Molokai has remained undeveloped and is the most “Hawaiian” of the main Hawaii islands. For years the island has remained something of a mystery to rest of the United States and even somewhat mysterious to residents of Hawaii. Residents of Molokai have resisted attempts to dramatically increase tourism. In 2008 what was then the island’s largest employer decided to shut all operations including hotels, the movie theater, restaurants, and the golf course.
As a result, Molokai isn’t the place to go if you are looking to be entertained. In fact just the opposite. If you are looking to get away from tourist traps, crowds, and well, even stop lights, Molokai is your destination.
National Geographic Traveler magazine and the National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations conduct annual Destination Scorecard surveys, aided by George Washington University. In 2007, a panel of 522 experts in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship reviewed 111 selected human-inhabited islands and archipelagos around the world. Molokaʻi ranked 10th among the 111 locales. The survey cited Molokaʻi’s pristine, breathtaking tropical landscape, environmental stewardship, rich and deep Hawaiian traditions (the island’s mana), and visitor-friendly culture. The neighbor islands Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu, ranked 50, 61, 81 and 104, respectively. Tahiti ranked 57.
Does this sound like what you’re looking for? Then consider a vacation rental on Molokai. Believe it or not there are places to stay. Cottage rentals abound and modern deluxe oceanfront accommodations are available at Wavecrest Resort on the east end of the island. These luxury 1 and 2 bedroom condos are available for nightly rentals and many units have ocean front views across the Molokai channel toward Maui.