Lana‘i: Lana‘i City

Lana‘i City’s neighborly attitude recalls the Old Hawai‘i way of life

Less than 10 miles across the water from Maui's west side, Lana'i can feel like an outpost from another era. While the island's two resorts undergo major renewals, little seems to have changed since the 1950s in the cool mountain town of Lana'i City. Its tidy rows of plantation homes, tree-lined central square, and easygoing, neighborly attitude recall the slower, simpler Old Hawai'i way of life.


Before it became the Pineapple Isle, Lana'i was the site of numerous native Hawaiian villages. Learn about this past and view an impressive artifact collection at the Lana'i Culture and Heritage Center. 730 Lana'i Avenue. 808-565-7177; 

After being shuttered for years, renovations to the Lana'i Theater preserved much of its original 1930s architecture. Renamed Hale Keaka, it now shows first-run movies on two screens nightly. 465 Seventh Street. 808-565-7511. 

The Lana'i Art Center offers classes and showcases work by community painters and sculptors. 339 Seventh Street. 808-565-7503;


Staples and household items are available at Pine Isle Market. In addition to snacks, canned goods, and toiletries, this neighborhood grocer has a selection of local goodies and an impressive collection of fishing tackle. 356 Eighth Street. 808-565-6488. 

The Lanai Hula Hut is the place to take care of gift shopping, with jewelry, toys, T-shirts, and Hawai'i-themed tchotchkes. 418 Eighth Street. 808-565-9170.

Meanwhile, across Dole Park, you can stock up on souvenirs and resort wear at the Local Gentry, a boutique catering to style-conscious shoppers. 363 Seventh Street. 808-565-9130.


Lana'i 'Ohana Poke Market dishes up generous portions of fresh fish; flavorings include Maui onion, furikake, and limu kohu. 834 Gay Street (cash only, open 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays). 

Blue Ginger Café is known for its broke-da-mout' plate lunches. After a stick-to-your-ribs meal of honey fried chicken or hamburger steak, the aroma of its freshly baked bread just might tempt you to take a loaf home. 409 Seventh Street. 808-565-6363;