You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
February 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Has Maui gotten too commercial? Is Lanai a secret treasure? Is Oahu tops because of the surfer’s paradise on the North Shore?
Northwest Traveler is starting every week with a new topic in our Monday Survey, and this week Hawaii-loving readers responded with their views on the best islands of aloha.
Now, it’s time for the rest of you to commit. Slather on the Hawaiian Tropic 50SPF (ah, that piña colada scent) and step up to the little grass shack of a voting booth:
January 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM
Getting to and from the Hawaiian island of Molokai truly was half the fun.
I flew on Mokulele Airlines to and from Molokai via Honolulu on a tiny 9-passenger Cessna prop plane. Baggage-checking and baggage claim takes about one minute and passengers stroll across the Tarmac to clamber aboard.
Every seat is a window seat and passengers are seated by weight (yes, the check-in agent asks or weighs you so they can balance the plane). The pilot just swivels in his seat to give the safety instructions and then the little plane takes off with dazzling views of the shorelines and a humpback whale spouting in the ocean.
Everyone knows someone on the plane since Molokai is like a small town with just 7,500 residents.
On one of the flights a passenger pulls out her ukulele and starts strumming and singing a lilting Hawaiian song. She switches to Beatles’ songs and all the passengers, and the pilot, cheerfully sing along on the half-hour flight. Best in-flight entertainment ever.
January 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM
The road to the isolated, undeveloped east tip of the Hawaiian island of Molokai is one of the most gorgeous roads I’ve ever driven. And, for a paved road, its last eight miles are the narrowest and most twisting I’ve driven.
The road hangs off steep cliffs above the ocean, squeezes around dozens of blind hairpin curves and is just one lane wide, with wider spots every so often for passing. It makes Maui’s twisting road to Hana seem like a freeway, although that route is far longer.
The Molokai road is very fun to drive in a challenging way (although not for anyone who gets car sick). Thankfully, there’s little traffic; on my afternoon drive I met only one other car.
Even if the road conditions didn’t make you drive really slowly, the views would. Waves churn over dark rocks. Maui rises majestically across a sparkling channel. And the road ends in the idyllic Halawa valley, a half-mile wide valley with almost sheer sides and a waterfall tumbling down hundreds of feet. A tiny wood-frame church and a few simple houses are tucked among the lush greenery near a crescent of sandy beach.
Wade across a shallow stream to the beach. Sit, wade (it’s often too rough for much swimming), soak up the beauty. Then enjoy the lovely and winding drive home.
January 16, 2013 at 8:00 AM
I arrived on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, during a week-long trip in the islands, just in time for a three-hour-long torrential rainstorm that had everyone talking and splashing through deep puddles. But today the sun was back, the Seattle-like gloom gone and the island sparkling again from its thickly forested 4,000-foot ridges to the sweeping, arid grazing land that undulates down to the ocean.
Molokai is one of the least developed of the Hawaiian islands, a place with no big resorts and not even a stoplight on the island of 7,500 residents. The locals guard their Hawaiian heritage and lifestyle passionately, and hand-lettered signs in front of houses and along roads protest everything from proposed luxury housing at a remote point of land to a big wind-farm power development. Sometimes it feels like another country, which indeed Hawaii was before the U.S. annexed it in 1898.
Molokai isn’t the island for everyone. There are no resorts, no fancy hotels or trendy bars or gourmet restaurants. But you get a taste of what Hawaiian life used to be.
January 15, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Forget the mai tai at an outdoors bar, forget the sunset on the beach. A heavy rainstorm swept across the Hawaiian islands Monday, drenching both Honolulu and the small island of Molokai where I’m staying. I scurried back to my room and climbed under the covers to warm up for the evening.
On Molokai, locals welcomed the rain. “We need it,” said Dathan Bicoy, the operations manager for the vast Molokai Ranch where its more than 50,000 acres had been parched brown by an ongoing drought. Almost two inches was expected to fall in some spots in the day, and flash flood warnings were issued.
For bedraggled tourists, few of whom bring rain jackets with them, it was too much of a good thing. They splashed grimly through puddles and huddled in the few shops in Molokai’s one-street main town, glumly watching the downpour. In Honolulu, where traffic snarled in the storm, Seattleites would have been right at home in the city’s rain-sodden streets, as a Hawaii news video shows.
Trending with readers