Mellow Out On Molokai

The island's easy-going pace lets clients savor its riches By: Marty Wentzel
1. Get buzzed at Coffees of Hawaii // © 2011 Coffees of Hawaii
1. Get buzzed at Coffees of Hawaii // © 2011 Coffees of Hawaii

More Images

Fly High At Big Wind Kite Factory // © 2011 Molokai Visitors Bureau
2. Fly High At Big Wind Kite Factory // © 2011 Molokai Visitors Bureau

Enjoy Aloha at Hotel Molokai // © 2011 Aqua Hotels & Resorts
3. Enjoy Aloha at Hotel Molokai // © 2011 Aqua Hotels & Resorts

Make A run for hot bread // © 2011 crispyterikayi
4. Make A run for hot bread // © 2011 crispyterikayi
Molokai is a land of natural superlatives. It's home to the world's highest sea cliffs, Hawaii's longest continuous fringing reef and one of the largest white-sand beaches in Hawaii. But it doesn't flaunt its riches. Instead, this rural and unassuming island drifts quietly alongside its more cosmopolitan neighbor of Maui, extending a hand of aloha when visitors come to call.

Reputed as the birthplace of the hula, Molokai is immersed in Hawaiian culture, and local traditions take precedence over modern glitz and glamor. If clients are looking for life in the slow lane and a heavy dose of aloha spirit, then here's an itinerary for them.  

1. Get Buzzed at Coffees of Hawaii

In the same fertile upcountry soil that once grew sweet potatoes, this 600-acre spread now thrives with coffee. Clients can join the fun, educational Morning Espresso Tour -- led by a guide who really knows the scoop -- and learn about coffee farming, processing, milling and roasting. Between September and January, visitors can even see the harvest under way. After the tour, they should visit the on-site espresso bar and deli, where they can pick up lunch or provisions for a picnic.
1630 Farrington Ave., Kualapuu.
www.coffeesofhawaii.com

2. Fly High At Big Wind Kite Factory

In the tiny plantation town of Maunaloa on the island's west side awaits Big Wind Kite Factory, an island fixture since 1980. It's run by Jonathan and Daphne Socher, whose kites and windsocks are handmade in the back room. The air toys sport a wide range of designs, from hula girls to dolphins. After a factory tour, clients can stick around for a free kite-flying lesson and, then, browse the adjacent plantation gallery, which displays and sells exotic treasures.
120 Maunaloa Hwy., Maunaloa.
www.bigwindkites.com

3. Enjoy Aloha at Hotel Molokai

Every weeknight at this longtime island haunt, local entertainers play live music in an open-air oceanside restaurant and bar. Locals turn out for the Aloha Friday Sunset Celebration for its live music, hula dancing, torch lighting and arts and crafts. Everyone's welcome to join in on the jam session until 6 p.m., after which a local band plays tunes for dancing under the stars. The hotel also hosts a hula show on the third Wednesday of each month.
Kamehameha V Hwy., Kaunakakai.
www.hotelmolokai.com

4. Make a Run for Hot Bread
Molokai's cure for the late-night munchies starts at 10 p.m. when folks walk down a dark alley to the back door of Kanemitsu Bakery, run by the same family for nine decades. They knock on the door and order bread that's right out of the oven. Next comes the reward: a steaming loaf split open and spread with jelly, cream cheese, butter, cinnamon or sugar. It's a mouthwatering treat and an experience found nowhere else.
79 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai.
808-553-5855
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