Our First Impressions of Molokai

Our First Impressions of Molokai

Single file, we unload the small propeller plane and cross the tarmac towards the airport terminal. There are no fresh flower lei’s waiting for us. No big Welcome signs from hotels or cruise operators. No pushy taxi drivers or touts.

It’s refreshing, but it does not feel like the Hawaii we see pictured on the walls of travel agencies across the globe.

The airport is small and simple.

There is no line up at the Alamo kiosk, we are the only one’s picking up a rental car at this hour. The process is easy but slow. But we’re not in a hurry. We’re excited to be walking on the island we’ve heard so many great things about.

We collect our luggage from the open-air baggage claim, a stainless steel table with a capacity of 20 suitcases. Only minutes after our arrival, we find ourselves alone. It doesn’t take long for this tiny Hawaiian airport to clear out.

Sunset, Molokai, Hawaii

As we drive towards the town of Kaunakakai we can’t help but notice all of the stars in the sky. It’s dark outside. The kind of thick darkness you only find in very remote places. There are no bright lights, no traffic lights, no neon signs.

This island is different. It’s quiet and unpretentious.

Feeling lost, we stop the car and check the road map for directions. There are no visible landmarks or towering hotels to guide us. Fortunately for us, there are only a few main roads on the island, making it difficult to get lost.

Molokai Burger, Hawaii

Hungry from a full day of traveling, we stop at the infamous Molokai Burger, one of the few dining options in Kaunakakai (and the island for that matter). Even though this burger joint is located on the town’s main intersection, we only see a dozen vehicles pass by.

It’s a big change from neighbouring Maui and Oahu.

Surrounded by sparkling stars and chirping creatures of the night, we enjoy our greasy burgers on the restaurant’s outside patio and try to capture our first impressions of Molokai.

Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Molokai, Hawaii
It’s too early to form an opinion, but we like how the island makes us feel. The cool tropical breeze feels nice. We feel the big city stress wash away, replaced by calm and curiousity.

As we so often do, we start to compare Molokai to other destinations we’ve visited. We agree that it feels like a diverse combination of Easter Island, Belize and Grand Cayman Island.

Proudly labeled as The Most Hawaiian Island and The Friendly Island, we begin to understand all that we’ve read about Molokai. It’s not touristy or overdeveloped, it’s humble and pure. It’s unlike any other destination we’ve visited and we’re thrilled about that.

We’re excited to be here, and we can’t wait to find out what tomorrow will bring!


Have you visited the Hawaiian Island of Molokai?
What did you think? What were your first impressions?
Share your experience in the comments section below, we’d love to read about it!


A big thank you to the good people at the Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau for hosting us and introducing us to the beautiful island of Molokai!

About Traveling Canucks

Cam and Nicole Wears are family travel bloggers who live in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for travel and outdoor adventure has lead them to over 70+ countries on 6 continents in the past 10 years. Learn more about their story here. Follow them on Instagram and subscribe to their monthly newsletter.