We made it a goal of ours to try to make it to all of the major Hawaiian islands while we were living on Oahu.
We almost didn't make it to Moloka'i, but we are SO GLAD we did.
While we thoroughly enjoyed our time on Kaua'i and Hawai'i (<—the big island), and Maui, Brian and I both agree that Moloka'i was our favorite. It's hard to put words to why. It was so refreshing and relaxing, and we felt like we got to make our trip OURS, if you know what I mean.
There are very few tourist attractions to pull us from one direction to the next, we literally looked at a map and said "I think I want to go there today" and we really got to go out and explore. There is literally no hustle and bustle. I felt like I was meandering through my small town from my childhood. If you're the type of person who loves going out and being entertained, Moloka'i probably isn't for you. But if you want to take your days slow, recharge, be enchanted by the friendly locals and be stunned by the rugged views of the island, you should book your trip ASAP. We stayed for 5 days, 4 nights, and wished we could've had another day or two. Here's a quick list of tips and recommendations:
- We stayed here. It refreshed our souls. We loved this area so much we've considered buying a condo in the area so we will always have a place to return to on Moloka'i. That dream may never happen, but that's how much we loved staying there. It was relaxing, strangely empty (in a good way), gorgeous sunsets, stunning empty beaches and turkeys running through the courtyard every morning.
- We went on a long 8 mile run one morning on the trails near where we stayed. It remains as my favorite thing that we did while we were out there. If you're a runner, definitely try to get some runs in!
- Mule ride to Kalapapa. Worth the time and money. I'd recommend reading up on Kalapapa first, as I didn't find the tour of the area to be historically informative, but the views are incredible and the mule ride is just a fun thing in and of itself. Two books that gave me some perspective on the leper colony: Hawaii by James Michener, Molokai by Alan Brennert.
- We rented the personal vehicle of the owner of our condo. Vehicles from the rental companies were skyrocket high, so be aware of that. Many vacation owners will have vehicles for you to rent from them directly for a more reasonable price, so don't be afraid to ask. We loved our 1990's vehicle! Rocking out to Bob Marley and the Beatles in cassette tape form added to the experience.
- Holidays = Ghost Island. Be sure to hit the grocery store up right away. I'm not sure what their normal hours are, but our stay was around the Thanksgiving holiday. The grocery store had limited hours, and several of the foodie places (specifically the local meat market) we wanted to go to were closed the entire duration of our stay. So instead of our hoped for Molokai Steak Thanksgiving dinner, we had meat cheese and crackers. Watching the sunset, drinking wine. So while we were a little bummed, it was still pretty awesome anyway, and now we can laugh about the memory.
- Bring cash, and if you're also bringing credit cards I found lots of places didn't accept American Express.
- Our favorite swimmable (jaw-droppingly beautiful) beach:
- Our favorite hike (4-wheel drive vehicle recommended to get to the trail head):