Deserted, pristine, long, short, wide, narrow, white, tan, gray, black. Take your pick. Papohaku on the west end is the longest white sand beach in the Hawaiian Islands. Stretching nearly three miles, it is the perfect place for beach combing, jogging or just catching a few rays. If you're looking for solitude by the ocean, this could be your answer. It is never crowded and many times you'll find you have the entire beach to yourself. Also on the west end, fronting Kaluakoi Resort, is Kepuhi beach. A favorite of visitors and locals alike for surfing, sunning, fishing and when the ocean is calm, swimming.
Moloka'i doesn't have the abundance of great swimming beaches that some of the other islands boast, but there are many beaches that offer safe, uncrowded swimming and snorkeling. Season and ocean conditions dictate which beaches will best suit your personal wishes. During the summer and fall the west end beaches, Kepuhi, Papohaku, Make Horse and Dixie Maru, are good choices. However, the winter ocean swells create monster waves that make dangerous albeit beautiful surf conditions.
If the surf is pounding on the west end, the southeast beaches are normally perfect for that refreshing dip or tropical fish viewing excursion. Try Murphy's Beach at mile marker 20 or Sandy Beach just beyond. Both are protected by Hawai'i's only barrier reef and offer safe swimming most of the year.
Kawili beach in the beautiful Halawa Valley. It is safe for swimming when the ocean is calm, but has strong rip currents when the surf is up. Either way it's always a quiet spot to relax and take in the beauty of Halawa.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Scuba dive the pristine waters of Hawaii's only barrier reef. Scuba and snorkeling gear can be rented from the Kaluakoi Hotel (Tel. 808-552-2555), Hotel Molokai (Tel. 808-242-8775), and Molokai Fish and Dive (Tel. 808-553-5926). Bill Kapuni's Snorkel and Dive (Tel. 808-553-9867) is another good choice.
Take a sport fishing boat out to catch your dinner. Locals often cast lines from Kaunakakai Wharf in the evening after the boats have stopped loading. Fall and winter are peak fishing seasons at Halawa Beach County Park. There's some great fishing along Molokai's cliff-edged north shore.
Fishing boats and pleasure cruises set sail from Kaunakakai Wharf. Call Molokai Fish and Dive (Tel. 808-553-5926) or Molokai Sport Fishing (Tel. 808-553-5242 or 800-998-FISH) about charters for deep-sea excursions.
For golfers, there's the 18-hole championship Kaluakoi Golf Course, which many consider the most beautiful and challenging in Hawaii. Play 18 holes on one of Hawaii's five best golf courses. Or maybe a fast nine on the local municipal course.
Ride the famous Moloka'i mules down the world's highest sea cliffs to the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Perhaps the most stunningly beautiful and inspirational place in Hawai'i. Even the most seasoned travelers cherish this tour as one of their most memorable island experiences. Or check out the Molokai Ranch to experience life as a paniolo.
Nightlife in Molokai centers around the hotels, where social life consists of dinner conversation and talking story over drinks.
The local newspaper announces community dances, church fundraisers, or shows. Perhaps your trip will coincide with a free Balinese dance performance or other event at the Molokai Public Library.
The sounds of live bands (mainly Top 40 tunes) coax diners onto the dance floor at the Ohia Room adjoining the main restaurant at the Kaluakoi Resort, 6:30-9:30 PM every evening. Each night, free movies are screened for Kaluakoi guests in the rec room.
You can also listen to music at Pau Hana Inn in Kaunakakai, with mellow sounds Sunday through Thursday 6:30-9 PM and danceable beats Friday and Saturday 9 PM-1 AM. Loosely translated, pau hana means "quittin' time," and this hotel is where many locals go for happy hour after work.