Tourist Attractions and Festivals in Lanai
Known as Hawaii's "most exciting island," Lanai is the perfect place for anyone who wants to bask in the charm and intimacy of this small and quaint paradise. From breathtaking landscapes to awe-inspiring seas, Lanai offers you not only a place to admire, but also a place to enjoy fun and exciting adventures (both outdoors and indoors). Although the island itself is considered to be relatively small, it is certainly not limited in terms of outdoor activities. Spanning 89,000 acres of countryside, Lanai still retains a wild and virgin environment that is simply waiting to be explored and discovered by you.
Because the weather in Lanai is relatively dry, this makes your trip to the island perfect for an old-fashioned picnic on the lush greenery. Dole Park is found in the center of Lanai, which serves as the ultimate spot for you to open your picnic basket, lay down a blanket, take your dog for a walk, and maybe even toss around a Frisbee. Filled with tall pine trees and crisp, cool breeze, Dole Park is the ideal destination for anyone who is seeking a free and relaxing activity amidst the beauty of Lanai's nature.
If you're yearning for the feeling of sand between your toes and the soothing sound of water brushing against the shore, Hulopoe Bay is the perfect place for you. Located in the southern coast of Lanai, Hulopoe Bay is considered one of the best beaches the US has to offer. This is because the bay is protected-- meaning, it is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, boarding, and exploring with its expanse of golden sand and deep blue waters. Aside from this, Hulopoe Bay also has a great beach park, which accommodates you with pretty picnic tables, barbecue grills, comfort rooms, and showers.
Located on the west of Lanai, Kanepuu Preserve is the ideal destination for the nature lover in you. Because this rare and beautiful forest is protected by the Nature Conservancy, it contains the remnants of Olopua or Lama dryland forest in all of Hawaii. Encompassing 590 acres and home to more than 40 native species of plants, Kanepuu Preserve offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view one of the Earth's most fragile ecosystems. In order to get around this land of lush greenery, Kanepuu Preserve offers self-guiding maps (for those who want to find their own way through the forest), as well as group tours (where a guided hike is run by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii).
In case you've ever wondered what it was like to be Hawaii's King Kamehameha, this is your chance to find out. Deriving his name from the phrase "the lonely one," King Kamehameha was said to have retreated here, in Kaunolu, to find peace and relaxation. Perfect for those who love to go fishing, as well as those who simply want to enjoy an outdoor tour, Kaunolu is less than an hour-drive from Lanai City. Expect serenity atop a high sea cliff with the sweeping whisper of sea and sky all around you, as the beauty of Kaunolu offers peace and solitude.
Known as the Garden of the Gods, Keahiakawelo promises you a trip that will make you forget you're still on Earth. This is because it is a rock garden found at the end of Polihua Road, where the most unique and eerie rocks actually resemble Mars'. In Hawaiian folklore, this landscape is believed to be the result of a competition between two priests who were both challenged to keep a fire burning. The reward was a great abundance of rocks to keep the winner's fire eternally burning. Perfect for picture-taking and exquisitely laid out for anyone seeking artistic inspiration, Keahiakawelo is one of Lanai's most popular tourist attractions.
The Lauhiwa Petroglyphs presents ancient carvings in stone created by the ancient Hawaiians. If you are a history-lover, or simply someone who wants to experience the best of Hawaiian history, this place is ideal for you. With fragile rock drawings that have been spared by the erosion of wet weather, Lanai's Lauhiwa offers one of the most preserved petroglyphs. Because these stone markings are the remnants of Hawaiian culture, visitors are always left in awe by the amazement of these old century relics. With circle patterns, dogs, bird's head, warriors, families and horses, these ancient works of art are a must-see for anyone who wants to fully appreciate the history and culture of Hawaii.
The Munro Trail
Perfect for historic hiking, driving and biking trails, the Munro Trail is located not very far from Lanai proper. Getting its name from George Munro (the naturalist from New Zealand), this one-lane dirt road that spans seven miles gives you sweeping views amidst beautiful pine trees, which were planted by Munro himself. Offering remarkable views and a 1,600-foot climb, the stunning canyon views of Maunalei Gulch and Maui are only the icing on top of the cake. The trail can lead you to the top of Mount Lanaihale, which is Lanai's highest peek at 3,368 feet. Expect to be blown away by the view, the breeze, and the sight of serenity.
The Shipwreck Beach
Shipwreck Beach features ruins of an old lighthouse. Windy, warm, and incredibly romantic, this eight-mile stretch of beach has wrecked and ruined numerous ships along its shallow and rocky channel. Because of this, the place delivers an air of mystery and mystique. Offering breathtaking views of Molokai and Maui, this land is specially perfect for beach-combing and exploration adventures.
The art galleries of Lanai
While strolling the quiet, calm, and cool streets of Lanai, you might want to drop by some of its art galleries, which offer more than just art. Some of these galleries have gift and souvenir shops where you can buy artistic presents for your loved ones, as well as engage in conversations with Lanai's local artists and art patrons. The artists of Lanai are said to be incredibly accommodating as they are warm, friendly, and very open-minded people.
The much-awaited festivals of Lanai
The Pineapple Festival
The Pineapple Festival takes place in Lanai as an occasion to celebrate the land's pineapple plantation and ranch history. Expect abundant amounts of delicious and mouth-watering local food, as well as crafts-making activities and games. Prepare yourself for some crazy dancing, singing, socializing, and a whole lot more.
The Aloha Festival
This festival is a premiere cultural celebration of Hawaii's local music, dance, art, and history. Expect it to spell out fun and excitement as Hawaii shows you why Lanai is truly one of its most enticing islands. From street parties and food fairs to dance events and local parades, this festival is open to everyone, young and old. Expect hours of fun and excitement.
The Ocean Arts Festival
Between November and May, hundreds of Humpback Whales migrate to the waters around Hawaii. Due to the warm and shallow conditions, they are drawn between the islands of Maui and Lanai, where it is ideal for whales to mate and give birth. Because of this, these whales have become celebrities in Hawaii. Witness moments when traveling vehicles actually stop their engines, with the sight of the whales passing by the waters. For the same reason, tons of artists come to the island to witness the view of the whales and to create their own whale- and ocean-inspired artworks. Similarly, musicians and Hula troops perform regularly, while naturalists give free talks on the lives of Humpback Whales.
The International Film Festival
Every year, the International Film Festival comes to Hawaii to showcase only the finest films that the world has to offer. Instead of heading to movie theaters, you can simply stay outdoors to enjoy the films that are screened for free. You can also avail of a tour of the beautiful night sky, where an astrologer explains the meanings behind every star. In addition to all of these, the festival also includes art talks on the craft of movie-making, as well as musical and dance performances inspired by the movies themselves. Expect the Lanai Theater to offer the best of the events that this wonderful festival has to offer.
The Lei Day Festival
Because of Hawaii's perfectly sunny and crisp weather in May, Hawaii celebrates the Lei Day by holding beauty pageants in schools, as well as lei dance performances and competitions. Adults are asked to wear and give out leis to their loved ones. For this reason, you can say that the Lei Day Festival is somewhat a form of Valentine's Day in Hawaii, where the warm and inviting expression of love and beauty is shared with one another.
The Christmas Festival and Tree-Lighting Ceremony
In December, Lanai celebrates the Christmas Festival and Tree-Lighting Ceremony where you can expect an abundance of Christmas music, dance parties, and even heartwarming theatrical plays and performances. Topping it all off is the Tree-Lighting Ceremony, where everyone is invited to come and witness the lighting of Lanai's magical, beautiful, ands grand Christmas tree.