Kaunakakai Travel Guide

  • Kaunakakai
    by Assenczo
  • Kaunakakai
    by Assenczo
  • Things to Do
    by Assenczo

Kaunakakai Things to Do

  • Outriggers' passions

    Canoeing is the rage in Hawaii. Rooted in the best maritime tradition of the Polynesians who used to plough the waves of the Pacific from one end to the other, competitions highlight teamwork and strength in a quest for speedy moves across the water. On weekends a visitor might end up seeing a race in the bay of Kaunakakai that has gathered the...

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  • There's not really a whole lot...

    There's not really a whole lot to see or do. If you have a car, you can drive the island, but that will only take a few hours. Go to the lookout on the northern end of the island that overlooks Kalaupapa. Somewhere near there is the 'fertility rock' in all its oversized phallic glory, and it supposedly helps couples who want to get pregnant reach...

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  • Kaunakakai Hotels

    13 Hotels in Kaunakakai

    73 Reviews and Opinions

Kaunakakai Hotels

Kaunakakai Restaurants

  • by kahiwa Updated Oct 4, 2002

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    Kaunakakai is a very small town. The favorite restaurant in town is the Midnight Inn, but don't expect luxury. It is a small family restaurant with good food.
    There's no special atmosphere, just a good informal local place to eat.

    Favorite Dish: They have several 'specialties', so just ask what they would recommend. The fish is usually fresh, based on what was caught recently.

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Kaunakakai Nightlife

  • by kahiwa Written Oct 4, 2002

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    When you get there, you may find one or two spots that have local entertainment, such as someone with a guitar who sings. Don't look for big name acts or big productions. This is Molokai. You may find a bar or two to spend time in. Otherwise, have dinner, watch the sunset, enjoy your evening with good conversation or a good book.

    Dress Code: The dress code for the entire island is very casual. There rarely is a reason to get dressed up, unless you're going to attend someone's wedding or something like that, and even then you're not expected to dress up.

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Kaunakakai Transportation

  • by kahiwa Written Oct 4, 2002

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    You can get to Molokai via any commercial or private airline. Small planes often cost a lot less, and are quite cost effective if you're not afraid of prop planes. The two major local airlines, Aloha Airlines (via Aloha Island Air) and Hawaiian Airlines, fly there regularly, but use smaller planes.
    When you land, get your luggage from the cart. You can watch the airline guy unload the plane and wheel the luggage over to you.

    There are several car rental agencies at the airport, but I would recommend making reservations. There are usually shuttles available from the hotels, if you call in advance and let them know you need a ride. I would recommend getting a car if you intend to drive around a bit.

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Kaunakakai Local Customs

  • by kahiwa Written Oct 4, 2002

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    Kaunakakai is a small town. Everyone knows everyone else. Just respect the people, and they will respect you. Get to know them, ask questions, and get the local perspective. Try not to complain about there not being anything to do. That's why you go there in the first place. If you're bored, get on a plane and leave.

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Kaunakakai Warnings and Dangers

  • by kahiwa Written Oct 4, 2002

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    While this is the kind of town where most people don't ever lock their doors, it is not recommended that you let your guard down completely. Crime will happen anywhere you allow the opportunity, so just keep an eye on your belongings and don't tempt someone to steal your things. It is fairly safe to walk around at night, but there's really not a whole lot of places to walk to. Be careful, since there aren't a whole lot of sidewalks, and drivers at night may not see you. Be careful of loose dogs and such as well. Try not to take unnecessary risks when in the ocean or hiking on trails. Make sure someone knows where you went and when you're expected back so they can send help if you need it.

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Kaunakakai What to Pack

  • by kahiwa Written Oct 4, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: Pack light. If you're taking a commercial plane, you can pack what you like. If you're taking a small propellor plane, your luggage is limited to what can fit in the luggage area. Ask if you have bulky items.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack very casual clothes. Bathing suit(s), slippers (flip-flops, go aheads, whatever you call those things), reef walking shoes or sneakers, shorts, t-shirts, etc. Don't forget your hat and sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, film, etc. Bring a good book, your sketch pad, or whatever or hobby is that can be packed easily. Fishing gear can be brought, or you can purchase it at the fishing supply store in town.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring your medicines, especially if it's something unusual. It may not be carried on island, then they may have to send for it and you not only will have to wait, you'll have to pay the cost as well.

    Basic toiletries can be purchased at the grocery store.

    Photo Equipment: Yes, bring your camera(s) and film. You can buy film there, but it may be a bit more expensive. Same for batteries and such.

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Kaunakakai Off The Beaten Path

  • by kahiwa Updated Oct 4, 2002

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    Two things come to mind. First, visit the Kunimitsu Bakery if you'd like a treat. Locals will often get in their car and drive to the bakery at 11 p.m. to get the fresh bread that just came out of the oven. What else is there to do at night? The bakery is located right in town, across the street from the Misaki Grocery Store (which carries a little of everything), which is right next door to the Midnight Inn.

    Second, if you're into hiking, consider taking a day to walk down the trail from the top of the cliffs down into Kalaupapa town. You can spend the day, visit the visitor center and shop, get a tour, etc., then hike back up before night fall. You cannot stay overnight without a local resident sponsoring you. The hike down the trail takes about a half hour for the avid hiker, and about an hour to an hour and a half back up. You can gauge the time based on your fitness level. The trails is not straight down the cliff face. The cliff is so sheer that the trail (actually a mule trail) zigzags back and forth across the face of the cliff via 26 switchbacks. Hiking is somewhat of a chore, since a mule step is a bit bigger and higher than a human, so you're following the trail the mules made. You can take the mule ride down the cliff and back up, but it costs over $100, and your time in Kalaupapa is limited to lunch and a little bit of sightseeing.

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Kaunakakai Favorites

  • I grew up in Hawaii and did...

    I grew up in Hawaii and did not visit Molokai until many years later. It is, as they say, the most Hawaiian of the Islands. It is the least visited, always has been and I hope for the sake of the people there that it remains that way. ..............The song that you're listening to is LEI ALOHA and has special meaning to those of us who...

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  • Get to know some of the local...

    Get to know some of the local people. Take the time to unwind, relax, and find out how people live at a slower pace. When I visited Kaunakakai, we went fishing just offshore in a small fishing boat. There were four of us, plus the 'captain', who kept trolling the boat back and forth over the rocks. Our friends in other boats came back after the 3...

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