Lanai: Day 2

On our second day there, we got up and had breakfast at our hotel before venturing out for some more off-roading. We had granola, fruit, coffee and orange juice.

Our breakfast at Hotel Lanai.

Our breakfast at Hotel Lanai.

After breakfast, we met Ben and Becca and headed to our first adventure of the day in the jeep…the Munro Trail. We were hesitant about this trail because the rental car company said it was closed to jeeps. However, after much research we established that it could be driven and that people did it all the time. It turned out to be the easiest off-roading adventure we had our entire time on the island. It also was the prettiest!

After the Munro Trail, we headed back to Lanai City to grab some stuff for a picnic and headed toward Shipwreck Beach (Kaiolohia) on the northeast corner of Lanai. We sat on some rocks and enjoyed the views of the 1940s oil tanker that still sits on the reef today after being beached there for the past 70 years. We also were joined by numerous sea turtles hanging out in the water near us. Quite a surreal lunch!

After having a peaceful lunch with the turtles, we headed to South Lanai to do some snorkeling along the beach at Hulopoe Bay. Ben had never been snorkeling, so it was a first for him (even though he’s scuba dived). We got some great video footage of our snorkel adventure!

Hulopoe Beach Snorkeling Video

After a couple hours of snorkeling, we hiked a short trail to the left to Pu’u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock). I was expecting it to be a cool iconic rock, but we turned the corner and were blown away by the how striking it was. There is a reason it is one of the most photographed places on Lanai. We walked to the top of the cliffs (where someone was actually proposing right as we got near the top). We had a great view of the small beaches down below. We could also see some of the bright yellow fish we had seen snorkeling earlier from all the way up there (about 100 feet).

After climbing back down from viewing Pu’u Pehe, we packed up the jeep and headed back to Lanai City. We returned the jeep, showered and got ready for dinner at Lanai City Grille (which conveniently for us was located in our hotel). I had read nothing but great reviews and wanted to make sure we made a stop here on our trip. The restaurant did not disappoint! We all split entrees and they were still huge portions! It was a great last evening on our vacation :).

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!