Lana’i Bound!

Polihua Beach
Polihua Beach

I’m excited to share with you that I’ve been selected as one of seven New Media Artists in Residence to share the story and experiences of visiting Lanai. I’m honored to have been chosen to participate in this innovative program sponsored by the Lanai Visitors Bureau.

It’s no secret that I love Lanai. I really look forward to revisiting some of my favorite places like Keahaikawelo (Garden of the Gods), the remote and practically private Polihua Beach, and Lanai’s iconic Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock), just to name a few.

Along with returning to favorite places, I’m also looking forward to sharing these new Lanai experiences with you:

  • Horseback riding at The Stables at Koele.
  • A guided-hike on the Munro Trail to Lana’i Hale. (I’ve been reading The Story of Lanai by George C. Munro. In his book, he talks about planting Cook Pines along this ridge trial to help generate much needed moisture for the island. I’m looking forward to tracing Mr. Munro’s footsteps along his namesake trail.)
  • Finding King Kamehameha’s favorite summer fishing retreat at Kaunolu Village
  • Visiting the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center to learn more about the history of Lanai.
  • Snorkeling with Trilogy and hopefully seeing the tail end of humpback season.
  • Meeting as many of the friendly local residents as I can. From my experiences, Lanai has some of the friendliest folks in all of Hawaii!
Sweetheart Panorama
Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock)

I’ll be staying at all three hotels on the island. In Lanai City, there’s the historic Hotel Lanai. For a small island, Lanai hosts two Four Seasons Resorts with completely different styles and atmospheres – The Lodge at Koele in the upcountry and the ocean-side resort at Manele Bay. With staying at these three hotels, I think I’m going to feel like I’ve had three separate vacations.

If you are on twitter, you can follow the New Media Artists’ conversations with the #visitlanai hashtag. My friend Melanie has compiled a nice list of all the artists.

I look forward to sharing my Lanai experiences with you here on the blog, on twitter, and on facebook. In the meantime, do you have any questions about visiting Lanai that I can try to answer? Feel free to comment here with your question or use this contact form.


  1. whoo hoo! We are going to Lana’i! Well, not like Andy gets to (actually) go but vicariously through you. Yeah! Looking forward to all your thoughts and posts and Andy’s pics ( I have a camera too!) :>). It took me all morning to read this post because I had to click on all the links and read them too. Now I really want to go! Since this is a private island is there a police force, security? Can anyone just decide to go live there? Are there homeless people? Is there a medical clinic, who pays for the roads etc? I saw mention of a nice new school in one of your links, was that built by the Island owners? Maybe I better go read all of your Lana’i posts in case you already answered these questions! Beautiful Island, you and Andy have a wonderful, fun, relaxing time!

    1. Janet – Thanks for checking out all the links and the good wishes!

      You’ve asked some great questions!

      Lanai is kinda unique. I think I’ve read that 98% of it is privately owned by Castle and Cook, but it’s all still part of the state of Hawaii and the county of Maui.

      You definitely still feel like you’re in the US. The roads and signs are all just like on the US mainland. The small airport has TSA agents. In Lanai City, they have a small US post office.

      There is a small police department, but the crime rate is very low. Some locals told me that they never lock their cars or houses. One mainland transplant told me that out of habit, she locked and alarmed her car the first time she went into Lanai City. She said heads turned and looked at her like she was an alien when the car alarm beeped to indicate it was set. She said that was the last time she did that.

      It’s too small for a hospital, but residents can go over to Maui on the ferry for low cost (might even be free?).

      There’s only about 3,000 residents on the entire island. There are a few “homeless” people that live on the beaches along the northeast side.

      1. Thanks Sheila for the info! I guess when Niihau and Lana’i are said to be “the only privately owned islands” is where I get confused. I actually knew more about Niihau because I was fascinated by it and the Robinson family. So to hear Lana’i compared with it (not by you!) was where all those questions came from. You can’t visit Niihau let alone buy property there, no roads etc etc. Thanks!

        1. Lanai is not a private island. That is such a misconception that keeps people from coming to visit this great place.

      2. Thank you Sheila for the article, it was really interesting! Can’t wait to hear all about the trip and see Andy’s pics!

    1. Thanks, Malia! If you find you have some free time on your hands, fly on over and let’s talk story down at Hulopoe Beach. 😉

    1. Dave – it’s too cool for school. Hehe..sorry, couldn’t resist that one.

      On a serious note, I feel very blessed to have been selected for this opportunity.

  2. Dear Sheila and Andy! As you are previous visitors to Lānaʻi, I am really excited to see your reports. And being biased toward videos…those are going to be real treats for me too. I am curious to hear about the internet connection there and when and where you use it. I am one of those who likes being connected to share in the moment, though I realize some people prefer to have the experiences to themselves and share later.

    Aloha! Rox

    1. Aloha Rox,

      We’ve been doing lots of research this weekend to prep our video skills. We’ve been brainstorming some good video opportunities, too.

      Mahalo for all your support!

  3. Congratulations, Sheila! It makes so much sense for you to be chosen for this. I know you’ll come back with all sorts of great new information for us!

    1. Thanks, Gray!

      I feel really blessed to have been chosen for this project.

      I hope to bring back lots of great travel memories and trips to share.

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