Look To Lānaʻi, Hawaii To Get Away From It All
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Look To Lānaʻi, Hawaii To Get Away From It All

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Lānaʻi is both the sixth-largest island in Hawaii and the smallest publicly accessible inhabited island in the Hawaiian Islands chain, making it a great destination for those who want to get away from it all. It is also called Pineapple Island due to its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. Its biggest and only town is Lānaʻi City, which has no traffic lights, no shopping malls, and no public transportation besides that supplied by a hotel contractor. There is one school in the city and island, Lanai High and Elementary School, which serves the entire island population from kindergarten through 12th grade. Bicycles and off-road jeeps are available for rent in Lānaʻi, as most of the island’s attractions can only be visited by travel on dirt roads.

While Lānaʻi is certainly not a vacation hub by any means, tourism on the island has gained prominence in recent years as the pineapple and sugarcane industries have been phased out. As of 2011, there were two resorts on Lānaʻi managed by Four Seasons Hotels: the Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Manele Bay and the Lodge at Kōʻele. Then there is the Hotel Lānaʻi in Lānaʻi City, which was built in 1923 by James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company to house the company’s executives overseeing pineapple production. Until 1990, it was Lānaʻi’s only hotel.

Activities to enjoy on Lānaʻi include golfing on one of two golf courses, each located at a Four Seasons resort. One, “The Challenge at Manele,” was designed by Jack Nicklaus, and hugs the ocean. It once hosted technology mogul Bill Gates, who was married at the 12th hole tee box. The other, “The Experience at Koele,” was designed by Greg Norman, and is located in the mountains of Lānaʻi. Then there is the aptly-named “Shipwreck Beach” located on the north shore of the island, where one can see and explore the remains of a wrecked World War II era ship a short distance offshore.

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