Visiting the island of Molokai feels like traveling back in time to ancient Hawaii. The land and the locals have been frozen in time being untouched by extreme commercialism, large buildings, and high technological advances. Molokai is a simple island with simple ways that portray the love the locals have for their land and their culture.

Molokai is the only island where the Hawaiian way of living has remained strictly traditional. It has the second smallest population of predominately Native Hawaiian people. There are few roadways, no traffic lights, no large buildings, and no crowds. The locals protect their environment and resources, and enjoy sharing the essence of “true” Hawaii with their visitors the way it is done with their young children. All they ask for is respect in return.

Surrounded by the beautiful mountain ranges and sea cliffs, Molokai is made of beautiful white sand beaches and tropical forests that are filled with exotic plants, flowers, and animals, some only being native to Molokai, including the spotted dear. Traveling to this island immediately has a feeling of simplicity where material items are not important. People live with just enough to get by and are never in a rush to get anywhere. Molokai is the place for ultimate relaxation.


There are three main regions on the low populated island of Molokai – Central Molokai, West Molokai, and East Molokai. Central Molokai is the gathering center of the local people and visitors in the town of Kaunakakai where the Kalaupapa Pennisula can clearly be viewed above its cliffs. The only airport into the island is located here in the town of Hoolehua, which is mainly a farming community for macadamia nuts and coffee.

West Molokai is home to some of the most beautiful beaches with no crowds, which are rarely visited so the serenity of its true essence is felt immediately. Traveling to East Molokai, the largest mountain on the island, Kamakou can be viewed for its natural beauty. Visitors can view this beautiful forest on one side and view the largest reef in Hawaii, which is 28 miles long, on the other side.


Molokai is a great place for families to visit and experience the true vision of Hawaii through the island’s strong Hawaiian traditions that have been passed down for generations. The island can also be a romantic place for a secluded honeymoon or just a peaceful getaway for couples. The romantic area has one main town and beaches that are sometimes very private, as it is infrequently visited.

There are many outdoor adventures to teach visitors about the Hawaiian culture and how to respect its land and resources. These adventures allow visitors to experience Hawaii at its basic roots. The “laid back” feeling on this island is based on the enjoyment of its natural resources and beauty. There is one golf course, but even there, things are taken slow allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty around them and not be forced through a nine round of golf. There are no day spas, but with the secluded beaches and small population, this may be all the relaxation that is needed.

Things to Do

The many outdoor tours and adventures take visitors to areas that are inaccessible by car, where hiking or bicycle riding is dominant to protect the land. Hiking the lush rainforests brings visitors to experience beautiful waterfalls and areas that are native to only Hawaii.

The most popular tour is the mule ride to the Kaulapapa National Historical Park by mule ride. There are also fishing tours in Molokai’s clean waters where visitors learn the ancient Hawaiian ways of fishing.

There is no nightlife on this island, as the people who live on Molokai have a mission to keep it simple. There are some shopping and dining places mainly in the town of Kaunakakai, which is the main hub of Molokai for locals and visitors. The entertainment is in the beauty of the island and in its white sand beaches that are still in their natural forms, unharmed by humans. Papohaku is the longest white sand beach in Hawaii at three miles long. There is one caution to not swim in rough waters during the winter months as it is dangerous for swimming, but you can enjoy the sunbathing or walking along the shoreline. After a day of exploration, the nightlife of Molokai is the simple enjoyment of strolling on the coastline on clear nights.

Places to Stay

The local people of Molokai treat their visitors with “aloha” (kindness, love), living up to its nickname, “The Friendly Isle”, and do offer accommodations for visiting the island for a period of time. There are no luxury resorts, as that would be against what Molokai stands for. The main hotels are never taller than a coconut tree and can mainly be found in the town of Kaunakakai.

In other areas of the island, there are few Bed-and-Breakfast establishments, as well as condo rentals and cottage rentals, many near the ocean so visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean at any time of the day or night. Visitors are treated with warm hospitality allowing them to experience Hawaii for what it is – tranquil.