Lanai - Fodor's Maui (2016)

Fodor's Maui (2016)


Main Table of Contents

Welcome to Lanai

Exploring Lanai


Where to Eat

Where to Stay

Water Sports and Tours

Golf, Hiking, and Outdoor Activities

Shops and Spas


Welcome to Lanai

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Top Reasons to Go | Getting Oriented | What’s Where | Planning

Updated by Heidi Pool

Mostly privately owned, Lanai is the smallest inhabited island in the Hawaiian Islands, and is a true getaway for slowing down and enjoying serenity amid world-class comforts.

With no traffic or traffic lights and miles of open space, Lanai seems suspended in time, and that can be a good thing. Small (141 square miles) and sparsely populated, it has just 3,500 residents, most of them living Upcountry in Lanai City. An afternoon strolling around Dole Park in historic Lanai City offers shopping, dining, and the opportunity to mingle with locals. Though it may seem a world away, Lanai is separated from Maui and Molokai by two narrow channels, and is easily accessed by commercial ferry from Maui.


Lanai bucks the “tropical” trend of the other Hawaiian Islands with African kiawe trees, Cook pines, and eucalyptus in place of palm trees, and deep blue sea where you might expect shallow turquoise bays. Abandoned pineapple fields are overgrown with drought-resistant grasses, Christmas berry, and lantana; native plants aalii and ilima are found in uncultivated areas. Axis deer from India dominate the ridges, and wild turkeys lumber around the resorts. Whales can be seen December-April, and a family of resident spinner dolphins rests and fishes regularly in Hulopoe Bay.


Despite its fancy resorts, Lanai still has that languid Hawaii feel. The island is 97% owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, who is in the process of revitalizing the island. Old-time residents are a mix of just about everything: Hawaiian, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Filipino, Japanese, French, Puerto Rican, English, Norwegian—you name it. When Dole owned the island in the early 20th century and grew pineapples, the plantation was divided into ethnic camps, which helped retain cultural cuisines. Potluck dinners feature sashimi, Portuguese bean soup, laulau (morsels of pork, chicken, butterfish, or other ingredients steamed in ti leaves), potato salad, teriyaki steak, chicken hekka (a gingery Japanese chicken stir-fry), and Jell-O. The local language is pidgin, a mix of words as complicated and rich as the food. Newly arrived residents have added to the cultural mix.

With no traffic or traffic lights and miles of open space, Lanai seems suspended in time, and that can be a good thing. Small (141 square miles) and sparsely populated, it is the smallest inhabited Hawaiian Island and has just 3,500 residents, most of them living Upcountry.


Seclusion and serenity: Lanai is small; local motion is slow motion. Get into the spirit and go home rested.

Garden of the Gods: Walk amid the eerie red-rock spires that Hawaiians still believe to be a sacred spot. The ocean views are magnificent, too; sunset is a good time to visit.

A dive at Cathedrals: Explore underwater pinnacle formations and mysterious caverns illuminated by shimmering rays of light.

Dole Park: Hang out in the shade of the Cook pines in Lanai City and talk story with the locals for a taste of old-time Hawaii.

Hit the water at Hulopoe Beach: This beach may have it all—good swimming, a shady park for perfect picnicking, great reefs for snorkeling, and sometimes schools of spinner dolphins.


Unlike the other Hawaiian Islands with their tropical splendors, Lanai looks like a desert: kiawe trees right out of Africa, red-dirt roads, and a deep blue sea. Lanaihale (house of Lanai), the mountain that bisects the island, is carved into deep canyons by rain and wind on the windward side, and the drier leeward side slopes gently to the sea, where waves pound against surf-carved cliffs. The town of Lanai City is in the center of the island, Upcountry. Manele Bay, on the south side of the island, is popular for swimming and boating.


Lanai City, Garden of the Gods, and Manele Bay. Cool and serene, Upcountry is graced by Lanai City, towering Cook pine trees, and misty mountain vistas. The historic plantation village of Lanai City is inching into the modern world. Locals hold conversations in front of Dole Park shops and from their pickups on the road, and kids ride bikes in colorful impromptu parades. Six miles north of Lanai City, the Garden of the Gods is a stunning, rocky plateau. The more developed beach side of the island, Manele Bay is where it’s happening: swimming, picnicking, off-island excursions, and boating are all concentrated in this accessible area.

Windward Lanai. This area is the long white-sand beach at the base of Lanaihale. Now uninhabited, it was once occupied by thriving Hawaiian fishing villages and a sugarcane plantation.



Lanai has an ideal climate year-round, hot and sunny at the sea and a few delicious degrees cooler Upcountry. In Lanai City and Upcountry, the nights and mornings can be almost chilly when a fog or harsh trade winds settle in. Winter months are known for slightly rougher weather—periodic rain showers, occasional storms, and higher surf.

Because higher mountains on Maui capture the trade-wind clouds, Lanai receives little rainfall and has a near-desert ecology. Consider the wind direction when planning your day. If it’s blowing a gale on the windward beaches, head for the beach at Hulopoe or check out Garden of the Gods. Overcast days, when the wind stops or comes lightly from the southwest, are common in whale season. At that time, try a whale-watching trip or the windward beaches.

Whales are seen off Lanai’s shores December-April. A Pineapple Festival on the July 4 Saturday in Dole Park features traditional entertainment, a pineapple-eating contest, and fireworks. Buddhists hold their annual outdoor Obon Festival, honoring departed ancestors with joyous dancing, local food, and drumming, in early July. During hunting-season weekends, mid-February-mid-May and mid-July-mid-October, watch out for hunters on dirt roads even though there are designated safety zones. Sunday is a day of rest in Lanai City, and shops and most restaurants are closed.


Air Travel

Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air are the only commercial airlines serving Lanai City. Direct flights are available from Oahu; if you’re flying to Lanai from any other Hawaiian island, you’ll make a stop in Honolulu.

If you’re staying at the Hotel Lanai or the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, or renting a vehicle from Lanai City Service, you’ll be met at the airport or ferry dock by a bus that shuttles between the resort and Lanai City (and there may be an additional fee).

Hawaiian Airlines. | 800/367-5320 | .
Island Air. | 800/652-6541 | .

Car Travel

Lanai has only 30 miles of paved roads. Keomuku Highway starts just past The Lodge at Koele and runs northeast to the dirt road that goes to Shipwreck Beach and Lopa Beach. Manele Road (Highway 440) runs south down to Manele Bay, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, and Hulopoe Beach. Kaumalapau Highway (also Highway 440) heads west to Kaumalapau Harbor. The rest of your driving takes place on bumpy, dusty roads that are unpaved and unmarked. Driving in thick mud is not recommended, and the rental agency will charge a stiff cleaning fee. Watch out for blind curves on narrow roads.

Renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle is expensive but almost essential if you’d like to explore beyond the resorts and Lanai City. Make reservations far in advance of your trip, because Lanai’s fleet of vehicles is limited. Lanai City Service, where you’ll find a branch of Dollar Rent A Car, is open daily 7-7.

Stop from time to time to find landmarks and gauge your progress. Never drive or walk to the edge of lava cliffs, as rock can give way under you. Directions on the island are often given as mauka(toward the mountains) and makai (toward the ocean).

If you’re visiting for the day, Rabaca’s Limousine Service will take you wherever you want to go.

Lanai City Service. | 1036 Lanai Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-7227 , 800/533-7808 | .
Rabaca’s Limousine Service. | 552 Alapa St. | Lanai City | 808/565-6670 .

Ferry Travel

Ferries operated by Expeditions cross the channel five times daily between Lahaina on Maui to Manele Bay Harbor on Lanai. The crossing takes 45 minutes and costs $30. Be warned: passage can be rough, especially in winter.

Expeditions. | 808/661-3756 , 800/695-2624 | .

Shuttle Travel

A shuttle transports you to your hotel from the harbor or the airport (a nominal fee may apply). If you’re renting a vehicle from Lanai City Service, their shuttle will pick you up at the harbor or airport for a nominal fee.


Lanai has a wide range of choices for dining, from simple plate-lunch local eateries to fancy, upscale, gourmet resort restaurants.


The range of lodgings is limited on Lanai. Essentially there are only a few options: the Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay and The Lodge at Koele, and the historic Hotel Lanai; however, the Lodge at Koele is closed for renovation until the end of 2016. An alternative is a house rental, which will give you a feel for everyday life on the island; make sure to book far in advance. Maui County has strict regulations concerning vacation rentals; to avoid disappointment, always contact the property manager or owner and ask if the accommodation has the proper permits and is in compliance with local laws.

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Exploring Lanai

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Lanai City, Garden of the Gods, and Manele Bay | Windward Lanai

You can easily explore Lanai City on foot. To access the rest of this untamed island, rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Take a map, be sure you have a full tank, and bring a snack and plenty of water. Ask the rental agency or your hotel’s concierge about road conditions before you set out. Although roads may be dry on the coast, they could be impassable upland. It’s always good to carry a cell phone. The main road on Lanai, Highway 440, refers to both Kaumalapau Highway and Manele Road.


Lanai City is 3 miles northeast of the airport; Manele Bay is 9 miles southeast of Lanai City; Garden of the Gods is 6 miles northwest of Lanai City.

A tidy plantation town, built in 1924 by Jim Dole to accommodate workers for his pineapple business, Lanai City is home to old-time residents, recently arrived resort workers, and second-home owners. A simple grid of roads is lined with stately Cook pines. With its charming plantation-era shops and restaurants having received new paint jobs and landscaping, Lanai City is worthy of whiling away a lazy Lanai afternoon.

Despite recent growth, the pace is still calm and the people are friendly. Dole Park, in the center of Lanai City, is surrounded by small shops and restaurants and is a favorite spot among locals for sitting, strolling, and talking story. Try a picnic lunch in the park and visit the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center in the Old Dole Administration Building to glimpse this island’s rich past, purchase historical publications and maps, and get directions to anywhere on the island.

Pineapples once blanketed the Palawai, the great basin south of Lanai City. Although it looks like a volcanic crater, it isn’t. Some say that the name Palawai is descriptive of the mist that sometimes fills the basin at dawn and looks like a huge shining lake.

Manele Bay is an ocean lover’s dream: Hulopoe Beach offers top-notch snorkeling, swimming, picnicking, tide pools, and sometimes spinner dolphins. Off-island ocean excursions depart from nearby Manele Small Boat Harbor. Take the short but rugged hike to the Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) overlook, and you’ll enjoy a bird’s-eye view of this iconic Lanai landmark.

The area northwest of Lanai City is wild; the otherworldly Garden of the Gods is one of its highlights.

Getting Here and Around

Lanai City serves as the island’s hub, with roads leading to Manele Bay, Kaumalapau Harbor, and windward Lanai. Garden of the Gods is usually possible to visit by car, but beyond that you will need four-wheel drive.


Previous Map | Maui Maps


Fodor’s Choice | Garden of the Gods.
This preternatural plateau is scattered with boulders of different sizes, shapes, and colors, the products of a million years of wind erosion. Time your visit for sunset, when the rocks begin to glow—from rich red to purple—and the fiery globe sinks to the horizon. Magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean, Molokai, and, on clear days, Oahu, provide the perfect backdrop for photographs.

The ancient Hawaiians shunned Lanai for hundreds of years, believing the island was the inviolable home of spirits. Standing beside the oxide-red rock spires of this strange, raw landscape, you might be tempted to believe the same. This lunar savanna still has a decidedly eerie edge, but the shadows disappearing on the horizon are those of mouflon sheep and axis deer, not the fearsome spirits of lore. According to tradition, Kawelo, a Hawaiian priest, kept a perpetual fire burning on an altar at the Garden of the Gods, in sight of the island of Molokai. As long as the fire burned, prosperity was assured for the people of Lanai. Kawelo was killed by a rival priest on Molokai and the fire went out. The Hawaiian name for this area is Keahiakawelo, meaning the “fire of Kawelo.”

Garden of the Gods is 6 miles north of Lanai City. From the Stables at Koele, follow a dirt road through a pasture, turn right at a crossroad marked by carved boulder, and head through abandoned fields and ironwood forests to an open red-dirt area marked by a carved boulder. | Off Polihua Rd. | Lanai City .

Ka Lokahi o Ka Malamalama Church.
Built in 1938, this picturesque painted wooden church provided services for Lanai’s growing population. (For many people, the only other Hawaiian church, in coastal Keomuku, was too far away.) A classic structure of ranching days, the one-room church was moved from its original site when the Lodge at Koele was built. It’s open all day and Sunday services are still held in Hawaiian and English; visitors are welcome but are requested to attend quietly. The church is north of the entrance to the Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele. | 1 Keomuku Hwy. | Lanai City .

Kanepuu Preserve.
Hawaiian sandalwood, olive, and ebony trees characterize Hawaii’s largest example of a rare native dryland forest. Thanks to the combined efforts of volunteers at the Nature Conservancy and Castle & Cooke Resorts, the 590-acre remnant forest is protected from the axis deer and mouflon sheep that graze on the land beyond its fence. More than 45 native plant species, including nau, the endangered Hawaiian gardenia, can be seen here. A short, self-guided loop trail, with eight signs illustrated by local artist Wendell Kahoohalahala, reveals this ecosystem’s beauty and the challenges it faces. The reserve is adjacent to the sacred hill, Kane Puu, dedicated to the Hawaiian god of water and vegetation. | Polihua Rd., 4.8 miles north of Lanai City | Lanai City .

The Story of Lanai

Rumored to be haunted by hungry ghosts, Lanai was sparsely inhabited for many centuries. Most of the earliest settlers lived along the shore and made their living from fishing the nearby waters. Others lived in the Upcountry near seasonal water sources and traded their produce for seafood. The high chiefs sold off the land bit by bit to foreign settlers, and by 1910 the island was owned by the Gay family.

When the Hawaiian Pineapple Company purchased Lanai for $1.1 million in 1922, it built the town of Lanai City, opened the commercial harbor, and laid out the pineapple fields. Field workers came from overseas to toil in what quickly became the world’s largest pineapple plantation. Exotic animals and birds were imported for hunting. Cook pines were planted to catch the rain, and eucalyptus windbreaks anchored the blowing soil.

Everything was stable for 70 years, until the plantation closed in 1992. When the resorts opened their doors, newcomers arrived, homes were built, and other ways of life set in. The old pace, marked by the 6:30 am whistle calling everyone to the plantation, was replaced by a more modern schedule.

Because almost the entire island is now owned by Larry Ellison, vast areas remain untouched and great views abound. Deer and birds provide glimpses of its wild beauty. Although the ghosts may be long gone, Lanai still retains its ancient mysterious presence.

Manele Bay.
The site of a Hawaiian village dating from AD 900, Manele Bay is flanked by lava cliffs hundreds of feet high. Ferries from Maui dock five times a day, and visiting yachts pull in here, as it’s the island’s only small boat harbor. Public restrooms, grassy lawns, and picnic tables make it a busy pit stop—you can watch the boating activity as you rest.

Just offshore to the west is Puu Pehe. Often called Sweetheart Rock, the isolated 80-foot-high islet carries a romantic Hawaiian legend that is probably not true. The rock is said to be named after Pehe, a woman so beautiful that her husband kept her hidden in a sea cave. One day, the surf surged into the cave and she drowned. Her grief-stricken husband buried her on this rock and jumped to his death. A more likely story is that the enclosure on the summit is a shrine to birds, built by bird-catchers. Protected shearwaters nest in the nearby sea cliffs July-November. | Hwy. 440, Manele | Lanai City .


Lanai Culture and Heritage Center.
Small and carefully arranged, this historical museum features artifacts and photographs from Lanai’s varied and rich history. Plantation-era clothing and tools, ranch memorabilia, old maps, precious feather lei, poi pounders, and family portraits combine to give you a good idea of the history of the island and its people. Postcards, maps, books, and pamphlets are for sale. The friendly staff can orient you to the island’s historical sites and provide directions. This is the best place to start your explorations of the island. | 730 Lanai Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-7177 | | Free | Weekdays 8:30-3:30, Sat. 9-1 .

Norfolk Pine.
Considered the “mother” of all the pines on the island, this 160-foot-tall tree was planted here, at the former site of the ranch manager’s house, in 1875. Almost 30 years later, George Munro, the manager, observed how, in foggy weather, water collected on its foliage, dripping off rain. This led Munro to supervise the planting of Cook pines along the ridge of Lanaihale and throughout the town in order to add to the island’s water supply. This majestic tree is just in front of the south wing of Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele. | Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele, 1 Keomuku Hwy.| Lanai City .


9 miles northeast of The Lodge at Koele to end of paved road.

The eastern shore of Lanai is mostly deserted. A few inaccessible heiau, or temples, rock walls and boulders marking old shrines, and a restored church at Keomuku reveal traces of human habitation. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are a must to explore this side of the isle. Be prepared for hot, rough conditions. Pack a picnic lunch, a hat and sunscreen, and plenty of drinking water. A mobile phone is also a good idea.

Getting Here and Around

Once you leave paved Keomuku Highway and turn left toward Shipwreck Beach or right to Naha, the roads are dirt and sand; conditions vary with the seasons. Mileage doesn’t matter much here, but figure on 20 minutes from the end of the paved road to Shipwreck Beach, and about 45 minutes to Lopa Beach.


Munro Trail.
This 12.8-mile four-wheel-drive trail along a fern- and pine-clad narrow ridge was named after George Munro, manager of the Lanai Ranch Company, who began a reforestation program in the 1950s to restore the island’s much-needed watershed. The trail climbs Lanaihale (House of Lanai), which, at 3,370 feet, is the island’s highest point; on clear days you’ll be treated to a panorama of canyons and almost all the Hawaiian Islands. TIP The road gets very muddy, and trade winds can be strong. Watch for sheer drop-offs, and keep an eye out for hikers. You can also hike the Munro Trail, although it’s steep, the ground is uneven, and there’s no water. From the Four Seasons Resort Lodge at Koele, head north on Highway 440 for 1¼ miles, then turn right onto Cemetery Road. Keep going until you’re headed downhill on the main dirt road. It’s a one-way road, but you may meet jeeps coming from the opposite direction. | Cemetery Rd. | Lanai City .


Named for the whales that once washed ashore here, Halepalaoa, or the “House of Whale Ivory,” was the site of the wharf used by the short-lived Maunalei Sugar Company in 1899. Some say the sugar company failed because the sacred stones of nearby Kahea Heiau were used for the construction of the cane railroad. The brackish well water turned too salty, forcing the sugar company to close in 1901, after just two years. The remains of the heiau , once an important place of worship for the people of Lanai, are now difficult to find through the kiawe overgrowth. There’s good public-beach access here and clear shallow water for swimming, but no other facilities. Take Highway 440 (Keomuku Highway) to its eastern terminus, then turn right on the dirt road and continue south for 5½ miles. | On dirt road off Hwy. 440 | Lanai City .

Japanese Cemetery.
In 1899 sugarcane came to this side of Lanai. The 2,400-acre plantation promised to be a profitable proposition, but that same year disease wiped out the labor force. This Buddhist shrine commemorates the Japanese workers who died, and the local congregation comes down to clean this sacred place each year. Take Highway 440 to its eastern terminus, then turn right on the dirt road and continue south for 6½ miles. The shrine is uphill on your right. | On dirt road off Hwy. 440 .

There’s a peaceful beauty about the former fishing village of Keomuku. During the late 19th century this small Lanai community served as the headquarters of Maunalei Sugar Company. After the company failed, the land was abandoned. Although there are no other signs of previous inhabitation, its church, Ka Lanakila O Ka Malamalama, built in 1903, has been restored by volunteers. Visitors often leave some small token, a shell or lei, as an offering. Take Highway 440 to its eastern terminus, then turn right onto a dirt road and continue south for 5 miles. The church is on your right in the coconut trees. | On dirt road off Hwy. 440 .

An ancient rock-walled fishpond—visible at low tide—lies where the sandy shore ends and the cliffs begin their rise along the island’s shores. Accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicle, the beach is a frequent dive spot for local fishermen. TIP Treacherous currents make this a dangerous place for swimming. Take Highway 440 to its eastern terminus, then turn right onto a sandy dirt road and continue south for 11 miles. The shoreline dirt road ends here. | On dirt road off Hwy. 440 | Lanai City .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents


Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Lanai offers miles of secluded white-sand beaches on its windward side, plus the moderately developed Hulopoe Beach, which is adjacent to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Hulopoe is accessible by car or hotel shuttle bus; to reach the windward beaches you need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Reef, rocks, and coral make swimming on the windward side problematic, but it’s fun to splash around in the shallow water. Expect debris on the windward beaches due to the Pacific convergence of ocean currents. Driving on the beach itself is illegal and can be dangerous.

Fodor’s Choice | Hulopoe Beach.
A short stroll from the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Hulopoe is one of the best beaches in Hawaii. The sparkling crescent of this Marine Life Conservation District beckons with calm waters safe for swimming almost year-round, great snorkeling reefs, tide pools, and sometimes spinner dolphins. A shady, grassy beach park is perfect for picnics. If the shore break is pounding, or if you see surfers riding big waves, stay out of the water. In the afternoon, watch Lanai High School students heave outrigger canoes down the steep shore break and race one another just offshore. To get here, take Highway 440 south to the bottom of the hill and turn right. The road dead-ends at the beach’s parking lot. Amenities: parking (no fee); showers; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; surfing; swimming. | Off Hwy. 440 | Lanai City .

Lopa Beach.
A difficult surfing spot that tests the mettle of experienced locals, Lopa is also an ancient fishpond. With majestic views of West Maui and Kahoolawe, this remote white-sand beach is a great place for a picnic. WARNING Don’t let the sight of surfers fool you: the channel’s currents are too strong for swimming. Take Highway 440 to its eastern terminus, turn right onto a dirt road, and continue south for 7 miles. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; sunrise; walking. | On dirt road off Hwy. 440 .

Polihua Beach.
This often-deserted beach features long, wide stretches of white sand and unobstructed views of Molokai. The northern end of the beach ends at a rocky lava cliff with some interesting tide pools, and sea turtles that lay their eggs in the sand. (Do not drive on the beach and endanger their nests.) However, the dirt road leading here has deep, sandy places that are difficult in dry weather and impassable when it rains. In addition, strong currents and a sudden drop in the ocean floor make swimming dangerous, and strong trade winds can make walking uncomfortable. Thirsty wild bees sometimes gather around your car. To get rid of them, put out water some distance away and wait. The beach is in windward Lanai, 11 miles north of Lanai City. To get here, turn right onto the marked dirt road past Garden of the Gods. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; sunrise; walking. | East end of Polihua Rd. | Lanai City .

Shipwreck Beach.
The rusting World War II tanker abandoned off this 8-mile stretch of sand adds just the right touch to an already photogenic beach. Strong trade winds have propelled vessels onto the reef since at least 1824, when the first shipwreck was recorded. Beachcombers come to this fairly accessible beach for shells and washed-up treasures, and photographers take great shots of Molokai, just across the Kalohi Channel. A deserted plantation-era fishing settlement adds to the charm. It’s still possible to find glass-ball fishing floats as you wander along. Kaiolohia, its Hawaiian name, is a favorite local diving spot. Beyond the beach, about 200 yards up a trail past the Shipwreck Beach sign, are the Kukui Point petroglyphs, marked by reddish-brown boulders. TIP An offshore reef and rocks in the water mean that it’s not for swimmers, though you can play in the shallow water on the shoreline. To get here, take Highway 440 to its eastern terminus, then turn left onto a dirt road and continue to the end. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; star gazing; windsurfing. | Off Hwy. 440 | Lanai City .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Where to Eat

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Manele Bay | Lanai City and Upcountry

Lanai’s own version of Hawaii regional cuisine draws on the fresh bounty provided by local farmers and fishermen, combined with the skills of well-regarded chefs. The upscale menus at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay encompass European- and Asian-inspired cuisine as well as innovative preparations of international favorites and vegetarian delights. All Four Seasons Resort restaurants offer children’s menus. Lanai City’s eclectic ethnic fare runs from construction-worker-size local plate lunches to poke (raw fish), pizza, and pasta. TIP Lanai “City” is really a small town; restaurants sometimes close their kitchens early, and only a few are open on Sunday.


Dining at Manele Bay offers the range of options provided by the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, from informal poolside meals to relaxed, eclectic dining.

$$ | AMERICAN | Poolside at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Kailani offers casual dining with a stunning view of Hulopoe Bay. The big umbrellas are cool and cheerful, and the cushioned rattan chairs comfortable. Try the crunchy fish-and-chips, Italian farmers’ market salad, or the grilled Angus beef burger. The service is the brand of cool aloha always offered by the Four Seasons. | Average main: $24 | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, 1 Manele Bay Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2092 | | Reservations not accepted .

$$$ | JAPANESE | Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa offers his signature new-style Japanese cuisine in this open-air, relaxed luxury venue. This is fine dining without the stress, as black-clad waiters present dish after dish of beautifully seasoned, raw and lightly cooked seafood flown in directly from Alaska and Japan. An omakase (chef’s choice) multicourse menu makes it easy for first-timers. After a recent expansion, Nobu now features a lounge, teppanyaki stations, and sushi bar. This simple yet elegant establishment is as much about the experience as it is about the food itself, but brace yourself for a significant bill at meal’s end. | Average main: $32 | 1 Manele Bay Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2832 | | No lunch | Reservations essential .

One Forty.
$$$$ | AMERICAN | Named after the island’s 140 square miles, this ocean-view restaurant offers an extensive steak and seafood menu that emphasizes local ingredients. 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. At breakfast, fresh-baked pastries and made-to-order omelets ensure that your day starts well. | Average main: $45 | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, 1 Manele Bay Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2290 | | No lunch | Reservations essential .

Views at Manele Clubhouse.
$$ | AMERICAN | A stunning view of the legendary Puu Pehe rock only enhances the imaginative fare of this open-air restaurant. Spot frolicking dolphins from the terrace. Tuck into a Hulopoe Bay prawn BLT, or the crispy battered fish-and-chips with Meyer lemon tartar sauce. The Baja fish tacos are splendid, and specialty drinks add to the informal fun. | Average main: $25 | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, 1 Manele Bay Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2230 | | No dinner .


In Lanai City you can enjoy everything from local-style plate lunches to upscale gourmet meals. For a small area, there are a number of good places to eat and drink, but remember that Lanai City mostly closes down on Sunday.

Blue Ginger Café.
$ | HAWAIIAN | Owners Joe and Georgia Abilay made this cheery place into a Lanai City institution with simply prepared, consistent, tasty food. 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. Phone ahead for takeout. | Average main: $12 | 409 7th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-6363 | | No credit cards | Reservations not accepted .

Café 565.
$ | HAWAIIAN | Named after the oldest telephone prefix on Lanai, Café 565 is a convenient stop for plate lunches, sandwiches like Palawai chicken breast on freshly baked focaccia, or platters of chicken katsu (Japanese-style breaded and fried chicken) to take along for an impromptu picnic. Phone ahead to order pizza. Bring your own beer or wine for lunch or dinner. The patio and outdoor tables are kid-friendly. | Average main: $10 | 408 8th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-6622 | Closed Sun. | Reservations not accepted .

Coffee Works.
$ | AMERICAN | A block from Dole Park, this Northern California-style café offers an umbrella-covered deck where you can sip cappuccinos and get in tune with the slow pace of life. Bagels with lox, deli sandwiches, and pastries add to the caloric content, while blended espresso shakes and gourmet ice cream complete the coffeehouse vibe. | Average main: $8 | 604 Ilima St. | Lanai City | 808/565-6962 | Closed Sun. No dinner | Reservations not accepted .

Fodor’s Choice | Lanai City Grille.
$ | AMERICAN | Simple white walls hung with local art, lazily turning ceiling fans, and unobtrusive service provide the backdrop for a menu featuring fresh island ingredients prepared with bold flavors. The tapas-style menu features plates meant to be shared, like crab cakes, spicy chicken wings, and kalbi short ribs. The dining room is a friendly and comfortable alternative to the Four Seasons, and a convenient if sometimes noisy gathering place for large parties. | Average main: $14 | Hotel Lanai, 828 Lanai Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-7211 | | Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch | Reservations essential .

Lanai Ohana Poke Market.
$ | HAWAIIAN | This is the closest you can come to dining on traditional cuisine on Lanai. Enjoy fresh food prepared by a Hawaiian family and served in a cool, shady garden. The emphasis is on poke, and Hawaiian plate lunches, take-out kimchi shrimp, and ahi and aku tuna steaks complete the menu. The place also caters picnics and parties. | Average main: $9 | 834A Gay St. | Lanai City | 808/559-6265 | No credit cards | Closed weekends. No dinner | Reservations not accepted .

No Ka Oi Grindz Lanai.
$ | HAWAIIAN | A local favorite, this lunchroom-style café has a shaded picnic table in the landscaped front yard and five more tables in the no-frills interior. The innovative menu, which changes frequently, includes such delicacies as kimchi fried rice, pork-fritter sandwiches, and massive plate lunches. Sit outside and watch the town drive by. | Average main: $10 | 335 9th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-9413 | No credit cards | Closed Sun. | Reservations not accepted .

Pele’s Other Garden.
$$ | ITALIAN | Small and colorful, Pele’s is a deli and bistro all in one. For lunch, sandwiches or daily hot specials satisfy hearty appetites. At night, it’s transformed into a busy bistro, complete with tablecloths and soft jazz. Designer beers and fine wines enhance an Italian-inspired menu. Start with bruschetta, then choose from a selection of pizzas or pasta dishes. An intimate back-room bar add to the liveliness, and entertainers often drop in for impromptu jam sessions. | Average main: $19 | 811 Houston St., at 8th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-9628 , 888/764-3354 | | Closed Sun. | Reservations essential .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Where to Stay

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Though Lanai has few properties, it does have a range of price options. Four Seasons manages both The Lodge at Koele and Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Although the room rates are different, guests can partake of all the resort amenities at both properties. If you’re on a budget, consider the Hotel Lanai. Note that room rates do not include 13.42% sales tax. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is scheduled to reopen in early 2016. The Lodge at Koele is closed until late 2016.

Fodor’s Choice | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay.
$$$$ | RESORT | Overlooking Hulopoe Bay, this sublime retreat offering beachside urban chic with stunning views of the deep blue sea and astonishing rocky coastline has reopened after a major renovation. After a recent renovation, the resort’s decor now features rich colors from the earth, sand, and brush, as well as meticulously curated artwork from across Polynesia, Micronesia, and Hawaii. The manicured grounds feature an array of native Hawaiian plants and species in a botanical garden setting with meandering waterways. Coastline views enhance many rooms, while others overlook rocky brushland. Adults can languish in the grown-ups-only lagoon-style pool, or get a massage in a private oceanside hale; while keiki (children) can try their hand at sand sculpting or participate in a game of beach volleyball. Pros: nearby beach; outstanding restaurants; newly renovated. Cons: 20 minutes from town; need a car to explore the area. | Rooms from: $960 | 1 Manele Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2000 , 800/321-4666 | | 217 rooms, 51 suites | No meals .

Hotel Lanai.
$ | HOTEL | Built in 1923 to house visiting pineapple executives, this historic inn has South Pacific-style rooms with country quilts, ceiling fans, and bamboo shades. It might seem like you’re staying in someone’s plantation-house guest room. Two end rooms offer views with porches overlooking the pine trees and Lanai City. A separate one-bedroom cottage offers more privacy. The restaurant, Lanai City Grille, has an intimate and well-stocked bar. A self-serve continental breakfast with freshly baked breads is included in the rate. Pros: historic atmosphere; walking distance to town. Cons: rooms are a bit plain; noisy at dinnertime; no room phones or TVs. | Rooms from: $174 | 828 Lanai Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-7211 , 800/795-7211 | | 10 rooms, 1 cottage | Breakfast .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Water Sports and Tours

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Deep-Sea Fishing | Scuba Diving | Snorkeling | Surfing

The easiest way to enjoy the water on Lanai is to wade in at Hulopoe Beach and swim or snorkel. If you prefer an organized excursion, a fishing trip is a good bet (you keep some of the fish). Snorkel trips are a great way to see the island, above and below the surface, and scuba divers can marvel at one of the top cave-dive spots in the Pacific.


Some of the best fishing grounds in Maui County are off the southwest shoreline of Lanai, the traditional fishing grounds of Hawaiian royalty. Pry your eyes open and go deep-sea fishing in the early morning, with departures at 6 or 6:30 am from Manele Harbor. Console yourself with the knowledge that Maui anglers have to leave an hour earlier to get to the same prime locations. Peak seasons are spring and summer, although good catches have been landed year-round. Mahimahi, ono (a mackerel-like fish; the word means “delicious” in Hawaiian), ahi , and marlin are prized catches and preferred eating.

Spinning Dolphin Charters of Lanai.
The 36-foot Twin-Vee Fish-n-Tips with a tuna tower will get you to the fishing grounds in comfort. Friendly Captain Jason will do everything except reel in the big one for you. Plan on trolling along the south coast for ono and around the point at Kaunolu for mahimahi or marlin. A trip to the offshore buoy often yields skipjack tuna or big ahi. Whales are often spotted during the season. Fishing gear, soft drinks, and water are included. A four-hour charter (six-passenger maximum) is $700; each additional hour costs $110. Guests can keep a third of all fish caught. Shared charters on Sunday are $150 per person. | Lanai City | 808/565-7676 | .


When you have a dive site such as Cathedrals—with eerie pinnacle formations and luminous caverns—it’s no wonder that scuba-diving buffs consider exploring the waters off Lanai akin to a religious experience.


Just outside Hulopoe Bay, Cathedrals is the best cavern dive site in Lanai. Shimmering light makes the many openings resemble stained-glass windows. A current generally keeps the water crystal clear, even if it’s turbid outside. In these unearthly chambers, large ulua and small reef sharks add to the adventure. Tiger sharks may appear in certain seasons. | Manele | Lanai City .

Sergeant Major Reef.
Off Kamaiki Point, Sergeant Major Reef is named for big schools of yellow- and black-striped manini (sergeant major fish) that turn the rocks silvery as they feed. There are three parallel lava ridges separated by rippled sand valleys, a cave, and an archway. Depths range 15-50 feet. Depending on conditions, the water may be clear or cloudy. | Lanai City .


Trilogy Ocean Sports Lanai.
Serious certified divers should go for Trilogy’s four-hour, two-tank dive. Locations depend on the weather. The $189 fee includes a light breakfast of cinnamon rolls and coffee, wet suits, and all the equipment you need. Noncertified beginners over age 11 can try a one-tank introductory dive lasting 20-30 minutes for $102. You can wade into Hulopoe Bay with an instructor at your side. Certified divers can choose a 35- to 40-minute wade-in dive at Hulopoe, also for $102. | Manele Small Boat Harbor, Manele Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/874-5649 | .


Snorkeling is the easiest ocean sport available on the island, requiring nothing but a snorkel, mask, fins, and good sense. Borrow equipment from your hotel or purchase some in Lanai City if you didn’t bring your own. Wait to enter the water until you are sure no big sets of waves are coming, and observe the activity of locals on the beach. If little kids are playing in the shore break, it’s usually safe to enter. TIP To get into the water safely, always swim in past the breakers, and in the comparative calm put on your fins, then mask and snorkel.


The best snorkeling on Lanai is at Hulopoe Beach and Manele Small Boat Harbor. Hulopoe, which is an exceptional snorkeling destination, has schools of manini that feed on the coral and coat the rocks with flashing silver. You can also easily view kala (unicorn fish), uhu (parrot fish), and papio (small trevally) in all their rainbow colors. Beware of rocks and surging waves. At Manele Harbor, there’s a wade-in snorkel spot beyond the break wall. Enter over the rocks, just past the boat ramp. TIP Do not enter if waves are breaking.


Trilogy Ocean Sports Lanai.
A 3½-hour snorkeling trip aboard a spacious catamaran explores Lanai’s pristine coastline with this company’s experienced captain and crew. The trip includes lessons, equipment, and lunch served on board. Tours are offered Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. | Manele Small Boat Harbor, Manele Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/874-5649 | | From $181 per person .


Surfing on Lanai can be truly enjoyable. Quality, not quantity, characterizes this isle’s few breaks. Be considerate of the locals and they will be considerate of you—surfing takes the place of megaplex theaters and pool halls here, serving as one of the island’s few recreational luxuries.


Don’t try to hang 10 at Hulopoe Bay without watching the conditions for a while. When it “goes off,” it’s a tricky left-handed shore break that requires some skill. Huge summer south swells are for experts only. The southeast-facing breaks at Lopa Beach on the east side are inviting for beginners, but hard to get to. Give them a try in summer, when the swells roll in nice and easy.


Lanai Surf School.
Nick Palumbo offers the only surf instruction on the island. Sign up for his 4x4 Safari—a four-hour adventure that includes hard- or soft-top boards, snacks, and transportation to windward “secret spots.” Palumbo, who was born on Lanai, is a former Hawaii State Surfing Champion. Lessons are $200 (minimum of two people). Experienced riders can rent boards overnight for $58. Palumbo also has the only paddleboard permit for Hulopoe Bay, and gives lessons and rents equipment. He will pick you up at your hotel or at the ferry dock. | Lanai City | 808/649-0739 | .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Golf, Hiking, and Outdoor Activities

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Biking | Golf | Hiking

Manele Golf Course will certainly test your skill on the green. Experienced hikers can choose from miles of dirt roads and trails, but note that you’re on your own—there’s no water or support. Remember that Lanai is privately owned, and all land-based activities are at the owner’s discretion.


Many of the same red-dirt roads that invite hikers are excellent for biking, offering easy, flat terrain and long clear views. There’s only one hitch: you will have to bring your own bike, as there are no rentals or tours available.


A favorite biking route is along the fairly flat red-dirt road northward from Lanai City through the old pineapple fields to Garden of the Gods. Start your trip on Keomuku Highway in town. Take a left just before The Lodge at Koele’s tennis courts, and then a right where the road ends at the fenced pasture, and continue on to the north end and the start of Polihua and Awalua dirt roads. If you’re really hardy, you could bike down to Polihua Beach and back, but it would be a serious all-day trip. In wet weather these roads turn to mud and are not advisable. Go in the early morning or late afternoon, because the sun gets hot in the middle of the day. Take plenty of water, spare parts, and snacks.

For the exceptionally fit, it’s possible to bike from town down the Keomuku Highway to the windward beaches and back, or to bike the Munro Trail (). Experienced bikers also travel up and down the Manele Highway from Manele Bay to town.


Lanai’s main golf course, located at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, is one of the loveliest golf courses in the world—and one of the most challenging. Another course at the Four Seasons Resort, The Lodge at Koele, is closed for renovations.

Manele Golf Course.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1993, this course sits right over the water of Hulopoe Bay. Built on lava outcroppings, it features three holes on cliffs that use the Pacific Ocean as a water hazard. The five-tee concept challenges the best golfers—tee shots over natural gorges and ravines must be precise. Unspoiled natural terrain provides a stunning backdrop, and every hole offers ocean views. Early-morning tee times are recommended to avoid the midday heat. | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Challenge Dr., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2222 | | $285 for resort guests, $325 for nonguests | 18 holes, 7039 yards, par 72 .


Only 30 miles of Lanai’s roads are paved, but red-dirt roads and trails, ideal for hiking, will take you to sweeping overlooks, isolated beaches, and shady forests. Take a self-guided walk through Kane Puu, Hawaii’s largest native dryland forest. You can also explore the Munro Trail over Lanaihale with views of plunging canyons, hike along an old coastal fisherman trail, or head out across Koloiki Ridge. Wear hiking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen, and carry a windbreaker, cell phone, and plenty of water.


Koloiki Ridge.
This marked trail starts behind The Lodge at Koele (closed indefinitely) and takes you along the cool and shady Munro Trail to overlook the windward side, with impressive views of Maui, Molokai, Maunalei Valley, and Naio Gulch. The average time for the 5-mile round trip is two hours. Bring snacks, water, and a windbreaker; wear good shoes; and take your time. Moderate. | Lanai City .

Lanai Fisherman Trail.
Local anglers still use this trail to get to their favorite fishing spots. The trail takes about 1½ hours and follows the rocky shoreline below the Four Seasons Resort at Lanai Manele Bay. The marked trail entrance begins at the west end of Hulopoe Beach. Keep your eyes open for spinner dolphins cavorting offshore and the silvery flash of fish feeding in the pools below you. The condition of the trail varies with weather and frequency of maintenance; it can be slippery and rocky. Take your time, wear a hat and enclosed shoes, and carry water. Moderate. | Manele | Lanai City .

Fodor’s Choice | Munro Trail.
This is the real thing: a strenuous 12.8-mile trek that begins behind The Lodge at Koele (closed until late 2016) and follows the ridge of Lanaihale through the rain forest. The island’s most demanding hike, it has an elevation gain of 1,400 feet and leads to a lookout at the island’s highest point, Lanaihale. It’s also a narrow dirt road; watch out for careening four-wheel-drive vehicles. The trail is named after George Munro, who supervised the planting of Cook pine trees and eucalyptus windbreaks. Mules used to wend their way up the mountain carrying the pine seedlings. Unless you arrange for someone to pick you up at the trail’s end, you have a 3-mile hike back through the Palawai Basin to return to your starting point. The summit is often cloud-shrouded and can be windy and muddy, so check conditions before you start. Difficult. | Four Seasons The Lodge at Koele, 1 Keomuku Hwy. | Lanai City .

Puu Pehe Trail.
Beginning to the left of Hulopoe Beach, this trail travels a short distance around the coastline, and then climbs up a sharp, rocky rise. At the top, you’re level with the offshore stack of Puu Pehe and can overlook miles of coastline in both directions. The trail is not difficult, but it’s hot and steep. Be aware of nesting seabirds and don’t approach their nests. TIP Stay away from the edge, as the cliff can easily give way. The hiking is best in the early morning or late afternoon, and it’s a perfect place to look for whales in season (December-April). Wear a hat and enclosed shoes, and take water so you can spend some time at the top admiring the view. Moderate. | Manele | Lanai City .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Shops and Spas

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Shopping | Spas


A cluster of Cook pines in the center of Lanai City surrounded by small shops and restaurants, Dole Park is the closest thing to a mall on Lanai. Except for high-end resort boutiques and pro shops, it’s the island’s only shopping. A morning or afternoon stroll around the park offers an eclectic selection of gifts and clothing, plus a chance to chat with friendly shopkeepers. Well-stocked general stores are reminiscent of the 1920s, and galleries and a boutique have original art and fashions for everyone.


Island Treasures.
This well-stocked boutique is chock-full of appealing souvenirs, including an array of vintage Lanai travel posters that owner Gail Allen will ship right to your door. Gail is always up for a bit of local conversation and advice as well. | 733 7th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-6255 .


Cory Labang Studio.
This tiny studio shop near Dole Park reflects its owner’s life-long love of vintage clothing. Cory Labang’s old piano and her Hawaiian family photos are a nice backdrop for handmade bags and clutches in antique fabrics. Crystal glassware, glittering costume jewelry, and one-of-a-kind accessories complete this unique collection. | 431A 7th St. | Lanai City | 808/315-6715 .

Fodor’s Choice | The Local Gentry.
Spacious and classy, this store has clothing for every need, from casual men’s and women’s beachwear to evening resort wear, shoes, jewelry, and hats. There are fancy fashions for tots as well. A selection of original Lanai-themed clothing is also available, including the signature “What happens on Lanai everybody knows” T-shirts. Proprietor Jenna Gentry Majkus will mail your purchases. | 363 7th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-9130 .


Pine Isle Market.
One of Lanai City’s two all-purpose markets, Pine Isle stocks everything from beach toys and electronics to meats and vegetables. The staff are friendly, and it’s the best place around to buy fresh fish. The market is closed Sunday. | 356 8th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-6488 .

Along with fresh meats, fine wines, and imported gourmet items, Richard’s stocks everything from camping gear to household items. They’re closed on Wednesday and during lunch (noon-1). | 434 8th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-3781 .


Lanai Art Center.
Local artists display their work at this dynamic center staffed by volunteers. Workshops in pottery, photography, woodworking, and painting welcome visitors. The gift shop sells Lanai handicrafts and special offerings like handmade Swarovski crystal bracelets, the sale of which underwrites children’s art classes. There are occasional concerts and special events. It’s closed on Sunday. | 339 7th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-7503 | .

Fodor’s Choice | Mike Carroll Gallery.
The dreamy, soft-focus oil paintings of award-winning painter Mike Carroll are inspired by island scenes. His work is showcased along with those of other local artists and visiting plein air painters. You can also find handcrafted jewelry and antiques. | 443 7th St. | Lanai City | 808/565-7122 | .


International Food and Clothing Center.
This old-fashioned emporium stocks everything from fishing and camping gear to fine wine and imported beer. It’s a good place to pick up last-minute items on Sunday, when other stores are closed. | 833 Ilima Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-6433 .

Lanai City Service.
In addition to being Lanai’s only gas station and auto-parts store, this outfit sells resort wear, manapua (steamed buns with pork filling), hot dogs, beer, soda, and bottled water. It’s open daily 6:30-10. | 1036 Lanai Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-7227 .


If you’re looking for rejuvenation, the whole island could be considered a spa, though the only full spa is at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, which is currently closed for renovation, scheduled to reopen in early 2016.

The Spa at Manele.
Granite floors, eucalyptus steam rooms, and private cabanas set the scene for indulgence. State-of-the-art pampering enlists a panoply of oils and lotions that would have pleased Cleopatra. The Makai Ritual includes a full-body exfoliation, limu and sea clay body wrap, and massage treatment with warm stones. The macadamia sugar and pineapple-citrus polish treatments are delicious. Afterward, relax in the sauna or steam room. Massages in private oceanfront hale (houses) are available for singles or couples. | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, 1 Manele Bay Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2088 | | $180-$200 for 50-min massage, Makai Ritual $500 per person .

Previous Chapter | Beginning of Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents


Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | Table of Contents

Lanai’s nightlife offerings are fairly limited. If you want to rub shoulders with locals, pull up a stool at the Hotel Lanai’s bar. The Sports Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay features a lively, sophisticated atmosphere in which to take in ocean views while noshing with your favorite libations. The newly renovated Hale Keaka (Lanai Theater) screens recent releases five nights a week. An alternative is stargazing from the beaches or watching the full moon rise from secluded vantage points.

Hale Keaka (Lanai Theater).
Hale Keaka’s two 93-seat theaters and green room screen recent movie releases Wednesday-Sunday. | 465 7th St. | Lanai City | .

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. | Hotel Lanai, 828 Lanai Ave. | Lanai City | 808/565-7211 | .

Sports Bar.
At the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, the oceanfront Sports Bar is an open-air lounge serving casual fare such as kiawe-smoked chicken wings, burgers, and kalbi-beef short ribs. Pool tables, shuffleboard courts, and a 90-inch TV make for an amusing time out. An added bonus: dolphins play in the bay below. | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, 1 Manele Bay Rd., Manele | Lanai City | 808/565-2000 | .