Lanai is the smallest and perhaps most exclusive island in the chain of Hawaiian Islands. The beaches are just as gorgeous as the other islands and the palm trees offer the perfect backdrop for a romantic island getaway. When visiting Lanai you can get to the island either by plane or by a ferry. You can fly into Lanai from either Maui or Honolulu. There are no direct flights from the mainland so you should take some time to visit one of the other islands first. If you take a boat to Lanai, it will be from Maui and you may just get lucky enough to see some migrating whales along the way, particularly in the winter months. If you do not have a lot of time to visit Lanai, you could take a day trip from Maui.
Lanai is home to a famous dive site known as Cathedrals located near Pu’u Pele rock. The tropical fish and coral are abundant here. Hulop’e Beach is another popular destination on the island. Here you can usually see spinner dolphin and a variety of reef fish making this a great place for snorkeling. The beaches here are white sand and gorgeous. They make for a great place to relax and unwind. Shipwreck beach is a nice place to take a stroll. It’s relatively quiet; in fact you are likely to be alone on this stretch of beach. You may find remnants of sunken ships in the form of driftwood washed up along the shore here. As the name implies there are several shipwrecks located just off the shore.
The island of Lanai is also home to two championship golf courses. Manele, located at Manele Bay Hotel was actually designed by Jack Nicklaus and is set amongst a gorgeous tropical backdrop complete with palm trees and ocean cliffs. Greg Norman designed the second course which is the Experience at Koele. It has been rated the number one golf resort in the world by Conde Nast. The course lies beneath the mountains and offers spectacular views of the neighboring islands. Lanai is also home to the Cavendish Golf course that is a local nine-hole course. The course is open to the public and all are welcome. There are no greens fees here (impressive) however, donations are accepted.
Horseback riding is another popular activity on the island of Lanai. The only place to ride is at Koele. They offer a variety of different ride options including pony rides for the kids. One favorite ride is a trail ride that will take you on trails along the coast. This offers breathtaking views, and if you look closely, you may be able to se Moloka’i and Maui. This ride also includes a picnic lunch, which can make for a romantic afternoon.
One hiking destination not to be missed while in Lanai is the Koloiki Ridge Trail. The 5-mile hike begins at the Lodge at Koele and will take you up to the Munro Trail. The hike will offer some breath taking views of the valleys, as well as Moloka’i and Maui. The island of Lanai will offer a great variety of activities, or none at all if you wish. It’s the perfect island for pampering and relaxation.