• Keilana

LANAI - What to Expect in Lana'i

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

This is a four part series into my experience here in Lana'i, HI.

It’s 9:23am here in Lana’i city and I write this as we wait for our shuttle to take us to The Four Seasons Manele Bay to dine at one of the best breakfast spots on island- The Four Seasons Breakfast Buffet. Fast forward and here's a pic of me at the Brunch woohoo!

If you've never been to Lana’i and wonder what it’s like here’s a bit of it in a nutshell:

Lana'i City

There’s only one city on the entire island--Lana’i City. The town is filled with the most friendly people. You need to smile, shaka, or wave at any passerby in a car or on foot. Lana'i City is in the heart of the island and where pretty much everything is. The only other place you'll probably go besides here is down south, where rich Lanai tourists are tucked away at the luxurious beachfront Four Seasons Resort. It's about a 15-20 minute drive down a long windy road, but if you go down there for the buffet and beach you won't regret it. Personally though, there's something about the locally owned spots in town that hit the spot for me a bit more when it comes food (and the people lol just kidding). There’s only a handful of spots to eat at and only a couple stores to stock up on home essentials. Don’t expect to find a Walmart, Costco, or mall out here (heh, I learned that the hard way the first time I got here). Everything is in walking distance. There are only two banks (First Hawaiian and Bank of Hawaii) and only ONE gas station.

If you're vacationing and aren't from the island, renting a car will be a bit difficult. Last year, rental car services shut down and all that's left are local shuttle services and a handful of small locally-run rentals. But, if you're staying at the luxurious Four Seasons, a rental car is an optional amenity. Keep in mind, there’s only two hotels Hotel Lana’i (in town) and Four Seasons (on the coast) so really, you’d not venture too far from your home base, unless you’re planning to go off roading. So keep that in mind!

Lana'i Theater - Only shows two movies!

There's cute movie theater in the city, that only shows two movies. But don't let the exterior fool you, the theater's equipped with a state of the art sound system and fancy recliner chairs. On top of the theater, other options for fun include hunting, taking the ferry to Maui (45 min ride) for a few hours, or sleeping in and .... sleeping. Of course, there are other options like checking out Shipwrecks Beach or all the other beautiful landscapes of Lanai. There's also a Cat Sanctuary for all you cat lovers but, I've taken a pass on that so far. The best days are weekends, because that's when everyone gets together to BBQ or to check out live music at Hotel Lana'i.

I've been lucky enough to get flown out from Honolulu to play a couple nights every few months with Evan or a bunch of my friends. I always look forward to coming here because it's so peaceful. Tucked inside of this quaint little hotel is a fun restaurant known as Lana'i City Bar & Grille. Every Friday and Saturday, they host live music from 7-10pm and everyone on island gathers to check out the one spot with live music on a Friday night.

Check out @Lanaicitybarandgrille on IG for info!

There's something about the people who come out to listen out here, too. No ones coming up giving the predictable "can you play somewhere over the rainbow?" or obnoxious "PLAY FREEBIRD!" requests that I've become so accustomed to back at home. The people here really DO listen to you and your music tastes and they appreciate it. AND they stay the entire time, or at least make it a point to tell you how much they've enjoyed the show. That's what makes coming out here so enjoyable as an artist. You feel appreciated for what you bring. So if you're here in Lana'i or a local, thank you. I feel refreshed every single time I come here.

At the end of last year, I came here to play the day after Christmas and it was probably one of the most memorable trips to Lana’i I’ve been on. The CRAZIEST turn of events happened- I was singing and well into about 45 minutes of my first set when all of a walk two security guards and a huge party of 8. They are sat right in front of the stage. You wouldn't BELIEVE who ended up sitting down to watch our performance AND what happened afterwards!

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