Visiting Molokai
July 3, 2019 8:58 AM   Subscribe

We (my wife, 14-year-old son and me) are thinking about a weeklong trip to Hawaii in February. We've been to Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. This time we're thinking of visiting Molokai for at least part of the trip. Any suggestions or advice?
posted by ShooBoo to Travel & Transportation around Hawaii (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
It is not touristy at all and don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms. I loved visiting Kaluapapa, an incredible experience. Because it isn’t geared for tourists beaches can be empty.
posted by gryphonlover at 10:03 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yup, Kalaupapa is a never-forget-it experience. Don't miss that - I think you have to book your visit months in advance.

The link I've just included says that a mudslide has rendered the park accessible only by air. I'd bet that'll be cleared up by Feb., but you never know. Arranging to visit by air is in fact possible, though expensive (but maybe worth it). We walked in, but you can also arrive by boat or ... mule! (That is, if the mudslide is cleared.)

We really loved our trip to Molokai, and speak of it often.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:46 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: If any recommended places to stay, please mention them.
posted by ShooBoo at 10:59 AM on July 3, 2019

Best answer: As you'll know from your visits to other islands, there's a hot and dry leeward side (west) and a cooler, moister windward side (east). What side do you want to stay on? Leeward, it's mostly super-spendy McMansions and depressingly dilapidated condos at Paniolo Hale. Are you looking for a rental house? Condo? Hotel? Want proximity to a beach? Town? This is my favorite beachfront house—it's about 20 miles east of Kaunakakai —but there's a string of several VRBO properties along there. Calm waters thanks to the reef, pleasant if unspectacular beaches, lush vegetation, an overgrown heiau to explore nearby, and a general store a few miles down the road that does a nice plate lunch.

I recommended some things about Moloka'i in another recent question.
posted by mumkin at 11:24 AM on July 3, 2019

We went and liked it a lot, but there's only the tiniest amount of tourist infrastructure, and keep in mind that many beaches are not calm or safe for swimming, so take that into account if you need to. We are on the quiet/mellow spectrum of tourism and didn't have any problems with locals.

Also keep in mind that the plane from Oahu to Molokai is usually pretty small -- it activated all of my neuroses by being small enough that we were asked our weight (not our luggage's weight, *our* weight) at check-in, and the pilot warned us that the windy conditions made it certain we'd be buffeted about a lot.

It was a nice vacation, and I'm glad we went, but we've been back to Hawaii several times and never felt the need to return there.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:45 PM on July 3, 2019

Definitely visit Kalaupapa and stay on Molokai for a couple of days at least to get the feeling of it. I would not plan my entire vacation around it as I think you would get a little antsy. I think if you are looking for something a bit different then maybe plan to head over to Lanai as well. Rent a jeep for the rough roads and to get to the remote beautiful beaches that are a bit more swimmable.
posted by danonmaui at 4:03 PM on July 5, 2019

I should add, we wound up visiting Molokai just like you are—after visiting all the other islands (minus Lanai and Niihau). Your experience may differ, depending on what you look for in a Hawaiian vacation, but we've opted to return to Molokai ever since.

One thing I failed to appreciate before my first visit to Molokai was just how small its population is. It's only around 7,500 people, about half of whom live in Kaunakakai, so it's basically one giant small town. The Molokai Dispatch isn't a great source of breaking news, but even the outdated stories will give you a sense of local flavor.
posted by mumkin at 4:33 PM on July 7, 2019

« Older Eulogy help   |   Absurdist re-imaginings of common software GUIs Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.