A tour around Lana’i City

Centrally located in the pleasant highlands of the island of Lana’i, Lana’i City is one very charming town. With a population of around 3,000, it’s really no city at all. It’s one of those unique places where everyone knows everyone and everyone is so friendly. We like to think of it as the Mayberry of Hawaii.

Dole Park defines the heart of Lana’i City. It’s the gathering place for picnics, the farmers market and island festivals.

Lana’i City is known for its abundance of cook pines. These evergreens offer dappled shade throughout the day.

Lana’i City was founded in the early 1900’s as a pineapple plantation town. The architecture of the city has remained unchanged with colorful plantation era homes and businesses lining the sleepy streets. Oh, and speaking of streets, you won’t find a single traffic light in Lana’i City or anywhere else on the island of Lana’i.

Pele’s Other Garden

There is one hotel in the city, Hotel Lana’i. It was built in 1923 to accommodate Dole Plantation executives and guests. Though it only has 11 rooms, it has an excellent restaurant, Lana’i City Grille, that’s popular with locals and visitors.

Hotel Lana’i

You won’t find a Starbucks on Lana’i. The local coffee shop, Coffee Works, usually draws a caffeine seeking crowd.

Coffee Works

There are no big box or chainstores in Lana’i City. Instead, you’ll find friendly little shops. Our favorite Lana’i shop is Mike Carroll’s wonderful art gallery.

Mike Carroll Fine Art Gallery

We’ve rarely left Mike Carroll’s gallery empty handed. We’ve purchased quite a few affordable prints, notecards and such over the years. We did splurge once (ok, maybe twice) on a Mike Carroll original oil painting. We purchased an original of Lana’i’s Hulopo’e Bay.

Mike Carroll holding the original oil painting that we purchased.

The Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center is another must stop in Lana’i City. Here you can learn about and see artifacts from Lana’i’s early Hawaiian settlements to the pineapple plantation heydays.

Though pineapples are no longer grown in large quantities on Lana’i, you will find rows of pineapples growing at the Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center as an ode to the past.

Pineapple growing at the Lana’i Culture & Heritage Center.

Enjoy our one-minute video of scenes from around Lana’i City:

If you’re staying on Lana’i or taking a day trip on the ferry from Maui, we recommend visiting this small Hawaiian town. Lana’i City is sure to linger in your memories long after visiting.

Have you been to Lana’i City?

3 comments
  1. Aloha Sheila!

    Mahalo for writing such a beautiful tribute to our charming, historic town in upcountry Lana`i, where folks from near and far are welcomed with authenticity and aloha! Thank you also for including the Mike Carroll Gallery in this delightful article. Hope you’ll visit our little slice of paradise again soon!

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