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Best Things To Do in Lanai

Visitors come to Lanai hoping for remote luxury. To best stir up the feeling of isolation, do some off-roading en route to the island's best natural wonders. On the northern coast, Polihua Beach and Shipwreck Beach offer secluded sands fit for romantics. And on the way there, they might stop at the Garden of the Gods, a bizarre natural rock garden with many local legends. On the south side, travelers savor their time on the sands of Hulopoe Bay and on the fairways at the Manele Golf Course. To complete your dream Hawaiian vacation, venture to the Munro Trail  the only place where you can see all six Hawaiian Islands at once.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Lanai

Free
Hulopoe Bay is one of Lanai's most popular spots. Sunbathers like the wide stretch of sand, while snorkelers revel in the vibrant reefs filled with fish and native plant life. This is one of the few beaches on Lanai where swimming is safe, but only in the summer; the waves in the winter are too dangerous. If you're in Lanai during the winter months, a stop at Hulopoe Bay is still worthwhile as you can sometimes spot dolphins and humpback whales from the shore (they pass through the bay every winter).
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Beaches Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Hulopoe Bay
Hulopoe Bay is one of Lanai's most popular spots. Sunbathers like the wide stretch of sand, while snorkelers revel in the vibrant reefs filled with fish and native plant life. This is one of the few beaches on Lanai where swimming is safe, but only in the summer; the waves in the winter are too dangerous. If you're in Lanai during the winter months, a stop at Hulopoe Bay is still worthwhile as you can sometimes spot dolphins and humpback whales from the shore (they pass through the bay every winter).
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#2

#2 in Lanai

Free
When you think "Garden of the Gods," you expect lush vegetation  but not here. This barren site, also known as Keahiakawelo, hosts only strangely shaped boulders and dust. So why should you visit this apparent wasteland? First, the terrain's appearance is probably the closest you'll ever get to Mars. And second, at sunset, the orange light turns the rocks shades of fiery reds and bright purples. According to Hawaiian legend, the dry landscape occurred as a result of a challenge between two priests who were tasked with keeping a fire burning on their respective islands longer than the other. The winner would be bestowed with an abundance of vegetation. To keep up with his competitor, the Lanai priest used all of the existing vegetation to keep his fires burning, resulting in the parched land that exists today.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Garden of the Gods
When you think "Garden of the Gods," you expect lush vegetation  but not here. This barren site, also known as Keahiakawelo, hosts only strangely shaped boulders and dust. So why should you visit this apparent wasteland? First, the terrain's appearance is probably the closest you'll ever get to Mars. And second, at sunset, the orange light turns the rocks shades of fiery reds and bright purples. According to Hawaiian legend, the dry landscape occurred as a result of a challenge between two priests who were tasked with keeping a fire burning on their respective islands longer than the other. The winner would be bestowed with an abundance of vegetation. To keep up with his competitor, the Lanai priest used all of the existing vegetation to keep his fires burning, resulting in the parched land that exists today.
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#3

#3 in Lanai

Humpback whales can be seen from all of the Hawaiian islands (the region's warm, shallow waters attract humpback whales), but the Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the world's best whale-watching destinations. You may be able to spot these majestic creatures from the shore if you plan your visit between December and May, but for the best views, you'll want to sign up for a tour.
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Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Dolphin & Whale Watching Tours
Humpback whales can be seen from all of the Hawaiian islands (the region's warm, shallow waters attract humpback whales), but the Auau Channel between Maui, Molokai and Lanai is one of the world's best whale-watching destinations. You may be able to spot these majestic creatures from the shore if you plan your visit between December and May, but for the best views, you'll want to sign up for a tour.
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#4

#4 in Lanai

The famous Jack Nicklaus designed the Manele Golf Course, and its position along Lanai's southern coast impresses golfers with its difficulty and architecture. The course boasts lush vegetation, ocean cliffs, seaside fairways and the occasional whale sighting (especially during the winter when whales are passing through the bay).
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Golf Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Manele Golf Course
The famous Jack Nicklaus designed the Manele Golf Course, and its position along Lanai's southern coast impresses golfers with its difficulty and architecture. The course boasts lush vegetation, ocean cliffs, seaside fairways and the occasional whale sighting (especially during the winter when whales are passing through the bay).
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#5

#5 in Lanai

Free
Munro Trail is a circuitous, 12.8-mile path that offers the only chance to see all six Hawaiian islands at once  on a very clear day that is. The evolving forest, canyon and ocean views that travelers can marvel at are unforgettable. When you reach the top, you'll see Lanai's highest peak, Lanaihale (House of Lanai), which sits at 3,370 feet.
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Natural Wonders Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Munro Trail
Munro Trail is a circuitous, 12.8-mile path that offers the only chance to see all six Hawaiian islands at once  on a very clear day that is. The evolving forest, canyon and ocean views that travelers can marvel at are unforgettable. When you reach the top, you'll see Lanai's highest peak, Lanaihale (House of Lanai), which sits at 3,370 feet.
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#6

#6 in Lanai

Free
About a 30-minute drive from the Garden of the Gods on the island's northern coast, Polihua Beach attracts visitors seeking a romantic setting for sunbathing or beachcombing. This remote 2-mile stretch of sand used to be the nesting ground of sea turtles. Now, sightings of these endangered creatures are infrequent. In fact, many recent travelers report being the only ones here  human or animal. But if you come between December and April, you'll likely spot migrating humpback whales from the shore.
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Polihua Beach
About a 30-minute drive from the Garden of the Gods on the island's northern coast, Polihua Beach attracts visitors seeking a romantic setting for sunbathing or beachcombing. This remote 2-mile stretch of sand used to be the nesting ground of sea turtles. Now, sightings of these endangered creatures are infrequent. In fact, many recent travelers report being the only ones here  human or animal. But if you come between December and April, you'll likely spot migrating humpback whales from the shore.
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#7

#7 in Lanai

Free
Getting to Shipwreck Beach (also known as Kaiolohia) is no walk in the park. But those who reach this fascinating destination on the island's northeastern coast receive quite the photo-op. Here, you'll spot two World War II ships that were intentionally grounded. Most come to see the YOGN-42, a fuel barge that's visible off the shore of Kaiolohia Bay. On the western end of Awalua Bay, there's another wreck, the YO-21 oiler that sits 6 miles away.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Shipwreck Beach
Getting to Shipwreck Beach (also known as Kaiolohia) is no walk in the park. But those who reach this fascinating destination on the island's northeastern coast receive quite the photo-op. Here, you'll spot two World War II ships that were intentionally grounded. Most come to see the YOGN-42, a fuel barge that's visible off the shore of Kaiolohia Bay. On the western end of Awalua Bay, there's another wreck, the YO-21 oiler that sits 6 miles away.
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#8

#8 in Lanai

Free
Located in Lanai City, the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center is housed in the old Dole Administration Building. Small exhibits trace the island's history from its volcanic rise to prehistoric times and from native occupation to the closing of the Dole pineapple plantation. 
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Museums Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Lanai Culture & Heritage Center
Located in Lanai City, the Lanai Culture & Heritage Center is housed in the old Dole Administration Building. Small exhibits trace the island's history from its volcanic rise to prehistoric times and from native occupation to the closing of the Dole pineapple plantation. 
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Free
Zoos and Aquariums Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

Free
Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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