What to See and Do on Molokai, Hawaii

Molokai is the fifth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands and is approximately 38 miles long by 10 miles wide with a useable land area of 260 square miles. If you’re looking for the perfect vacation destination to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the big city this is where you want to be. Molokai offers spectacular terrain, uncrowded pristine beaches, visitor friendly locals and a glimpse of old Hawaii.

Let’s start with the beaches. Sandy Beach is Molokai’s most popular swimming beach and has beautiful gold sand. It is protected by a reef and offers a great view of Maui and Lanai. There are no facilities here so come prepared. Papohaku Beach is one of the biggest beaches in all of Hawaii at 3 miles long and 300 feet wide. This is the perfect sand beach to walk and explore, however the surf conditions make swimming risky unless you are there in the summertime. One Alii Beach Park is the oldest public beach park on Molokai and offers safe swimming for people of all ages. It’s located by a coconut grove on the outskirts of Kaunakakai. Halawa Beach Park has a beautiful black sand beach with a tropical lagoon and offers a view of the West Maui Mountains across the Pailolo Channel. The swimming is safe close to shore but facilities are minimal.

Go kayaking or snorkeling. You can get kayaking lessons at Kaunakakai if you’d like to try something you’ve never done before. There are some great snorkeling sites on Molokai such as the fringing reef and snorkel areas where green sea turtles and Hawksbill turtles can be seen. Sport fishing is popular on the island as well as whale watching. There is nothing quite as spectacular as seeing Humpback Whales frolicking in the waters off Molokai. For the less adventurous Molokai also has several reasonably priced golf courses. Ironwood Hills at Kalae features a nine-hole golf course.

Visit Kalaupapa for breathtaking views of the majestic sea cliffs which you can explore on foot or by a mule ride. The Damien Tours of Kalaupapa offers guided trips along the extraordinary terrain through this national historic site. Visitors and hikers must be at least 16 years of age. Take the time to see the Molokai ancient fishponds built by Hawaiians centuries ago. Head over to Kaunakakai Wharf where you can still see the stone formations of a home that belonged to Kamehameha V called Malama. He was the ruler of the Hawaiian Islands from 1863 to 1872. Get a glimpse of history and see the traditional old Hawaii.

If you have the time visit the Kamakou Preserve which is a 3,000 acre site located on the eastern part of Kaunakakai. Here you will find lush forests and rare species of tropical birds, the Kawawahie and Olomao. If you enjoy hiking you will find the Waikolu Valley and the famous Sandalwood Pit well worth seeing.

Molokai is the Hawaiian island that best represents old Hawaii. It is the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy the quieter pace of island life. Explore the natural beauty you’ll find everywhere on this island paradise and take it all in because nowhere else compares to what you’ll see on Molokai.

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