With 47 miles of coastline, no traffic lights, and some serious off-roading, the island of Lanai is a dream getaway. There are so many fun things to do in Lanai, Hawaii. Use this travel guide to help you plan your 2-day trip.

Lanai Overview

Two days is not enough time to see an entire island, but it’s enough time to hike and search for petroglyphs, swim at Hulopoe Bay (one of my favorites in Hawaii) and do some serious off-roading in search of the Garden of the Gods.

The best months for whale watching months are between January and early April. The season runs from December through May.

How to pack for the Ultimate Lanai Trip: 

  • Bathing suits – In my opinion, you can never have too many swimsuits. I love Vitamin ALSPACE, and dk active. 
  • Flowy Dresses – These are some of my favorite boho brands
  • Shorts and Casual Tees – Opt for comfortable and breathable fabrics. 
  • Comfortable flats or slides – Pack a pair of shoes you can hike in if you plan on going on some adventures. Keep in mind, some of the trails get very muddy. 
  • Hats for sun protection – I love bringing boho style hats and straw hats
  • A lightweight rain jacket – Be prepared! I always carry a jacket in my bag when I’m traveling on the islands. 
  • Travel Bag – I usually travel with a carryon, but I always bring a backpack or small bag for hiking and beach days. 

TRAVEL CREDIT CARD: Want a credit card with no foreign transaction fees? I use the United Explorer Card for all my travel purchases.

Earn 40,000 bonus miles with the United Explorer Card when you sign-up using my link! Click here for the details.

View this post on Instagram

Lanai, Hawaii

A post shared by Alex Cerball Journalist/Travel (@alexcerball) on

How to get to Lanai

Traveling from Honolulu is easy. The flight is approximately 33 minutes long, and tickets cost about $130 round trip from Oahu.

Having a vehicle with 4-wheel drive is pretty crucial to get around.  It’s the only thing you can rent, and when you get there, you’ll understand why.  

Hotels in Lanai

Airbnb Coupon 

Get $40 off your first stay on AirbnbUse this link to book your next stay. If you already have an account on Airbnb, the discount won’t apply.

We chose to camp at Hulopoe Bay, on the South shore right next to one of the Four Seasons.  The camping permit was $60 but it is good for four days.

Camping in Lanai

If you decide to camp, you’ll see and hear deer running through the campground at night. The star-gazing experience is out of this world, and when you wake up, be sure to explore some of the tide pools or swim in the crystal clear water of the bay.  Look for dolphins.

What to bring: tent, flashlight, headlamps, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, and first aid kit, (You know, the basics.)  

Bring your masks, fins, hiking shoes, and a small backpack with clothes for two days.

Things to do in Lanai

1. Garden of the Gods

This place is pretty easy to get to once you get on the right road.   If you take a wrong turn, you’ll eventually end up at Shipwreck Beach.
When you pass by Koele ranch, make sure you stop to see the horses.

The road is bumpy, trust me you will be bouncing around. Hold on! After you visit the Garden of the Gods, you’ll find yourself on a beautiful, rugged, desolate adventure that will take you on several paths to several beaches. Take your pick.


2. Polihua Beach

This beach is peaceful, and chances are nobody will be here, but it’s not ideal for swimming due to the rough currents. It’s windy, and there are no amenities here, just a place to let go, and let all your worries melt away. Pack out what you bring in, and don’t get stuck on the sand.  It’s only a 30-minute drive from Garden of the Gods to see this secluded 2-mile stretch of beach.

3. Kaena Point

Another off-road adventure, if you have time, visit the heiau. Also, don’t miss the sea arch. You’ll see the arrow for the turn after exploring the Garden of the Gods.

4. Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach)

Take a stroll along the north-east coast of the island, and you’ll see the shipwreck offshore.  Walk to the petroglyphs; it’s only a 25-minute hike. Chances are you’ll likely see some deer around here too.  There is a sign with a map of the walk when you get to the Shipwreck beach rock.

5. Hulopoe Bay

Bring your diving gear! You won’t be disappointed.  The water clarity is world-class, and still one of my most favorite spots to explore in Hawaii.

6. Pu’u Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)

There is a romantic Hawaiian legend about two lovers and a spectacular view.  Located in Hulopoe Bay, this landmark is one you won’t want to miss. Visit at sunset.

7. Lanai Cat Sanctuary

Cuddle up with more than 600 cats! After passing the airport, take the second dirt road on the left and look for a highway rock marker that reads Kaunolu, an ancient village. Turn left and look for the gate on the right.

Lanai Cat Sanctuary is open from 10 am to 3 pm. Admission is free.


There are so many adventurous things to do on Lanai. If you’re planning on going camping, stock up on food and drinks at Richard’s Market in town. Use this guide to help you plan your perfect Lanai getaway.


This site contains affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Thanks for your support!


  1. The last time I went, we attempted to go to Polihua Beach but could not make it. Despite having a Jeep, we were driving sideways in a few places and my party decided that they did not want to venture on the rest of the way. When we returned the Jeep and told the girl at the desk that we had bailed, she was surprised we even tried and said that the road had actually been closed and only re-opened the week prior. When we caught a ride back to the ferry that guy also was surprised we tried and said the locals tend to use 4 wheelers (or horses) more so than Jeeps. Oh well.
    Cafe 565 makes a great calzone!

    1. Hey Colin,
      Yeah, the off-roading is insane. I meant it when I wrote – Hold on!
      Thanks for the tip on the cafe, a friend of mine called me today to ask about suggestions. I’ll let her know.

Leave a Reply