While the masses head to the beaches of Oahu and the other more celebrated Hawaiian Islands, Lanai is often overlooked due to its diminutive size and lack of tourist infrastructure. Many people who visit Hawaii regularly haven’t even heard of Lanai. However, for those who prefer dirt roads and wild, empty beaches, Lanai can’t be beaten.
Don’t be fooled by the so-called Lanai City, the island’s capital. The “city” is, in fact, a small town consisting of a couple of tiny supermarkets, a scattering of shops and cafes, and a small theater. The entire population of Lanai consists of 3,000 people, and most of them live here. The heart of Lanai City is focused around Dole Park, a small green area surrounded by towering Norfolk and Cook Island pines. Many of the buildings are colorful plantation houses that were built for the employees of Dole Pineapples, which operated between 1922 to 1972.