Welcome to Molokai
Ahhh, Sweet Molokai, as the sign says on your way out of the airport: “Slow down, you’re in Molokai”. So aptly nicknamed “The friendly isle”, Molokai is celebrated for its friendly, open, loving people. Now, I've been to Molokai several times, my theory on why people here are so happy, is because of the Kanemitsu Bakery with their infamous Molokai Hot Bread, slathered with jelly, cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and sugar. Krispy Kreme has nothing on these guys (except for 987 locations & counting).
At only 264 square miles in total, Molokai can be driven from end to end in a couple hours. Kaunakakai, the largest and main town of tranquil Molokai is only three blocks in size. A world away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the town has existed practically unchanged since the early 1900’s. Many of the buildings are still the original build, such as the Molokai public library, which was built in 1937. It is the only library on Molokai.
Imagine a beach with only your footprints, indeed a unique quality of Molokai. Papohaku Beach on the west shore of Molokai is three miles long, it's one of the largest white sand beaches in Hawaii. You'll find campsites, indoor and outdoor showers and restroom facilities. Come here at your own risk, the risk of not wanting to leave!
Experience Hawaii in another time period. Hike the Sacred Hawaiian cathedral valley with its beautiful vistas and two towering waterfalls. As you hike to the impressive, double-tiered, 250-foot Mooula Falls (approximately 1.7 miles each way), you will be traversing two river crossings, roots, rocks, mud, and trees. The only way to explore the area is with a guide, since the trail crosses private property. The Hike difficulty is moderate/advanced.
What you should know…. Accommodations on Molokai vary from the oceanfront “Hotel Molokai” to condo rentals, cottages and B&B’s. Reservations for Hotel Moloka'i can be booked online directly with the hotel. You can check VRBO, there are several properties listed. Book early!
Traveling on Molokai...Unless you're on a tour where your transportation is covered, you’ll want to rent a rent a vehicle. Hawaiicarrental.com services Molokai, but we stress to make reservations in advance.
Points of interest include the secluded Kalaupapa Peninsula, a remote leper colony once home to Father Damien. The leper colony was established in 1866 as a place of exile for people suffering from Hansen’s Disease. It's hemmed in on one side by a towering 1500 foot cliff and by the Pacific ocean on the other. Today a small group of Hansen’s patients still live as full-time residents.
You can actually take a mule ride to one of Hawaii’s most remote settlements of Kalaupapa. Not only is the 1,700 feet descent an actual Mule ride adventure, it makes for a lifelong memory and maybe a saddle sore or two. There is nothing else like it in the world.
Locals know….If time went any slower here, you'd have to reset your clocks every day. Ferry service on the Molokai Princess runs twice a day between Lahaina Harbor and Kaunakakai Harbor, once in the morning, once in the late afternoon. Travel time is approximately 90 minutes.
Local performers and musicians entertain crowds at Coffees of Hawaii, Sunday afternoons from 4 to 6pm. Here you'll find a coffee shop with a special allure, local musicians playing music and talking story at this unique local gathering place.
For an unusual tour, you can experience Purdy’s 70 year old working macadamia nut farm. A family business in Hoolehua. Everything thing you ever wanted to know about the nut, tasty samples await.
In Kaunakakai, on Ala Malama Street from 7am to 1pm, you’ll find a local farmer's market. fresh veggies right out of the ground, hand picked picked fruits, fresh fish from boat to table.
Factoids of interest: Population: 8,000. Molokai’s official flower is the white kukui tree blossom The island’s official color is green. Located nearly at the center of the chain of eight main Hawaiian Islands, Molokai is about two million years old. Molokai is said to be the birthplace of hula.