Hawaii is one of the most traveled destinations in the US. The islands of Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii and Oahu rank #2-4 most frequently traveled destinations in the US. They are popular for good reason, the beaches are amazing, the surfing and sailing are world-class, Waterfalls, Sunsets, the weather,friendly people, the history, culture, and the geography are just some of the many reasons to visit. None of the islands are the same, they all have their own unique flare.
If you want to visit the islands of Hawaii but looking for a more locals-type of experience then the Island of Molokai is a perfect destination. Molokai is the least visited of the major islands. That doesn’t mean there is nothing to see or do though. Molokai has been named the “Friendly Island”, the locals are very welcoming to tourists. The island has less than 8000 residents and many of them are native Hawaiians that have lived there for generations.
Molokai is only accessible by plane. You can take a plane from Maui or Oahu to the tiny airport in Hoolehua. You will need to rent a car because Once you are here, take a deep breath and plan on taking everything slower. Island life is very relaxed and laid back. If you are here in June, take in the annual Molokai Ka Hula Piko Festival. Molokai is known for where the Hula was originated and the festival celebrates the Hula with traditional dancing, music, food and craft booths .
Because of the year-round tropical climate you can visit anytime. However Hawaii gets most of their rain during the winter months from November -March. The windward side, or the east side of the island is more tropical and wet. The leeward or east side, is very dry and almost desert-like.
Molokai is unique in a way that sets it apart from the other touristy destinations in Hawaii. It’s not the place for tourist shops, or a place to check off your bucket list locations. All the locals say it’s more about making connections with others. People are eager to talk, give directions or suggest a place to visit. Take some time, slow down and give them a few minutes of your time. You never know where it might lead you. You might find out about a secret hidden beach or their favorite thing to do that you can’t find on a guide map.
Most of the activities involve the beach or hiking. Molokai is home to the worlds tallest sea cliffs. At it’s peak the cliffs reach 3900 feet on the remote northern side of the island. There isn’t any roads that lead to the north end of the island so the best way to view these majestic cliffs is by helicopter. No tours are found on the island so you will have to get one from Maui or Kahului. If helicopter flights isn’t your thing you can hike to see the cliffs or take a ride by mule. The hike or mule trip is considered a category 4 which means that it is fairly difficult. You need to be in good shape and not over 250 lbs or under 16. They are pretty strict about the age requirement. You can make reservations (which is highly recommended) and see more detail here.