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Getting to Lanai is Half the Fun
Visitors to the Hawaiian island of Lanai can either fly there, take a ferry from Maui, or sail over on a catamaran.
From Maui across the 'Au'au Channel, the island of Lana’i appears as a rounded hump, like a whale cradled in a calm and gentle sea. From Lana’i, the West Maui Mountains are powerful and purple, an extension of itself nine miles of ocean away.In prehistoric time, Lanai was one of several islands joined to Maui.Now it’s a small, graceful, sparsely populated destination with its own strong identity: Hawai'i’s most exclusive island.
Forgotten by time, an anachronism in modern Hawai'i, Lanai is a singular escape, a former pineapple plantation that has evolved seamlessly into the ultimate vacation destination.Instead of high-rises, stop lights, traffic jams and shopping centers, there is one small town square and easygoing people whose way of life is centered outdoors. On Lanai, 80,000 acres of countryside invite fishing, swimming, diving, hiking, hunting and riding horseback.
This means adventure coming and going, a journey of discovery even before you set foot on the island. You can fly a jet, take a ferry, or sail to Lana’i by catamaran. You can stay a day or a long time. However you choose to arrive, you’ll find that getting there is half the fun, and staying there is a grand adventure.
Two of Hawai'i’s airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air, offer daily flights to and from Lanai.Hawaiian’s jet planes fly higher but run less frequently than Island Air’s twin engine planes. On the ocean, the Expeditions ferry, certified by the U.S. Coast Guard, makes five 45-minute trips daily between Lanai’s Manele Harbor and Maui’s Lahaina Harbor. These trips are fun and purposeful, with thrilling views of humpback whales in the winter and spinner dolphins all year round—and behind Kaho'olawe, the summit of Mauna Kea peeking through the clouds from Hawai'i’s Big Island.On land or sea, Trilogy Lanai Ocean Sports, Lanai’s premier recreation activities operator, offers a full menu of land tours, private charters, and snorkel and scuba sails between Maui and Lanai and in the surrounding waters.
Once you arrive, the adventures expand exponentially. Will it be golf, archery, the spa, meandering around town, watersports, or exploring the remote beaches and abandoned villages in a 4-wheel drive? Shuttle service is provided from Lanai Airport to the upland Lodge at Ko'ele and the Manele Bay Hotel at Hulopo’e Beach. An inter-hotel shuttle, complimentary for hotel guests, runs every half-hour between the two hotels, stopping on the way at Hotel Lanai in Lanai City.
If you plan to venture off the beaten path, Lanai City Service is the sole purveyor of rental vehicles, from 4-wheel-drive Wrangler Jeeps, Cherokees, and mini vans to trusty four door sedans. Because Lanai has only 30 miles of paved road, 4-wheel drive vehicles provide the opportunity to explore the back roads, abandoned villages, and out-of-the-way points that are the historic landmarks of the island.And of course, there’s nothing like a horseback ride, bicycles, mountain bikes, and a sturdy pair of walking shoes to help you hit the trails.
Everything in Lanai City is in walking distance, bringing a remarkable feeling of accessibility to the luxury of seclusion. Customized tours to the far corners of the island, such as Polihua Beach, Keomuku village, and the historic Kaunolu, can be arranged through private tour companies with knowledgeable guides who enlighten you with fascinating history and culture.
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Data Proviced Courtesy of the Lanai Visitors Association
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