Its small-town, down-to-earth character earned Molokai its nickname, "The Friendly Isle." Molokai has preserved its slow paced, laid-back lifestyle and connection to the past. You won't find any traffic lights here. Just friendliness. Molokai is Hawaii's fifth-largest island and only 38 miles long and 10 miles wide. Yet it's home to the highest sea cliffs in the world as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, at 3,600 to 3,900 feet.
Plan your holiday to Molokai with Hawaiian Airlines.
This lush valley on the eastern end of Molokai is a hike through history. Ancient Polynesians may have settled here as early as 650 AD. The verdant valley has hidden heiau (sacred Hawaiian temples), a secluded beach, and the towering 250-foot Mooula Falls.
When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was first discovered in the Hawaiian Islands in 1835, King Kamehameha V decreed that all those afflicted be sent to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula. In 1864, Joseph De Veuster arrived in Honolulu, was ordained as a priest, and nine years later known as Father Damien went to Kalaupapa to care for the Hansen’s disease patients.
Hawaiian fishponds are unique and advanced forms of aquaculture found nowhere else in the world. And Molokai has several well-preserved ones dotting the island’s southern coastline, many of them built more than 700 years ago. Kaunakakai, alone, has two fishponds Alii and Ualapue that have been designated as his landmarks.
No matter what time of day (except Tuesdays), you can get fresh bread at this 80-year-old bakery. If you want it really fresh, go with those “in the know” who go for “hot bread runs” at night. Line up at the back door from 9 p.m. when the bread finishes baking; you can order it with butter, jelly, cinnamon, or cream cheese.
Molokai Coffee Plantation
Kona isn’t the only place in Hawaii that grows good coffee. On Molokai, there is a 500-acre farm, and the trees grow in the vivid red dirt that the island is known for. Their self-guided deck tour will give you a brief overview of Molokai’s coffee industry, and of course, you’ll want to taste. Try to be there on Tuesdays when they feature live local music jam sessions during lunch.