-by Sheila Beal
Each Hawaiian island has its own personality and attractions that make it unique. Molokai’s tagline is “Hawaiian by nature.” From my observation, Molokai earns that reference from its untouched beauty and lack of commercialism.
There are no high-end hotels, luxury spas or signature golf courses on Molokai. Instead you’ll find miles of unspoiled coastline, valleys and mountains.
With Molokai being the least visited of the six major Hawaiian islands, you won’t find as much tourist information as you would for Oahu or Maui. That’s why we wanted to provide some guidance on the best things to see, do and try on your trip to Molokai.
Tour one of the most isolated areas of Hawaii — Kalaupapa. This peninsula bordered by cliffs and ocean is accessible only by foot, guided mule ride or by plane. Just getting to Kalaupapa is an adventure, but when you get there, the history of the Hansen’s disease (more commonly known as Leprosy) colony along with the scenery will captivate you. We highly recommend the mule ride to Kalaupapa which has been one of our most memorable Hawaii adventures. (Please note, you must be age 16 years or older to make reservations to visit Kalaupapa.)
Drive the scenic coastal road to Halawa Valley for views of pristine coastline and enjoy the Halawa Valley cultural experience and guided waterfall hike. Of our many visits to Hawaii, this tour was the most culturally rich experience.
Catch a sunset from one of the quiet beaches on Molokai’s west side.When we stopped at three-mile-long Papohaku Beach for sunset, we had the entire beach to ourselves. Enhance your sunset experience with a beach picnic.
Visit the Molokai Museum and Cultural Center to learn more about the history of the island. You’ll only need an hour or two at most to explore this small museum and restored sugar cane mill built by R.W. Meyer. Be sure to watch the two short films on the history of the sugar cane mill and the Kalaupapa peninsula. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for students. The museum is only open until 2pm.
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About Sheila Beal: Sheila is an avid Hawaii vacationer who resides in the US Mainland. She is the editor of Go Visit Hawaii, a Hawaii travel blog created by her and her husband, Andy. In addition to providing Hawaii travelers with news, reviews, and advice, Sheila’s knowledge has been tested and certified by the official Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as an island expert graduate for Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Hawaii’s Big Island.