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Hawaii's Most Enticing Island
Isolated by legends and history
Timeless in a sea of change
A place for just being


Lanai Travel Guide & Map

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Manele Bay, Lanai

BIOLOGY    Lanai has a wide variety of plant, marine and animal life. Many species are rare and endangered including the giant Pacific Green Sea Turtle (which can grow to 400 pounds) and the Humpback Whale (the official state marine mammal). Vegetation zones include: coastal, dryland forest, mixed open forest.

CLIMATE    At Lanai City, the average temperature ranges from 66 (°F) to 73 (°F) and the average annual rainfall is 37 inches - a very arid island.

CULTURAL HISTORY    Largely uninhabited until the 1500's, Lanai, as part of Maui County, is now a multi-cultural society with immigration from:
  • Polynesia - 700 A.D.
  • United States - 1820
  • China - 1852
  • Japan - 1868
  • Portugal - 1878
  • Puerto Rico - 1900
  • Korea - 1903
  • Philippines - 1906
ECONOMY    Healthy In 2006! Key indicators are positive for continuing growth in the second half of this decade. 1 However, Hawaii's cost of living is among the highest in the nation and its 2004 per capita personal income below average. In fact, sources indicate a cost of living ranging from 30% above the national average to over 60% depending upon family size and circumstances - see the Price of Paradise!
  • 2005 Visitor Arrivals to the State totaled 7.4 million (a record) 2
  • 2005 Gross State Product was $54 billion 2

Major contributions to the State of Hawaii's economy include:
  • Visitor Expenditures: $11.8 billion (2005) - an all-time high* 2
  • Federal Defense Spending: $4.8 billion (2003) 3
  • Construction (Private Building Permits): $3.5 billion (2005) 4
* Visitor Expenditure figures are deceptive, since a certain percentage of tourism dollars do not remain in the Islands, but are returned to overseas investors.

With the demise of its sugar and pineapple industries in the 1990's, Hawaii is working to diversify its economy with a focus on industries such as science and technology, health and wellness tourism, diversified agriculture, ocean research and development, and film and television production. A Study currently being conducted by the State is looking at the extent to which the benefits from tourism can be maintained, while sustaining the quality of our social, economic and environmental assets.

Formerly known as the "Pineapple Isle", Lanai was once the largest single pineapple plantation in the world - it is now the home of two luxury resorts. Today, over 98% of the land on Lanai is owned by the Lanai Company, Inc. (a development firm). Lanai's major source of annual income is tourism.

EDUCATION    Lanai :
  • K-12 students in public schools (2005):  616 (excluding Special & Charter Schools) 5
  • Number of Public schools (2005):    1 6
  • Number of Private schools (2005):   0 7
GEOGRAPHY    The Island of Lanai has an area of approximately 141 square miles with 47 miles of coastline. Lanai is 13 miles wide and 18 miles long, with only a few miles of paved road.

Lanai is:
  • located in Polynesia
  • near the center of the Pacific Ocean
  • just below the Tropic of Cancer
  • one of the most remote spots on Earth
  • 2,326 miles west of California
  • the sixth largest of the 8 main Hawaiian islands
  • the only location in Hawaii from which 5 other Hawaiian islands can be viewed.
GEOLOGY    Lanai (the fourth youngest island in the Hawaiian chain) was formed by a single shield volcano creating a volcanic land mass of rolling tablelands and steep, eroded gorges. Red lava cliffs and mesquite bushes give way to giant stands of towering Cook pines - and green mountains at higher elevations.

GOVERNMENT    On Lanai, as throughout the State, there is no separate municipal government. As part of Maui County, Lanai has an elected mayor with a four-year term (two-term limit) and a nine-member council with two-year terms.

OFFICIAL COLOR AND FLOWER    The official color is orange and the official flower is the kaunaoa.

POPULATION    Lanai had a resident population of 3,193 in 2000.

TOURISM    Lanai had approximately 75,822 visitors in 2005.

Data Sources

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