The Holoholo Guide to Moloka‘i
It’s one of the least developed Hawaiian islands, but Moloka‘i is also packed with adventure and beauty.
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Teri Waros is the patron saint of visitors to Moloka‘i. She’ll get you sorted with a cup of coffee and advice on where to go and who to seek out. Her bookshelves teem with rare volumes, fine art, toys and jewelry. Occasionally local musicians drop in to serenade her and her lucky customers.
64 Ala Mālama Ave., Kaunakakai, (808) 553-5112, molokaispirit.com
Three local mothers launched this studio and shop, where they silkscreen pareos and pillows with luscious prints inspired by native trees, shellfish and birds.
At Holomua Junction 2130 Maunaloa Highway, Kaunakakai, kupuaemolokai.com, (808) 646-1504
Big Wind Kite Factory
The old Maunaloa plantation town has an abandoned feel, which makes this colorful shop all the more of an anomaly. Find the owners’ handmade kites tucked in amid Tibetan antiquities, wacky postcards and Hawaiian folklore.
120 Maunaloa Highway, Maunaloa, (808) 552-2364
Moloka‘i Fish & Dive
Book a scuba dive or whale watch tour here, then shop for locally designed T-shirts, books and straw hats.
53 Ala Mālama Ave., Kaunakakai, molokaifishanddive.com, (808) 553-5926
Ali‘i and Kaloko‘eli Fishponds
Moloka‘i is renowned for its fishponds, which decorate the coastline like necklaces. Ali‘i and Kaloko‘eli are historic landmarks, evidence of advanced aquaculture dating back to the 14th century. Volunteers restore the fishponds’ rock walls, repair the sluice gates and remove invasive species. Lend a hand:
kahonuamomona.org, (808) 553-8353
Nearby the Kalaupapa Overlook, a short hike takes you to a large phallus-shaped rock. To this day, women bring offerings and spend the night here in hopes of conceiving a child.
Pala‘au State Park, top of Kalae Highway
Learn about the island’s colorful plantation era at this small museum and restored sugar mill.
Kalae Highway near mile marker 4, (808) 567-6436
Stop by the Moloka‘i Museum for some plantation history.
Stop and smell the plumerias at this farm.
Photo: Shannon Wianecki
Hit up Molokai Plumeria Farm for fresh flower lei on the way to the airport. The perfumed orchard boasts many varieties of plumeria, ranging from yellow to magenta. If you have time, stay for a short tour and workshop (available with advance notice for $25). You might be surprised by how much you’ll learn.
molokaiplumerias.com,1342 Maunaloa Highway, Kaunakakai, (808) 553-3391
Pacifica Hawai‘i Salt
For centuries Hawaiians have harvested pa‘akai (sea salt) from crevices carved into lava rock. In 1901, the Kaunakakai salt works supplied Moloka‘i and the Mainland. Nearly 100 years later, Nancy Gove revived the industry, producing locally harvested, gourmet sea salts in eight flavors including black lava (mixed with charcoal) and alaea (red clay).
Moloka‘i Muleskinner Coffee
A bag of Moloka‘i Muleskinner coffee makes a great gift.
1630 Farrington Ave., Kualapu‘u, (808) 567-9490, coffeesofhawaii.com
“Wouldn’t you rather be riding a mule on Moloka‘i?” If you can find one of these classic bumper stickers, nab it!