5 Best Sights in West Molokai, Molokai

Papohaku Beach

Fodor's choice

One of the most sensational beaches in Hawaii, Papohaku is a three-mile-long strip of white sand, the longest of its kind on the Island. There's so much sand here that Honolulu once purchased bargeloads of the stuff to replenish Waikiki Beach. A shady beach park just inland is the site of the Ka Hula Piko Festival, held each year in May. The park is also a great sunset-facing spot for a rustic afternoon barbecue. A park ranger patrols the area periodically.  Swimming is not recommended, except on exceptionally calm summer days, as there's a dangerous undertow.Amenities: showers; toilets. Best for: sunset; walking.


Although the mid-1970s Kaluakoi Hotel and Golf Club is closed and forlorn, some nice condos and a gift shop are operating nearby. Kepuhi Beach, the white-sand beach along the coast, is worth a visit.

Kapukahehu Bay

This sandy protected cove is usually completely deserted on weekdays but can fill up when the surf is up. The water in the cove is clear and shallow with plenty of well-worn rocky areas. These conditions make for excellent snorkeling, swimming, and body boarding on calm days. Locals like to surf in a break called Dixie's or Dixie Maru. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling; surfing; swimming.

End of Kaluakoi Rd., Maunaloa, HI, 96770, USA

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Kepuhi Beach

The Kaluakoi Hotel is closed, but its half mile of ivory sand is still accessible. The beach shines against the turquoise sea, black outcroppings of lava, and magenta bougainvillea blossoms. When the sea is perfectly calm, lava ridges in the water make good snorkeling spots. With any surf at all, however, the water around these rocky places churns and foams, wiping out visibility and making it difficult to avoid being slammed into the jagged rocks. Stick to the northern part of the beach to avoid as many of the rocks as possible. If the surf is too big for snorkeling, there's a nice bench up the path that lets you relax and take it all in. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling; walking.

Kaluakoi Rd., Maunaloa, HI, 96770, USA


Built in 1923, this quiet community at the western end of the highway once housed workers for the Island's pineapple plantation. Many businesses have closed, but it's the last place you can buy supplies when exploring the nearby beaches. If you're in the neighborhood, stop at Maunaloa's Big Wind Kite Factory. You'll want to talk with Uncle Jonathan, who has been making and flying kites here for more than three decades. There's not much in Maunaloa anymore, but it's not every day that you can see something this close to a ghost town.