Molokai Travel Guide

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!

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

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Papohaku Beach

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.



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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.




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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.



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Murphy's Beach

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.



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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 Tours & Activities by Viator

West Maui and Molokai Exclusive 45-Minute Helicopter Tour

On this exclusive helicopter tour of Maui, soar past valleys and hidden waterfalls that are inaccessible by land, and hover above ridgelines that sit at the heart of the rugged West Maui mountains. Cross the channel to neighboring Molokai, where vertical sea cliffs spill 4,000 feet to the turbid shoreline below, and get up-close views of a part of the world that has barely been touch by man. Learn more about the West Maui & Molokai Exclusive 45-Minute Helicopter Tour.

Molokai & Maui Helicopter Tour

Soar above two scenic Hawaiian Islands on a helicopter tour of Maui and Molokai from Kahalui. Watch surfers riding Maui’s breaking waves as you fly towards Molokai’s sheer coastal cliffs, capture aerial images of Kahiwa Falls and the isolated North Shore, then turn towards the emerald green Halawa Valley. Watch for whales and dolphins as you cross Pailolo channel, swoop over Maui’s lush rainforest canopy and explore Iao Valley State Park, then enjoy views of Honokohau Falls and Haleakala volcano on your return flight to Kahalui. Learn more about the Molokai & Maui Helicopter Tour.

West Maui and Molokai 60-minute Helicopter Tour

This Maui helicopter tour is packed with jaw-dropping sights, from waterfalls tumbling through hidden valleys to the tallest sea cliffs of Earth. During this Maui helicopter tour of the West Maui Mountains and Molokai, visitors will soar above mist shrouded ridgelines that are covered in native ferns, and get bird’s eye views of parts of the island that are only accessible by air. Crane your neck up as a 1,100-foot (335-meter) waterfall spills all the way down towards the sea, or casually look down as the blue Pacific rolls right underneath your feet. Learn more about the West End & Molokai 60-minute Helicopter Tour.

Molokai Topside Explorer Air and Ground Tour from Maui

Molokai is one of the lesser-visited of the Hawaiian Islands. You can experience its lush landscapes and find out why it is known as the “friendly isle” on this air and ground day tour from Maui. Take in the view as you soar over Hawaii's largest coral reef and the tallest sea cliffs in the world on the flight across the Pailolo Channel. Upon landing, explore Molokai's attractions on a guided tour that takes you to the Purdy Macadamia Nut Farm, Coconut Grove, the Molokai Museum, and Kaunakakai town. Learn more about the Molokai Topside Explorer Air & Ground Tour from Maui.

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 Nightlife

Paddler's Inn

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

Best Molokai Hotels


  1. Mike Yardley

    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!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, conditions will improve!  I am glad you enjoyed Mike.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

  2. Julai

    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.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes I agree!  Glad you enjoyed your digital visit to my Molokai Travel Guide.

  3. Hollie Rose

    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!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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.  

  4. Nuttanee

    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. 

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh yes, the helicopter tour is a must!  Please let me know if you need any additional information!

  5. angelce903

    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.


    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      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.


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