LANA’I: Day Trippers

IMG_5129

En route to Lana’i, Maui receding

SOMETIMES I LIKE TO GO PLACES just to see what’s there, and an island rising mysteriously out of the Pacific mists begs to be explored. On Sunday, my daughter and I took a 9:15 ferry from Maui to Lana’i. In just under an hour, accompanied partway by a pod of spinner dolphins, we were on an almost completely undeveloped island (except for two luxury resorts owned by the Four Seasons) that used to be a Dole pineapple plantation before the industry moved elsewhere.

IMG_5186

First we set ourselves up on Hulopo’e Beach, above, near the ferry dock, and did a bit of snorkeling. About 100 yards offshore, there’s an extensive reef populated with neon-colored fish. I was most excited about a huge school of convict tangs, below (not my pic), feeding off the coral. So glad I remembered my contact lenses! The water, as ever, was the perfect temperature, the waves gentle.

210682002_4e5576858b

Lana’i’s population is 2,800, almost all in the central settlement of Lana’i City, which we reached by shuttle bus — a distance of about 4 miles over hills more scrubby than lush, and completely devoid of signs of human habitation. Built around a rectangular park filled with Norfolk pines, below, the so-called city is made up mostly of tin-roofed, plantation-style cottages that look to be from the 1940s or earlier.

IMG_5160

IMG_5167

Those immediately surrounding the park contain all a city needs, including a bank, theatre (below), gym, cultural center, and post office, plus several cafes and gift shops, and one incongruously chic clothing boutique.

IMG_5166

IMG_5155

IMG_5153

IMG_5161

We had lunch at a diner-style cafe called Pele’s (yellow building above), washed down with Maui’s Big Swell India pale ale, and looked in to the vintage Hotel L’anai, below.

IMG_5168

It took an hour to explore Lana’i City, marveling at how anyone could live in so remote a place, after which we shuttled back downhill. While passing through the Four Seasons hotel property, below, on our way back to the ferry landing for a 4:15 boat, we spied a couple of vacant chaises with sun roofs overlooking Hulopo’e Bay, and fell asleep.

IMG_5188

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
This entry was posted in HAWAII, TRAVEL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to LANA’I: Day Trippers

  1. Nancy says:

    What a nice place to take a nap!

  2. I’ve never been to Lanai City, but I’ve always wanted to check it out, so it was nice to see your pics from there!

    We’ve also snorkeled at the beach in front of the Four Seasons Resort Manele Bay… it was great… we especially loved those tide pools at the far end of the beach! I wish I’d seen those neon fish that YOU saw though… those look so cool!

Got something to say? Please say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s