Welcome to Molokai
For those looking for an authentic Hawaiian Island experience, the 5th largest Hawaiian Island, Molokai, is perfect for your next trip. Steeped in Hawaiian culture and authentic experiences, Molokai is for those who want to experience some of the most extensive untouched natural landscapes on the Hawaiian Islands. Often known as the Friendly Isle, this hidden gem is excellent for nature and hiking enthusiasts. Keep reading for everything you need to know to plan your trip to the authentic island of Molokai, Hawaii.
1. Take A Stroll Along Papohaku Beach
Imagine strolling along a pristine ivory sand beach, enjoying a beautiful technicolor sunset. If that sounds like heaven, then Papohaku Beach is your ideal spot. As Molokai’s longest stretch of beach, it’s also incredibly tranquil and serene, thanks to the lack of tourism on the island.
This part of the island is rarely crowded, which gives this beach the feel of a private stretch of sand. Enjoy an uninterrupted stroll along Papohaku Beach, and you won’t be able to help but feel like you have the beach all to yourself.
2. Hike Halawa Valley For Incredible Views
Halawa Valley is on the east end of the island of Molokai and offers a glimpse into one of Hawaii’s earliest settlements. Hikers get to see the views of the lush cliffs and two large waterfalls, but they also get a glimpse of history at this magical spot on Molokai. Keep an eye out for the historical relics throughout the valley!
The Halawa Valley Views trail is one of the most popular on the island, and once you see the view of the valley, you’ll understand why. The green foliage and lush rolling waterfalls make the entire hike worth the climb. Visitors require a guide to make the trek, but there are plenty of options to get to these fantastic views.
4. Mail A Coconut From The Hoolehua Post Office
If you are looking for a quirky and fun souvenir for family and friends, then the Hoolehua Post Office has you covered. Don’t send something like a boring postcard, instead, you can send a coconut all the way from Molokai, Hawaii. While the postage can be a little pricey, at $15, the post office always keeps coconuts and decorations on hand to make them your own.
The Post-a-Nut program has garnered the attention of many visitors, as they mail around 3,000 coconuts per year! This is a fun way to remember your time on the unique island of Molokai.
5. Get In The Water
Although Molokai is small, there are plenty of water activities for those seeking adventure. You can snorkel along one of the longest continuous fringing reefs. Or go whale watching in the Pacific Ocean. If you’re looking for a more relaxed activity, try kayaking or paddle boarding along the white sandy shores of the famous Papohaku Beach.
Thanks to the lack of visitors to the islands, the waters here are often calm and primed for you to see the wonders of the underwater world below.
6. Visit Molokai's Macadamia Nut Farm
The Macadamia Nut Farm of Molokai has been welcoming visitors to their five acres of paradise that is home to all-natural organic macadamia nuts for over 35 years. Around 50 macadamia nut trees are on the property, and the nuts are harvested once they’ve fallen from the trees. They are roasted in a large oven right on the property.
You can take a free guided tour of the farm to learn how macadamia nuts are grown, harvested, and processed. The tours are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 2 pm at 4 Lihi Pali Ave, Ho’olehua, Hawaii. Tours include demonstrations and free samples of unsalted raw or naturally roasted macadamia nuts. You can also purchase macadamia blossom honey. Yum!
7. Explore The Kamakou Preserve
If you are looking to explore a moss-covered rainforest that is home to various wildlife and plants, look no further than Kamakou Preserve. Walking along the narrow three-mile boardwalk, you will feel like you have entered a time machine.
The 2,774-acre pristine preserve is located on the slopes of Kamakou, Molokai’s highest mountain. As you hike through the preserve, take in the sweet songs of native songbirds and keep an eye out for colorfully banded tree snails. To get to the preserve, you will need a 4WD vehicle, make sure to plan accordingly with your rental car.
Take advantage of the overlook at Pelekunu Valley, where you will be treated to awe-inspiring deep chasms and majestic sea cliffs that plunge into the sea.
8. Don't Miss The Hot Bread At Kanemitsu Bakery
No visit to Molokai would be complete without tasting the famously delicious “hot bread” from the local institution Kanemitsu Bakery. In operation for over 80 years, this local bakery has attracted visitors and locals alike with its hot bread. What can you expect? A serving of gooey, split-open loaves of bread topped with mouthwatering jelly, cinnamon, butter, or strawberry cream cheese spread.
Around 9 pm or so, the back alley of the bakery becomes popular and is known as “Hot Bread Lane.” The alley becomes busy as both locals and tourists line up to taste the irresistible warm bread straight from the oven.
The bakery is at 79 Ala Malama Ave, Kaunakakai, Hawaii. It is open every day except Tuesday and serves fresh papaya bread, taro donuts, cinnamon rolls, other breakfast pastries, and coffee.
9. Get A Birds Eye View
A fantastic way to take in the natural beauty of Molokai is from the sky. Most helicopter tours include Maui and Molokai and a flight over the gorgeous channel that separates them. As you fly toward Molokai, you will take in the stunning vertical sea cliffs that tower over 4,000 feet to the turbid shoreline below.
There are several helicopter tour options on Molokai, including this fantastic West Maui and Molokai Special 45-Minute Helicopter Tour.