Hulopoe Beach Park is quite arguably the best swimming beach in Lanai. Located on the very south shore of the island, this park and its beach offer an array of amenities, with the big exception of there being no stationed lifeguards.
You can reach Hulopoe Beach Park pretty easily. From the airport, you will simply go west and take Kaupilli Road south or east and take Milki Road. Both will wind down and around and make connections that make it easy to drive straight south to Manele Road which dead ends nicely right at Hulopoe Beach Park. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Maui, land in the neighboring Mauele Bay at the Manele Small Boat Harbor, and simply walk the five minutes to the beach. You will find plenty of free parking here and the nearby Four Seasons Resorts offers several places to order food and drinks for those planning on a longer beach stay.
In addition to parking, Hulopoe Beach Park offers other public amenities. You will find picnic tables with open grills as well as full and clean restrooms and showers. You can even reserve a camping spot here (although the price is rather high). Unfortunately, however, the island’s government does not station any lifeguards here and so swimmers should exercise caution before entering the water.
The good news is that the waves and winds at Hulopoe Beach Park are generally low and swimming conditions are considered overall safe. If you walk down to the east side of the beach, you will find a lava terrace that contains several big tide pools. The park officials have nicely installed stairs that make it easy to walk down into these swimming areas so that visitors can readily enjoy the waters and the marine life that resides within.
The calm winds and currents also work together to create fantastically clear waters that are incredibly inviting to snorkelers and even divers. Hulopoe Bay itself is a protected marine preserve and so the marine life here has flourished, offering outstanding reef environments for those wanting to swim and see. In addition to smaller reef fish and sea creatures, massive sea turtles and spinner dolphins are often sighted in and around the bay.
What to do and what time of day to go to Hulopoe Beach Park will largely depend upon what season you choose to visit. The swimming conditions here are best during the summer and tend to offer the best chances to see, hear, and even swim near dolphins. However, the best time to see a dramatic sunset on this beach is during the winter. So if you’re looking for a place to stroll and enjoy the beautiful crepuscular hours, choose Hulopoe Beach Park during the colder months.
-The Maui-to-Lanai ferry has historically been known for being flexible. So if you find that you want to linger at Hulopoe Beach Park for longer than your indicated ferry travel time, or if you want to leave sooner, simply call up, and generally, the ferry staff is happy to oblige.
-If you have it, consider bringing a hammock. The picnic tables at the park are situated beneath shaded trees and just a stone’s throw from the water. Tie up your hammock and enjoy swaying in the cool breezes after swimming.
-Consider walking out to the point and up the hill to Sweetheart Rock. This is a unique rock formation and its sweeping vistas have made it one of Lanai’s most beloved landmarks.
-If you take the ferry from Maui and can’t find free parking in Lahina, go to the parking lot behind the Wharf Cinema complex. Don’t prepay but instead, present the ferry parking stub to the booth attendant to get a discounted parking rate.