Lanai, Hawaii

It’s not your typical Hawaiian island. 98% privately owned by the founder of Oracle. Virtually no palm trees and flatter and dryer than most Hawaiian islands. Only 3 paved roads, 3 hotels and no traffic lights. Friendly locals and very few tourists (easily identifiable by their rental cars – Jeep). Population of about 3000 people, all concentrated in the little town in the center of the island, which is at an elevation of about 1700 ft making it cooler and wetter. We stayed at the Dreams Come True B&B, which was a very pleasant experience.

Lanai landscape

Lanai landscape

There are more pine trees than palm trees on Lanai.

There are more pine trees than palm trees on Lanai.

There are only a few destinations on the island accessible to tourists. On the first day we went to the local non-profit cat sanctuary (#1 attraction on Tripadvisor:)). I’ve never seen so many cats in one place! 400 stray kitties wanting to be petted and loved. They are all spayed and neutered and regularly seen by a vet. It’s a pretty mellow bunch which is surprising with so many animals in one space. In addition to taking care of the cats, the sanctuary’s mission is to protect indigenous birds who often fall prey to cats in the wild.

Heads and tail

Heads and tail

Kitty love

Kitty love

The gray cat looked pretty evil :)

The gray cat looked pretty evil :)

Cat attack

Cat attack

It was enough to sit down and this one came by and arranged itself on my lap wagging its tail in my nose and demanding some attention :)

It was enough to sit down and this one came by and arranged itself on my lap wagging its tail in my nose and demanding some attention :)

After the cat fix, we took a dirt road to Polihua Beach (one of the 3 easily accessible beaches). The surf and currents are too strong so no swimming is allowed at this long and empty sandy beach. It’s still a nice walk and it’s good for ATV activities.

Dirt road to Polihua beach

Dirt road to Polihua beach

View of Molokai from the Garden of the Gods

View of Molokai from the Garden of the Gods

Road to Polihua beach

Road to Polihua beach

Polihua beach

Polihua beach

Plenty of coconuts on the beach but no trees. I planted this one in the sand.

Plenty of coconuts on the beach but no trees. I planted this one in the sand.

On the way back we stopped at the Garden of the Gods, a rocky, barren area. At sunset it looked like a scene from the movie The Martian with nice views to Molokai.

Red dirt at sunset

Red dirt at sunset

Mars?

Mars?

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Another view of Molokai

Another view of Molokai

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

We had a delicious dinner under the stars at Lanai Grill, where the chef from the Four Seasons hotel is temporarily working while his restaurant is being remodeled.

Perfect place to look at the night sky. So many stars!

Perfect place to look at the night sky. So many stars!

Lanai pine tree

Lanai pine tree

The next day, we headed to Shipwreck Beach on the north shore. As the name suggests, a rusting navy ship is stuck not far from the shore. We walked for a bit along the beach until we found a good spot for swimming.

Another view of Molokai on the way to Shipwreck Beach

Another view of Molokai on the way to Shipwreck Beach

Shipwreck beach

Shipwreck beach

On the opposite side of the island is Hulopoe Beach – the only place with a few palm trees. This is the closest beach to the Four Seasons resort undergoing renovation. On the east side of the beach, there is a small hike to Pu’u Pehe Rock – an impressive cliff.

Hulopoe beach and Four Seasons Resort

Hulopoe beach and Four Seasons Resort

Pu'u Pehe rock

Pu’u Pehe rock

Pu'u Pehe rock in the rain

Pu’u Pehe rock in the rain

Hulopoe Beach

Hulopoe Beach

Pine trees at sunset

Pine trees at sunset

Overall we had a relaxing, stress-free stay on the island. Would we go back? Most likely no. There’s just not much more to see and do there. Sitting in one place and doing nothing is just not my kind of vacay :)

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