Molokai is Hawaii’s fifth largest island, but only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point. It is home to the highest sea cliffs in the world and the longest continuous fringing reef. Molokai population is largely of Native Hawaiian ancestry who continue to preserve their rural lifestyle. Take a guided tour along the cliffs leading to Kalaupapa National Historical Park or discovering Papohaku Beach, one of Hawaii’s largest white-sand beaches. Molokai is an island of outdoor adventure ! Continue reading our Molokai Travel Guide and plan your vacation here today! Learn more about all of the best beaches of Hawaii here.
Molokai Weather – When to Visit
Weather in The Hawaiian Islands is very consistent throughout the year. There are two seasons in Hawaii: summer (from May to October) and winter (from November to April). The average daytime summer temperature is 85° F, while the average daytime winter temperature is 78°F. The average water temperature throughout the year is 74°F, making swimming year round.
Best Molokai Beaches
Visit Papohaku Beach (also known as Three Mile Beach) and discover three miles of soft-sands. One of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy. Here you’ll find campsites, indoor and outdoor showers, as well as picnic and restroom facilities.
Halawa Beach Park
Halawa is a good swimming beach, but it’s best to stay out of the water when the surf is up; the high waves create a dangerous rip current. Silty runoff from Halawa Stream makes the water murky, so snorkeling isn’t so great.
Waialua Beach Park
Also known as Twenty Mile Beach, this arched stretch of sand leads to one of the most popular snorkeling spots on the island. The water here, protected by the flanks of the little bay, is often so clear and shallow that even from land you can watch fish swimming among the coral heads.
Murphy’s Beach on Molokai’s southeast shore is a narrow white-sand beach shaded by a few palm trees. When the ocean is calm, the water is clear here and the ocean looks inviting for a refreshing dip.
Dixie Maru Beach (Kapukahehu)
Located on Molokai’s west shore, Dixie Maru Cove has one of the best swimming beaches on the island. The protected sandy cove features lava outcroppings on each side and is a nice place to enjoy the water, whether it’s for a relaxing swim or snorkeling.
Best Molokai Restaurants
Hiro’s Ohana Grill $11 – 30
Located beach side of Hotel Molokai, Hiro’s Ohana Grill is the Hotel’s onsite casual-fine dining restaurant and full service bar steps away from the ocean. This open air dining experience is like no other on the island. Telephone: 808 660 3400 Web: Hiro’s Ohana Grill
Kualapuu Cookhouse $11 – 30
Here you will find some longtime Molokai classics where the casual atmosphere and hearty food are reflections of a pace of life. Since the laid back restaurant is BYOB, you can grab some wine from the market next door and sip while you wait for your food. And “if you’re in a hurry, you’re on the wrong island.” It says so right there on the menu. Telephone: 808 567 9655 Web: Kualapuu Cookhouse
Paddler’s Inn $11 – 30
It is one of the few restaurants that serves alcohol, which explains its popularity. It has an eclectic menu—beef noodle soup, kalua pork sliders, salads with local greens—and free Wi-Fi. At night, it’s noisy and packed. Telephone: 808 553 3300 Web: Paddler’s Inn
Molokai Burger Under $10
Molokai Burger is home of the freshest burgers on the island. With a comfortably air-conditioned indoor dinning area, outdoor tables, and a drive thru, the atmosphere at Molokai Burger can fit your mood. Telephone: 808 553 3533 Web: Molokai Burger
Molokai Pizza Cafe $15 – 20
Have a seat in a retro booth in the starkly lit dining area at this pizza cafe, or order takeout (and play Pac-Man while you wait). It serves reasonable fresh-dough pizzas, plus salads, burgers, pasta and sub sandwiches. Telephone: 808 553 3288 Web: Molokai Pizza Cafe
Best Molokai Tours & Activities
Best Molokai Nightlife
The spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar hosts predominantly local acts onstage most nights and Sunday afternoons, when Na Ohana Aloha plays Hawaiian music at 3pm. For the later shows, you’ll hear classic and contemporary Hawaiian music, country, even jazz, usually 6:30 to 8:30pm; some nights, a disco DJ or karaoke will keep the party going until midnight. Telephone: 808 553 3300 Web: Paddler’s Inn
Hiro’s Ohana Grill
Most nights of the week, Hawaiian music enlivens Hiro’s Ohana Grill, the oceanfront/poolside bar and restaurant at Hotel Molokai. On Thursdays, live music (plus the prime rib) bring in a crowd. Telephone: 808 660 3400 Web: Hiro’s Ohana Grill
I was to Molokai a few years ago, and I loved it so much that I plan another trip. But this time I want to do other activities and spend time in a different hotel:). Napili Kai beach resort is beautiful, and the ratings are pretty high. An Helicoptere tour would be so much fun! I won’t miss this one when I get there.
Thanks a lot for this useful guide!
You are very welcome Daniella!
I had no idea that Hawaii had a 5th island and it is really a sweet feel to encounter your post because just yesterday I was saying to my man that we should explore Hawaii for a getaway and then I tour into your site (which I bookmarked a while back because it is the most comprehensive travel site I have seen recently) and here I am provided a wealth of information and knowledge to exactly that which I am seeking for myself and my family. So many wonderful resources here and the retro pizza cafe is something the three of us dynamic individuals in my family can agree upon! Thanks Leahrae!
You are very welcome Bex! Thanks for taking the time to leave me comments and I am glad you enjoyed my Molokai Travel guide.
OMG. The waters are so blue in Molokai. I’m used to Coney Island water in NYC (ouch). I’m not a swimmer, but I can appreciate beautiful water. As a foodie, I’d be more interested in Paddler’s Inn. The price, at $11 – 30 is certainly reasonable. I’m surprised it’s one of the few restaurants that serves alcohol. Why is that? I would imagine that people going on vacation to Hawaii, would have access to lots of alcoholic beverages. The menu is to die for – beef noodle soup, kalua pork sliders. Yum.
Oh boy! Coney Island water sounds cold! I live on the gulf side of Florida and our waters never get that cold…well pretty much above 60 in the winter. I’m not sure why, but you won’t find many places on Molokai that serves alcohol. For me, this is okay. Glad you enjoyed my Molokai Travel Guide.
Well this makes my girlfriend and I want to pack our bags and hop over to Hawaii! We’ve never been to Molokai! Based on your article I think we will love it. Molokai seems to be a great place to visit, small, calm, and I guess people there are opened minded and friendly.
I am sure you would love it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Hi, I haven’t yet been to Hawaii but it is on my list. I guess like many others who haven’t been there my image of Hawai is shaped by Hollywood. It is interesting that most of what we see about Hawaii paints a sort of antiseptic scene of manicured beaches and gardens and massive sprawling resorts where the intention is that the guest hardly has to venture out of unless on organized and extra charged day trips. That kind of vacation is definitely not my cup of tea, having always organized my trips myself. Having read your post I would definitely consider going to Molokai instead of Maui. Best regards, Andy
Yes, I think you would prefer Molokai and enjoy it !
This is a wonderful collection of travel ideas for a trip to Molokai. I’m planning a trip to Hawaii again soon. I’ve been to Maui and the Big Island, but Molokai looks like it might have even more dramatic landscapes than the other islands that I’ve explored. I love that Hawaii’s climate makes it a perfect destination no matter what time of year that you prefer to travel!
Yep, agreed Aly and you will enjoy 🙂 thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Thank you for the breath taking post. After months of lock down and a lot of pressure and stress that came with a pandemic I bet these views are what I need. I would have never known of this beautiful Molokai island . Will sure put it on my to travel list.
Ok, and now that we have the vaccine, I see light at the end of the tunnel for traveling 🙂 Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Wow, Molokai is such a beautiful place. My wife and I visited Maui about 20 years ago. We were supposed to go back this year for our 20th anniversary. But with everything on shut down, it did not happen. I remember Maui being the most beautiful place, but when we make our new plans, I am going to put Molokai as a must-visit. Thank you for sharing and I hope to come to see Hawaii again sooner than later.
Maui is close to Molokai, so you could enjoy both on your vacation. I think safe travels will be coming soon!
Thank you for sharing your information. I really love the niche that you advertise on your website and until now, Hawaii has never been that high on my list of places to visit, but your page is really informative.
Molokai seems to have plenty of activity and stunning beaches, but is it cheaper compared to the other beach destinations in the United States?
Glad you enjoyed Joe. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve spent some time in Maui and loved it, but I think you have influenced my destination for the next Hawaii Trip. Molokai looks very intriguing and beautiful. Waialua Beach Park looks like a great place for snorkeling or diving. I’m assuming there are plenty of dive shops to get in a few dives. Let’s hope travel conditions improve soon so we can begin exploring again. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, conditions will improve! I am glad you enjoyed Mike. Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.
Wow, molokai is such a beautiful place to visit! At this time of pandemic, travel is so unlimited, so it makes me happy seeing beautiful places even just virtually. Is molokai a family friendly place (with kids and toddlers) to visit? Or is it more for couples and group of friends?
After this pandemic, we should all go out for a vacation to refresh our minds and souls. The vacation doesn’t have to be expensive, but it would be super nice if it would be molokai, or a place as beautiful as this island.
Yes I agree! Glad you enjoyed your digital visit to my Molokai Travel Guide.
I have always dreamed of going to Hawaii, with my 10th anniversary coming up it’s the perfect excuse. However, with the current pandemic, it’s going to have to remain part of my dreams for the foreseeable future.
Molokai looks beautiful and the beaches look amazing. This is definitely one of my top places to visit. I love beaches which have a mountain view behind! Beautiful!
It would be a great destination for a 10th wedding anniversary! It is beautiful for sure. Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Thank you for sharing about Molokai, I know I can always count on you when it comes to beach destination. It is getting colder in NY and the holiday season is coming soon so it is a perfect time for me to plan my travel now. Waialua beach park is definitely a place that I want to visit. The water looks so nice. Murphy’s beach is also another good choice. I would love to go for a helicopter tour, the scene must be breathtaking. Thanks again for the itinerary.
Oh yes, the helicopter tour is a must! Please let me know if you need any additional information!
OMG! I’ve never been to Hawaii before but your description of Molokai just made my day! Without the quarantine I’d probably be booking a flight right now…LOL. I really liked the fact that you went into details from the beaches, the activities and attractions, and even the hotels to stay while we are there! I wish you success for your website because it’s really well put, nice and professional. I hope to read more from you in the future.
Thank you so much Elodie. I am glad you enjoyed and I look forward to more visits from you. You’ll find plenty of great destinations to include Molokai! Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.