Local Culture and Island Attractions
Lanai’s fascinating history dates back to the 16th century, when the son of a Maui chief was banished to the island as punishment for his mischievous pranks. James Dole purchased the entire island in 1922 and turned it into a pineapple plantation, which eventually came to grow three quarters of the world’s pineapples, earning Lanai the nickname “Pineapple Island.” Since plantation operations ceased, in the late 1980s, Lanai has emerged as an exclusive vacation destination, and Lanai City, the island’s vibrant heart, has come to embody the welcoming spirit of Old Hawaii.
Throughout the island, you’ll find historical sites and natural wonders. The best way to see them all: Rent a 4x4 and start exploring via Lanai’s beautiful back roads.
Just a 20-minute drive from the Resort, this charming village built around grassy Dole Park is home to local boutiques and restaurants serving authentic Hawaiian cuisine.
LANAI CULTURE AND HERITAGE CENTER
Located in Lanai City, this museum and educational centre is dedicated to preserving Lanai’s cultural heritage and natural history. Stop in to learn about must-visit historical attractions and view a collection that represents the cultural diversity of the island.
LANAI ART CENTER
Through its gallery and classes, the Lanai Art Center provides artistic and cultural experiences for residents and visitors. Programs include drawing and painting, fibre and fabric arts, children’s arts and crafts instruction, writing, photography, digital arts, woodworking, ceramics and traditional Hawaiian crafts. Stop in during a visit to Lanai City.
LANAI CAT SANCTUARY
This purr-fect playground in paradise is home to more than 575 cats who have been rescued islandwide. All live in an open-air sanctuary and are available for adoption or sponsorship. The Sanctuary provides tender loving care as part of its kokua for cats of all ages and endangered birds. Open daily including all holidays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
HALE KEAKA MOVIE THEATER
This two-screen theatre reopened to local fanfare in late 2015 and offers daily screenings of newly released movies. Housed in the original Lanai Theater, commissioned by pineapple plantation owner James B. Dole in 1926, the building celebrates the island’s historic architecture.
PUUPEHE (SWEETHEART ROCK)
Overlooking Hulopoe Bay, within walking distance of the Resort, Sweetheart Rock is one of Lanai’s most recognizable landmarks and the site of an enduring legend about a young warrior and his true love.
KEOMOKU VILLAGE AND CHURCH
A former sugar plantation village on Lanai’s eastern shore, Keomoku is roughly 90 minutes from the Resort via 4x4. Many of the roads leading to this beautiful spot are not paved, but the trip is ideal for those who wish to explore the island’s terrain.
KEAHIAKAWELO (GARDEN OF THE GODS)
The area features lava boulders of all shapes and sizes, and the absence of vegetation emphasizes their stunning colours and shadows with the changing daylight. Garden of the Gods is only a 45-minute drive from Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
HII AGRICULTURAL COMPLEX
Long covered over by remnants of pineapple planting and invasive trees and shrubs, this historic site was only recently revealed thanks to Lanai’s cultural preservation efforts. After removing eucalyptus, albizia and silver oak trees, preservation workers discovered the remains of a heiau (Hawaiian temple), an imu (underground oven) and a lua pau (refuse pit). Preservationists have also planted taro and wauke, paper mulberry used for making clothing, in an effort to restore original vegetation to the site. Visit the complex during a guided Polaris RZR tour.
INTERPRETIVE HULOPOE VILLAGE TRAIL
Following the curve of Hulopoe Bay and within walking distance of the Resort, this preservation area and trail is home to a diverse group of traditional features, including house sites, planting areas, tool workshops and religious spots.
Follow this half-mile preservation trail, also within walking distance of the Resort, and step back in time to ancient life on Lanai. The trail extends from the archaeological site of Kapihaa Village to Hulopoe Bay.
Located on Lanai’s southern tip, roughly 90 minutes from the Resort by 4x4, this 18th-century fishing village preserves the remains of more than 80 homes, a temple and other structures. You’ll also find petroglyphs and gorgeous views of Shark Fin Cove.
Lanai’s petroglyphs are stunning reminders of the island’s rich history. You’ll find some of the most vivid examples at Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach), a 45-minute drive from the Resort, and at Luahiwa, accessible via a guided Polaris RZR tour.
Hike this 12.5-mile (20-kilometre) trail through Lanai’s highlands to scenic canyon views and lookout points at elevations that reach 1,600 feet (488 metres).
KOLOIKI AND MUNRO TRAILS
The five-mile (eight-kilometre) Koloiki Ridge Trail begins in the Koele highlands and meanders through dense forests and groves of guava and pine trees before opening up to spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the neighbouring islands of Maui and Molokai. Koloiki Ridge also intersects with the famed Munro Trail, a 12.5-mile (20-kilometre) scenic stretch through Lanai’s highlands offering canyon views and lookout points at elevations that reach 1,600 feet (488 metres).