoy the festivities!

Lanai Activities Pineapple

 

Exploring the charms of Lanai is one of the best things to do on your Maui vacation. We hope to see you here on the Valley Isle soon!


 

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