The Best Tips for Driving on Lana’i

Heading to Hawai’i’s Pineapple Isle? You’re going to have so much fun! Whether you’re visiting for a day or a full two weeks, this post is for you. With only 30 miles of paved roads and many more miles of off-road destinations, there are a few things you will definitely want to know before you go. Here are the best tips we learned first-hand on our trip to Lana’i!

See also: The Best Tips for Driving on the Hawai’ian Islands

You Will Likely Want 4-wheel Drive

We are so glad we paid extra for 4-wheel drive (4WD) on our trip. There are several things to see that are fully accessible from paved roads, but there’s so much more to see on the rugged side of things! Trust me, it’s worth it.

4WD Tips

Do a little 4WD research if you’re not used to using it. Here are a few things to know:

  • 4WD is not synonymous with manual or stick shift. You can rent an automatic vehicle that also has 4WD!
  • Don’t leave it in 4WD mode. Use it sparingly, only when you need it. Never use 4WD on smoothly paved roads. 
  • Go slow. 4WD is also not synonymous with race mode. 
Some sites are only accessible with 4WD!
Also read: Where to Go on Lana’i WITH 4WD

If You Off-road, They’ll Know

Some companies only rent 2WD vehicles. And guess what: They put GPS trackers on them. So, they will definitely know you went off-roading when you weren’t supposed to. Why does that matter? Breaking the “no off-roading” rule comes with a hefty fine! If you’re too cheap to spring for the 4WD, you’re also too cheap to pay the fines. Think ahead!

Don’t try any funny business!
Essential info: Where to Go WITHOUT 4WD on Lana’i

30 Miles of Paved Roads

Really not willing to get 4WD? No worries! Surprisingly, there is a lot to see on Lana’i’s 30 miles of paved roads! You’ll find hikes, restaurant, shopping, a museum, and more all within the realm of the 2WD vehicles. Just remember that speed limits are low, and some of the roads wind around a bit!

The paved roads are few!
Need to know: What to Know Before You Visit Lana’i

There’s Plenty of Parking

This is one Hawai’ian island where you don’t have to worry about crowds or parking! Because it’s less-visited than the other main Hawai’ian islands, you’ll find plenty of parking, pretty much anywhere you want to go! That’s a huge benefit of visiting Lana’i.

You can go all day and rarely see another car!
Keep reading: The Ultimate Lana’i Bucket List

Don’t Drive on the Beach

Even if you do choose a 4WD vehicle, you’re still not allowed to drive on the beaches. Lana’i’s beaches are unique in that there is so much less human contact on them than on any other Hawai’ian island. Sea turtles nest here, and crabs and other critters make their homes on the beaches as well. Driving on the sand can damage their homes and even kill the wildlife. Please be a kind and considerate visitor, and don’t drive on the beaches.

Keep the critters safe!
Keep reading: 3 Perfect Ways to Spend a Day Trip to Lana’i

Want more? Get everything you need to plan your Hawai’ian trip of a lifetime on my dedicated Hawai’ian Islands Page!

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