When billionaires are fighting over something, you know it's special. That's the case with Hawaii's most exclusive island, Lanai. Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, has been trying to lay his hands on some Lanai real estate for some time. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, took control of 97 percent of Lanai in 2012. But don't let this clash of titans stop you from visiting.
Here is where Mother Nature puts on quite a show, providing remote beaches, otherworldly rock formations and colorful underwater reefs. You'll probably need an off-roading vehicle and a taste for adventure to reach them – top sights like Shipwreck Beach and the Munro Trail are literally off the beaten (or paved) paths. Cool down from exploring the terrain at one of the area's posh hotels where you can expect to luxuriate in exceptional cuisine, first-class service and upscale accommodations. Should you crave more activity, you can try your hand at deep sea fishing, horseback riding, lawn bowling and more. With all this, how can you resist the coveted charms of tiny Lanai?
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Though it's the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, Lanai manages to provide a diverse range of culinary offerings. If you're on a budget and in search of a local haunt, head to Blue Ginger Café, which past visitors recommended for its burger, homemade bread and relaxed setting. Pele's Other Garden Deli is equally lauded for its sandwiches and pizzas. Coffee Works – one of the only coffee shops on the island – is another must-visit spot if you need a cup of joe and some souvenir coffee to take back to the mainland.
If you're in the mood to splurge, Lanai has you covered there too thanks its handful of high-end resort eateries. Lanai City Bar & Grille in the Hotel Lanai specializes in local dishes, including venison, and offers live music on the patio. Meanwhile, ONE FORTY offers a menu of wagyu beef and seasonal Hawaiian seafood inside its perch at the scenic Four Seasons Resort Lanai. This is also where you'll find Lanai's own Nobu, the acclaimed sushi restaurant with locations around the world. Rounding out Lanai's cache of formal dining establishments is Views, the lunch-only restaurant at the Manele Golf Course, known for its (no surprise) ocean views and Hawaiian small plates (called pupus).
The best way to get around Lanai is by four-wheel-drive vehicle. This will allow you to safely explore Lanai's 400 miles of unpaved road, the bulk of which are off-road paths. Comparatively, there are only 30 miles of paved road on the island, meaning a rental car won't allow you to access some of Lanai's most popular natural wonders. Taxis, though expensive, are also available. Inter-island travel is available by ferry (to Maui) or plane (to Oahu, Maui, Molokai and the Big Island).
To reach Lanai, you'll likely connect through Honolulu or Maui since there are no direct flights from outside Hawaii to Lanai Airport (LNY). To get from the airport to your hotel, you can take a taxi. Check with your accommodations before arriving to see if they offer shuttle service.See details for Getting Around
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