Visiting Lanai? There are a lot of fun and interesting things to do on the island. With only 3,000 people living here, Lanai is one of Hawaii’s most unique islands. You will not find a single traffic light on the island and only 30 miles of roads are paved on Lanai. Here are five of Lanai’s most iconic sights that are worth a visit while on the Hawaiian island.
Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Puu Pehe, also known as Sweetheart Rock, is near Hulopoe Bay; and it is one of Lanai’s most treasured and recognizable landmarks. The perfect time to visit this location is early in the morning – just in time for the breathtaking sunrise beyond the rocks. Legend states a romantic, yet very tragic love story at this site. A warrior was so in awe of the beauty of a princess that he tried to hide her in a cave to keep her away from other men. Unfortunately, due to a sudden storm, the princess drowned in the raging surf. As soon as the warrior heard of the weather change, he tried to rush back to the cave to save her, but it was too late. He buried her in a tomb on the 80 ft rock (on the right). Overcome with heartbreak, he then leapt to his own death.
Keahiakawelo (Garden of The Gods)
Keahiakawelo, also known as Garden of the Gods, is an astonishing display of boulders with many unique sizes, shapes and colors. We encourage you to visit during the early morning hours, because the sunlight brings out the dynamic colors of the rocks. Keahiakawelo is located on the northwest side of the island, roughly 45 minutes from Lanai City. You can access this amazing “rock garden” by a four-wheel drive vehicle. There are several different legends associated with Keahiakawelo. One claims that each rock holds the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors.
Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach)
Kaiolohia, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is one of Lanai’s iconic spots on the island. This beach is roughly a 30 minute drive north of Lanai City. Many ships have been wrecked along the shallow and rocky channel. In fact, in the distance, you will notice an oil tanker from the 1940s that is wrecked along Kaiolohia. At this 8-mile stretch of beach, you will find excellent views of Maui and Molokai. Be on the lookout for turtles while exploring this beach, because they are known to hang out here.
Hulopoe Bay recently won the title as one of the, “Best West Coach Beaches,” by USA TODAY 10BEST in their Readers Choice 2016 Awards. Hulopoe Bay is located nearby the newly-transformed Four Seasons Lanai. This public sandy beach is a fantastic place for swimming and snorkeling. You will find many hermit crabs, sea stars and other marine life, due to the tide pools that were created here from volcanic rock. You may also spot acrobatic spinner dolphins putting on an exciting leaping show for you; and during the winter months, you are more likely to catch sight of humpback whales!
Polihua Beach is Lanai’s longest golden-sand beach, extending over 1.5 miles! This beach is located on Lanai’s northwest shore and is about a half-hour drive past Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods). Humpback whales can be seen from here during the winter months and green sea turtles have been known to frequent the shoreline. If you would like to enjoy relaxing ocean–watching in a peaceful environment with not many people around, Polihua Beach is perfect for you! Since the current here is extremely strong, swimming is not advised. The road can be closed due to inclement weather, so be sure to check if it is open before visiting this beach.