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Amazing Family-Friendly Things to Do in Lanai

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Lanai used to be an island that was completely covered with pineapple plantations. Things have really changed on this island over the years. Nowadays, your family can spend days exploring archaeological sites and hidden beaches, instead of growing pineapples. Of course, you won’t want to forget to take the time to check out the views of the five neighboring Hawaiian Islands from different vantage points on this island!

Lanai isn’t as popular as some of the other Hawaiian Islands. Since the island is not considered touristy, many people check a vacation in Lanai off their list of potential travel destinations rather quickly. I don’t recommend checking Lanai off your list though. At least not until you have experienced the beauty of this island for yourself!



Amazing Family-Friendly Things to Do in Lanai


Garden of the Gods


The Garden of the Gods is called Keahiakawelo in Hawaiian. This rock garden is approximately forty-five minutes from Lanai City. The entire landscape of this area is filled with massive boulders and rock formations. I recommend visiting the Garden of the Gods right before sunset. This will ensure you can capture the soft glow of the setting sun on the rocks. The brilliant oranges, reds, and purples will give you something to talk about for many weeks to come.


Shipwreck Beach


Shipwreck Beach gets its name from the wrecked ship that is located directly off the shoreline. This beach is approximately thirty minutes from Lanai City. While many ships have wrecked on this eight-mile stretch of sand, only an oil tanker from the 1940s remains in the water.


While your family will love exploring the sandy shoreline, as you look for seashells, you must not venture too far into the water. Swimming is not recommended at this beach, thanks to the rough waves. Before you leave Shipwreck Beach, I recommend venturing up a nearby trail for about two hundred yards. It is there where you will discover petroglyphs, which are called Poiawa.


Munro Trail


If your family loves to hike, you will love the twelve-plus-mile Munro Trail. You will find the trailhead to the north of Lanai City. Your journey will take you through a rainforest filled with numerous types of trees. During one part of your hike, you will find yourself at the top of Lanaihale, which is the highest peak on the island.


Of course, you don’t need to hike this entire trail. If you are looking for a shorter option, I recommend tackling the first two and a half miles. It is at that mile marker where you will discover a Hawaiian lookout. It is best to take a break at this lookout because you can enjoy splendid views of Maunalei gulch. You might even capture a glimpse of six Hawaiian Islands if you visit on a really clear day.


Hulopoe Bay


Hulopoe Bay is one of the best options when it comes to swimming when on vacation in Lanai. It is important to note that there are no lifeguards on duty near the water, so you must be extra cautious during your visit. This is also an excellent place to snorkel and paddleboard. Spinner dolphins can be seen in Hulopoe Bay throughout the year and humpback whales make an appearance during the winter months. Therefore, you must always keep your eyes open, so you don’t miss a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.


Lanai Cat Sanctuary


The Lanai Cat Sanctuary is comprised of three and a half acres of land. More than six hundred cats currently live in this sanctuary. Your family can visit this cat sanctuary during your vacation in Lanai. Admission is free and yet your kids can play with as many cats as they wish during your visit. I recommend getting a couple of pictures of your favorites before you leave, so you can show them off to all your friends when you return home!


Kaunolu Fishing Village


Kaunolu Fishing Village was quite popular until the 1880s. At that time, the village was abandoned. This prehistoric Hawaiian village may now be in ruins, but that shouldn’t stop your family from seeing this incredible sight! I recommend beginning your visit at Halulu heiau, which is a sacred temple. From there you can check out the petroglyphs before seeing where all the warriors jumped off the sixty-foot cliff. The area near that cliff is called Kahekili’s Leap. This entire village is a sacred place, so you must be respectful at all times during your visit.


These are six amazing family-friendly things to do in Lanai. Not every one of these items must be on your Lanai itinerary. However, I know at least one of them will pique your interest, as we plan your Lanai family vacation.


Are you ready to plan your family vacation in Lanai??

If you are ready to plan your family vacation in Lanai, I would like to invite you to click here to schedule a planning session. When you click that link, you will be taken directly to my digital calendar. It is simple to set up a time that is convenient for you.




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