Imagine an island with no stoplights, where no building is taller than a coconut tree. That’s part of the charm of a vacation on Molokai, a small island with unspoiled coastlines, often called “Hawaiian by Nature.”
Home to the highest sea cliffs in the world along its northeast coast and Hawaii’s longest continuous fringing reef, Molokai stays true to its Hawaiian traditions, tucked away from the bustle of the outside world.
With its laid-back pace, Molokai is both a quiet escape and an island of outdoor activities. Adventures range from sports fishing and boating to a memorable mule ride along the 2.9-mile trail at the Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
The above-mentioned 28-mile long fringing reef offers outstanding snorkeling and diving when waters are calm. Take a tour, rent some gear or bring your own. Kumimi Beach, also known as 20-Mile Beach or Murphy’s Beach, is one of Molokai’s best snorkelling spots. Vivid reef fish, green sea turtles and peaceful manta rays are likely companions here.
Visitors to the island can also discover the natural wonders of the sacred Halawa Valley, a historic Hawaiian hideaway with towering waterfalls.
Or watch a dazzling sunset framed by hundreds of coconut trees at one of Hawaii’s last remaining royal coconut groves, Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park. Neighboring Kiowea Beach Park offers a great vantage point, safe from falling coconuts! After dark, the stars shine bright on Molokai, unaffected by city lights, setting the stage for romantic evenings.
The lazy pace of this traditional island also offers time to explore. Drive along the south coast and stop to view many well-preserved Hawaiian fishponds, built 700-800 years ago.
The small, charming town of Kaunakakai, Molokai’s main town on the south coast, is known for its paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) atmosphere and the island’s main harbor, which boasts the state’s longest pier. Fish for your diner or just watch the locals.
Only 20 minutes west of the airport, Molokai’s West End welcomes you to its one small town, the plantation village of Maunaloa. Browse appealing shops and visit the local kite factory for a free kite-flying lesson. Maunaloa is also said to be the birthplace of hula.
It’s easy to fall in love with this authentically Hawaiian island. Your Molokai vacation may be the first of many.