Tips and Tricks for the Traveler
Hawaii is a place where you can experience things that you won't be able to experience anywhere else. The culture and tradition of the people of Hawaii is so rich that that alone can make your vacation memorable. Here, the past intermingles with the present, and rustic simplicity merges with modern sophistication, creating a uniquely Hawaiian experience. Hawaii is known for its many beautiful islands and the best thing about that is that each of these islands has something unique to offer to tourists.
One of the islands that has much to offer is Lanai. Used to be known as the Pineapple Island because it was once home to one of the world's largest pineapple plantations, today, Lanai is known more as The Secluded Island. This is not because it is remote or uninhabited but because despite the number of tourists flocking here all year round, the island maintains its rusticity. Among the islands of Hawaii, it is one of those that give the impression of a paradise yet to be explored and discovered. Elements of metropolitan sophistication is not commonly found here, except at the Four Seasons Resort. The said resort stands like a palace amidst the almost surreal beauty of the surroundings. The azure sea, the golden beach sand, the verdant forests and grasslands, and the wine colored sunset sky are among the things that make Lanai a place that is worth visiting.
Although a vacation to this island of Hawaii may be a bit costly, there are ways to make your vacation in this paradise enjoyable without bleeding your savings dry. Below are some tips and tricks that could help you maximise your fun while you are on the island.
Places you should not miss while on Lanai
There are so many things to see and do in Lanai. To make sure that you get to see the most interesting places and truly experience Lanai, you should know what the most popular sites here are. One of the places that the people of Lanai are so proud of is the Garden of the Gods.There you will find impressive rocks and boulders standing on a vast desert-like stretch of land. These boulders look like plants proudly standing on a vast garden. Another landmark you should not miss is the Sweetheart Rock, which is located off shore. This is a majestic rock, which some locals believe to be haunted by the spirit of a maiden who was buried there by her lover. The legend about this place, which is romantic and at the same time a bit creepy, is just one of the many interesting stories you will hear from the locals that explain the existence and appearance of some of the island's landmarks.
The beaches are also not to be missed. If you go to the famous Shipwreck Beach, you will surely be amazed by the remnant of a ship from the 1940s. If you look at it from the shore, you will find the shipwreck surreal, especially during foggy days. If you are one for the bizarre, you will most enjoy this view at dusk, especially when the dying sun casts its wine-colored light on the background making the shipwreck look eerie.
How to go to Lanai
There are two major means by which to reach Lanai. One is through a plane and the other is through a ferry. If you are going to take a plane, you still have to fly first to Honolulu and then take a plane to Lanai. The airport in this island is a 10-minute drive from the city center. If you are staying at the Four Seasons Resort or at the Hotel Lanai, you can take the shuttle. If you are going to take the ferry, you should know that it makes seven trips a day from Maui. The ferry will take you to Manele Bay Harbor within 75 minutes if you are coming from Ma'alaea, Maui. It would take 45 minutes if you are going to Lanai from Lahaina, Maui. Although a ferry ride can be tough during winter, it is the best time to see some spinner dolphins on the way. If you are staying at the Four Seasons resort, you can take a shuttle from the port to the resort. But if you are not going to stay at the said resort, you can just take a bus or hire a van. For a more convenient way to explore Lanai, you can rent a car. In this way, you can go and stop anywhere and anytime you want.
Where to stay
If you want to enjoy a luxurious stay in Lanai and you have the money to splurge on luxurious accommodations, you can make reservations at the Lodge at Koele or at Manele Bay Hotel. The English-style accommodations will really give you the best comforts while you are on the island. Aside from that, you can also access some of the island's best restaurants and golf facilities if you stay there. If you don't have that much money to spend, you can still find comfortable accommodations for a lesser rate at the Lanai Hotel. If you are on a budget, there are lots of Bed and Breakfasts where you can find accommodations for even less. If you are bringing along your family, house rentals is a good choice to save on money.
Restaurants in Lanai
There are various restaurants in Lanai. You can go and dine at the luxurious restaurants in Manele Bay Hotel or at the Lodge in Koele. Here, American and European cuisines are the specialty. Aside from the exquisite-tasting food, you will also find that the excellent view in those restaurants adds to the unforgetableness of your dining experience there. However, again expect that such an experience comes with a price so if you are not one to splurge on food or the ambiance, there are many other less costly restaurants and bars you can check out. Usually the dishes served in those restaurants are combinations of different cuisines, from native Hawaiian to Japanese to American and European cuisines. The best thing about these smaller restaurants and bars is that they can provide you a taste of truly Lanaian cuisine.
Activities you can do in Lanai
Lanai is not only a place where you can relax. This island is also a place where you can enjoy various activities. One of these is biking. The red-dirt roads on the island are excellent biking trails. Along the way, you will get the chance to see beautiful and wonderful sceneries. Aside from this, you can also play golf. The Manele Bay Hotel and the Lodge offer two famous golf courses, the Experience at Koele and the Challenge at Manele. These courses have facilities that would make your golfing experience fun. If you prefer water activities, Lanai is also known for its beautiful waters. Here you can do swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The Hulopoe Beach is one of the best beaches to visit while in Lanai. Aside from the inviting blue water, you will also find excellent panorama there. The place is also rich in marine life, making it ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. You can also treat yourself to a view of the magnificent whales in Polihua Beach. If you visit Lanai in the winter months, you will see a lot of these sea creatures. Camping is also enjoyable here. You can stay outdoor through the night just gazing at the stars. You should not also miss hiking during your vacation. There are many hiking trails in Lanai. Hiking will enable you to see many of the island's landmarks. Another thrilling and popular activity is cliff diving. It is said that this sport was started by the Hawaiian King Kahekili. According to accounts, he commanded his followers to jump off the cliff in order to prove their loyalty and courage. Later, the famous King Kamehameha made this practice a competition.
How to find an excellent travel deal to Lanai
One of the best ways to find an excellent vacation package to Hawaii is by planning several months before your desired vacation schedule. In this way, you will have enough time to search for the deal that would not make a hole in your pocket. You will also find less expensive vacation packages if you schedule your vacation during the off season. Because there aren't that many visitors during this season, hotels and airlines usually lower their rates. It is also important to make your reservations in advance because the rates may quickly change.
What you should bring to Lanai
If you are an American citizen, you are not required to present your passport. Otherwise, you should present one. You need to bring valid IDs as you may need them for renting cars or doing other transactions. Although there are shops where you can purchase the things you need, it is better to bring stuff such as your sunblock and sunglasses for these may come expensive if you are going to purchase them from the shops in Lanai. Unless you are planning to dine in the luxurious resorts in the island or planning to attend a formal event such as a wedding, you don't have to bring formal wear. You can just bring clothes that you are most comfortable wearing. You may also bring sweater for the cool nights.