Married on Lana'i - A Secluded Island Paradise
When thinking about Hawaii, most people will instantly think of The Big Island (Hawaii), Maui, and Oahu. You can't go wrong with choosing Hawaii as your destination wedding location, but before you decide on getting married on one of the better-known islands, have you considered all the options? Lanai is the smallest inhabited Hawaiian island that is publicly accessible, and to those looking for an unforgettable destination wedding location, Lanai could be the perfect hidden gem.
Lanai: Luxury Off the Beaten Path
Whether you're after unparalleled luxury away from the crowds or an untamed adventure prior the wedding, Lanai packs a punch despite its small size.
The 140 square mile island with 3000 residents can only be reached via plane from Oahu or a ferry from Maui. Due to that, the island retains its privacy and serenity as only approximately 200-300 tourists visit per day.
At the very heart of the island is Lanai city - both geographical and cultural epicenter of Lanai. You cannot help but embrace the exotic small-town charm and life here moves in the slow lane. Quite literally. There are only about 30 miles of paved roads in Lanai and a 20-30 mph speed limit. What about the rest? You will need a 4-wheel drive for that. You won't find buzzing nightlife in Lanai. Instead, you'll be met with hospitality and natural beauty.
The only resort on Lanai is the Four Seasons. It excels with unmatched oceanfront views overlooking Hulopoe Bay (we dare say, one of the best beaches in Hawaii) and is only a 20-minute drive from Lanai City. Not only does it offer indoor and outdoor wedding venue options, but there's also plenty to do for both you and your guests before the wedding. Head inland and explore the island with an adrenaline-fueled UTV ride, go horseback riding or enjoy a game of golf in the Jack Nicklaus-signature golf course.
A more budget-friendly option is staying in the charming and historic Hotel Lanai that has welcomed guests since the 1920s. In Lanai City at Dole Square, you will find many local-owned shops and restaurants, or you can catch a movie in the movie theater.
Historically, Lanai was known for its pineapple plantations, and if you head to Lanai City from Hulopoe Bay, you will pass through Palawai Basin which used to be a pineapple field. You can also head up the Munro Trail that reaches Lanaihale, Lanai’s highest peak. If ocean views and serene beaches aren't enough to take your breath away, Keahiakawelo
certainly will. Known also as the Garden of Gods, it is known for its otherworldly Mars-like scenery of red sand and rock formations. It is located only about 45 minutes away from Lanai City. Some eeriness can be found in Kaiolohia or the Shipwreck Beach where the hull of a 1940s oil tanker still sits in the water. We already mentioned the Hulopoe Bay which is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii but also offers perfect snorkeling spots. And if you are looking to chase those romantic last rays of the sun during an unforgettable sunset, there's no place better than Kaumalapau Harbor.
Many activities are offered by and booked directly through Four Seasons while some are exclusive to resort guests, so check beforehand.
Majority of the island outside of Lanai City can only be reached by 4-wheel drive, therefore it's best to check locally for directions and/or restrictions.
For accommodation options aside from Four Seasons Resorts Lanai and Hotel Lanai, there are a handful of local-owned vacation rentals.
Expeditions is the name of the ferry between Maui and Lanai.
Sailing Trilogy offers sailing tours from Maui to Lanai.