Moloka’i: The Most Hawaiian Place?.

By Posted in - Hawaii & Maui & Molokai & Travel Blog on June 18th, 2013 Kawela Beach Park Molokai Hawaii in Maui County.

Moloka’i may only be 15 miles from Maui, but from everything I’ve heard it could very well be its own country. The fish shaped island with cliffs as tall as 300 story skyscrapers sits in quite juxtaposition to its more famous and tourist heavy brethren of the Hawaiian archipelago.

Today, we are hopping an early morning flight out of Boston to Moloka’i to explore a land where coconut trees rule the skyline not high-rise hotels and “talk story” with the locals, who have more Hawaiian blood flowing through them than any other place on the planet.

We’ve got a really exciting four days lined up through the Moloka’i Visitors Bureau that should help us connect with the mysticism that is said to radiate throughout the island. Our first two nights, for example, will be at the Dunbar Beachfront Cottages on the east end of Moloka’i surrounded by nothing but views of Maui, Lanai and Kahoolawe.

And with more than 260 square miles of land and only 7,400 residents, we’re going to get a chance to tap into what makes Moloka’i so desirable to adventure enthusiasts. Beth and I will be riding a mule on a 3-mile stretch that’s akin to a tropical Big Sur, kayaking along the soaring coast and hiking into the Halawa Valley. I think it’s safe to say that there will be a lot of communing with nature going on, and we couldn’t be happier.

Born of volcanic eruptions 1.5 million years ago, Molokai remains a time capsule on the dawn of the 21st century.

Jeanette Foster | Frommer's Maui 2013

Despite some research, I still don’t know what to expect from Moloka’i and this has me really excited. I’ve read and re-read the four dozen or so pages in our Maui guidebook, studying the pictures closely, and I still can’t imagine what we’re going to find when we stop off the plane tomorrow evening in the land of Aloha; though, I have a feeling it’s going to be something really special, quite possibly the real Hawaii.

Have you ever been to Moloka’i? If so, we’d love to hear your recommendations and tips in the comments below.

*Photo credit: Kawela Beach Park Molokai Hawaii (Maui County) by PatrickMcNally |Flickr Creative Commons

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(19) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • nicole | the wondernuts -

    June 18, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I haven’t been to Moloka’i. But I have been to the big island. I would love to see more photos of Moloka’i. I find it to be fascinating. =)

  • Jason’s Travels -

    June 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Molokai really is awesome. I’m so jealous you’re going. Have an amazing time!

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks Jason! You were so right. Molokai is awesome with a capital A! We had a fantastic time. There’s nothing quite like having the beach to yourself in Hawaii.

  • Jen -

    June 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Sounds like a great trip! We didn’t love our first trip to Hawaii (I think partially due to expectations since we were suppose to be heading to Thailand, but had a last minute change in plans due to a coup attempt and a full shutdown of BKK). I look forward to hearing more about your trip. Based on your initial description I think we would enjoy Moloka’i !

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Yeah, coups have away of derailing even the best laid plans. 🙂 I think you guys would love Molokai. The hustle and bustle of the other islands is non-existent on Molokai. In a lot of ways it has the feel of small mid-west town that has been set down in a tropical paradise.

  • Bruised Passports -

    June 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Moloka’i looks amazing- looking forward to reading about it on your blog 🙂

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! There really is no place quite like Molokai! I think you guys would really dig it.

  • Jennifer -

    June 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Wow, this sounds like my kind of Hawaiian island! I liked Maui but wasn’t too keen on Oahu because it was just completely overrun with tourists. Can’t wait to hear about all these adventurous experiences you guys have planned!

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      If you liked Maui, I think you would love Molokai, especially if you are not to keen on tourists soaking up all of your sun. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I saw so many empty tropical beaches. Despite only being there for a few days, we really felt like we got to know Molokai, which is something that doesn’t happen very often for us on short trips.

  • Dan @ A Cruising Couple -

    June 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Suuper Jealous you’re headed to Hawaii. I went with my family a couple times because we had relatives who lived there for a while. And when you’ve got family living on Hawaii you’ve got to go visit :-p Sadly I don’t think we made it to Moloka’i. Next time!

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Hawaii is a great place to have family, that is for sure. Next time you guys go out, I’d definitely recommend renting a cottage and a car and spending a couple days exploring the island or just chilling on one of the several empty beaches.

  • Katie @ Donestiphobia -

    June 21, 2013 at 4:56 am

    I’m really surprised you didn’t mention the fact that part of the island used to be home to a leper colony! It’s basically where we used to send native Hawaiians when they contracted leporosy in the late 1800s – early 1900s (I think). If you haven’t heard of Father Damien, you probably will once you’re there. If you enjoy historical fiction novels, definitely read “Moloka’i” by Alan Brennert. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking.

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Katie for the book recommendation. I saw it at the bookstore in Kalupapa, but there were two with the same name, so I decided to hold off on buying it until I could make sure I was getting the right one. I didn’t know what to expect from our visit, but after touring the town I’m definitely intrigued by the place and would love to read a good historical fiction novel about it as well as check out Paul Cox’s films about the colony. Have you ever seen either of them?

      • Katie -

        June 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm

        No I haven’t, but I’ll be sure to check them out!

  • Sarah -

    June 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I used to live on Oahu and my husband and I traveled to Moloka’i just this past March. I know that you may have already left but the big secret in town is to go to the bakery in the main towncenter at night, around 10ish. They are usually baking bread at this time and you can go up the back alley and buy a loaf of fresh cooked bread with any filling you want (like cinnamon).

    Also the mule ride to Kalaupapa Leper Colony is a must. The family that runs the business are great and they really did a great job in showing us around the colony. I would highly recommend going to see the colony before it is turned into a National Park.

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks for the tip Sarah! We did get the 411 about the evening hot bread run to Kanemitsu’s from one of our good friends, and we were not disappointed. We actually went a little too big by each getting one, not really knowing what we were in for. I went for the works, which was a delicious mess.

      We also had a chance to do the mule ride into Kalaupapa and I couldn’t agree with you more about how incredible that journey and tour is. Beth and I both felt very fortunate to experience Kalupapa and the tour led by Buzzy before it gets turned over to the National Park Service. We took a lot of videos and photos during the mule ride and colony tour, and plan on putting together a really nice story around the adventure.

  • Cam @ Traveling Canucks -

    June 26, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Can’t wait to read about your trip! We did all of the above, so it will be fun to compare notes 🙂

    • Randy Kalp -

      June 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Definitely! So glad you guys got the chance to explore Molokai too. It’s too bad we weren’t able to visit at the same time like we had initially planned, I think we would have had a lot of fun.