Lanai: Day 1

On Saturday, Josh and I headed to our final island (of the six that you can actually travel to) which was Lanai. I will say that we had expectations for a really cool trip, but that the island absolutely blew our expectations away. We had a phenomenal time for the three days we were there and would love to go back even though we saw pretty much everything we could possibly see.

We landed around 7:00 am and picked up our jeep and head to Blue Ginger Cafe for breakfast. We both had breakfast sandwiches and then started our adventure. Almost all of Lanai is seen by off-roading in a jeep….which was pretty incredible and also VERY bumpy in portions!

Our first adventure was heading to the Garden of the Gods (Keahiakawelo). Garden of the Gods is a natural rock garden…when you are standing in it you feel like you are on Mars…definitely not in Hawaii! It was incredibly beautiful and unique! We also drove through the Kanepuu Preserve to get there. It is the largest remains of a dry land forest in Hawaii. It was quite scenic with the red dirt and pine trees.

After stopping at the Garden of the Gods, we continued on to Polihua Beach on the north side of the island. The beach was about two miles long and there were only two other people there (which is a lot for this beach). It is located across the channel from Molokai so we had great views! It was incredibly windy, so not the best beach for laying out and getting a tan, but we did sit and enjoy the solitude for a couple of minutes.

After a very bumpy off-road adventure to Polihua, we headed back toward Lanai City to the south of town to find the Luahiwa Petroglyphs. We had a bit of trouble finding them on the maze of red dirt roads, but once we found them it was pretty cool to see! It is one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in Hawaii and are from the 15th Century when Lanai was first settled by ancient Hawaiians.

After the petroglyphs, we headed further south to continue our education of the ancient Hawaiian culture to Kaunolu Village. Kaunolu Village is the remains of a historic fishing retreat for Kamehameha I. We saw the remains of a heiau, many remains of buildings and Kaneapua Rock.

After touring Kaunolu Village, we headed back toward Lanai City to grab a quick snack and check into our hotel. We had a smoothie and an açaí bowl at Coffee Works and checked in at Hotel Lanai. Our hotel was incredible. Built in 1923 with 10 rooms and a cottage, it was quite the historic gem and we loved staying there!

While I checked in at the hotel, Josh went to pick up Becca and Ben at the airport (we had a two door jeep so it was a tight squeeze with their luggage and three people). They checked in to their B&B and we all met up for dinner! We had calamari and a great pizza at Pele’s Other Garden then headed to Kaumalapau Harbor for the sunset. It was beautiful! We actually got to see the sun hit the clouds blocking it! It was a great way to end our first day on Lanai!

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