The Allure of Lanai

Hulopoe Beach

“When can I get back to Lanai?” That was the thought I caught myself thinking very early into our recent visit to Lanai. I don’t know when we’ll be able to return, but I can’t wait.

What is it about Lanai that’s so attractive? I’ve been reflecting on that very question. I’ll attempt to explain Lanai’s allure.

Refreshingly Simple

Visiting Lanai is like going back in time.  From the original tin-roofed plantation style homes to the complete absence of any sort of giant chains like Costco, Walmart and Starbucks – Lanai has retained its original roots and simpler life.

With a population of under 3,000 residents, everyone practically knows everyone else. Spend some time walking around the Dole Square and you’ll find that it’s easy to begin feeling like you’re a part of the community.  Stop into any shop or restaurant in Lanai City and soon you’ll be talking story with the local residents.

I’ve heard Lanai dubbed as the Mayberry of the Pacific. It’s certainly friendly enough to be a Mayberry. With everyone knowing their neighbor and nowhere to run and hide, crime is practically non-existent. So a Barney Fife would fit in nicely on Lanai.

Koele Sunset
Sunset by Kalokahi O Ka Malamalama Church in Koele

Off-the-Beaten Path Adventures

On land, hop in a four-wheel drive to navigate to secluded beaches and surreal landscapes. Hike for miles without seeing another person. Go horseback riding through a meandering forest trail to views of Molokai and Maui. Have a blast at Lanai Pines Sporting Clays.

Near the Garden of the Gods
The dirt road leading past Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods) offers amazing views.

Fit for a King

King Kamehameha could pick and choose anywhere he wanted to go in Hawaii. Where did he choose as his summer retreat? That would be Kaunolu Village on Lanai’s southern coast. The king chose well with a beach nestled between tall cliffs. Kaunolu was his favorite fishing spot. Today, you can snorkel in the pristine waters near the village.

For such a small island, Lanai offers two luxurious Four Seasons Resorts. These stunningly beautiful resorts make you feel like royalty when you’re there. For example, when you’re by the pool or at Hulopoe Beach, staff offer you chilled towels, fresh pineapple slices and, get this, chilled Evian spritzes.

I can almost picture King Kamehameha having a oceanside massage then enjoying a private dinner in a romantic oceanside hale.

Private Ocean Hale dining
Private dining at an oceanside hale

Lanai Rocks!

Each of the Hawaiian Islands have their own unique features. In my mind, Lanai’s top features are in the island’s rocks – Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock) and Keahaikawelo (Garden of the Gods). Both of these sights peak your curiosity making you wonder how were they created.

Puuphehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock)

In Closing

There’s something quite infectious about Lanai and I don’t want the cure. So, I’ll circle back to my original question: “When can I get back to Lanai?” I don’t know when, but I hope it’s soon!

What about you? Have you been captured by the allure of Lanai? What attracts you to the Pineapple Isle?


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  1. What attracts me is the amazing photography that Andy is capturing. 😉

    1. Thanks Dave. Have you been to Lanai? I hear that a lot of Hawaii residents particularly love staying in the Lodge at Koele and Hotel Lanai for the cooler air.

  2. If Lanai really is as beautiful as these photos, I don’t blame you for wanting to get back right away.

  3. Wow! We’ve been to Mauai, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. Look like we need to visit Lanai as well!! Beautiful!!

    1. Hi Carol — Lanai would be a great island to add to your Hawaii experiences. I took a peek at your lovely blog and from what I read, I think you’d enjoy the two luxury Four Seasons resorts on Lanai. In my opinion, they are THE best luxury bargains in all of Hawaii. If you decide to go, please let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Not that we need any more reasons to make our first trip to Lanai, but this is just more added incentive.

    Very nice, as always.

  5. Sigh. Peace and quiet! Sigh. And on horseback! I miss that part of my life. Sigh.

    Thanks, as always, Sheila, for sharing! Did I sigh enough? 🙂

  6. The picture of the church sunset was stunning. I would definately spend my HereStay miles on a trip here. Thanks!

  7. A friend of mine went to Lanai and absolutely loved it. You pictures certainly portray it in an excellent light.

  8. I have yet to visit Lanai. The pictures are amazing. I kind of like the fact that it is secluded from the major stores that we have come to depend on.

  9. I’ve been to every island but Lanai. I’ve always wanted to visit and by looking at your pictures it really does look gorgeous there.

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