The Hawaiian island of Lanai offers up a sense of romantic tranquility and remote luxury, and is filled with incredible natural wonders. From the underwater Lanai Cathedrals to the ever-popular Shipwreck Beach, these are some of the top things to do in Lanai.
Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is something that you will not find on any of the other Hawaiian islands, and features an array of boulders of varying shapes, sizes and colors. While this may not initially seem exciting, these boulders create a beautifully dramatic landscape, and have been formed from thousands of years of erosion. The best time to visit the Garden of the Gods is early on in the day, as the morning sunlight casts eerie shadows against the boulders, bringing out their most dynamic and vibrant colors.
Located just off the island’s southern coast, the Lanai Cathedrals is one of Hawaii’s best diving spots. These underwater stone cathedrals feature large holes at the top, meaning that the golden rays of the sun pierce through the water and create a stained glass effect. The Second Cathedral is the largest, and is home to black coral trees and a variety of marine life that reside in the many rooms and passages here, all of which can be thoroughly explored by visitors.
The wild and rugged Shipwreck Beach is always a popular spot for those visiting Lanai, and while the water here may not be calm enough for swimming in, this eight mile long beach is ideal for many other activities, from sunbathing to fishing. The beach acquired its name due to its strong currents and multiple reefs, both of which have contributed to several shipwrecks over the years. Some of these vessels can still be seen at the beach, such as the concrete Liberty Shipwreck that dates back to World War II.
Lanai is home to some incredible hiking trails, and these really give you an idea of how the island’s two different ecosystems work together. For those who want a gentle and easy hike, head to Hulopoe Bay, or to Sweetheart Rock. If you want to challenge yourself a bit more, the Munro Trail begins at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, as does the Koloiki Ridge Trail, both of which offer some amazing views.
While Lanai may be a small island, it is known for its exquisite food, and this is something that definitely needs to be experienced. Nobu Lanai is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Hawaii, while the award-winning restaurant The Dining Room comes a close second. The Lanai City Grille is another must-visit, as is the Lanai Ohana Poke Market for some of the finest poke in Hawaii.
Lanai is often referred to as Hawaii’s most exclusive island, and is perfect for those who are seeking some peace and serenity. Whether you choose to stay on the island itself, or just visit it for the day, make sure that you save time for some of these must-do activities.