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Historic Places

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Molokaʻi Historic Places

With a high percentage of Molokaʻi’s population being of Native Hawaiian descent, it’s no wonder why Molokaʻi is sometimes known as the “most Hawaiian Island.” A visit here is like a journey into Hawaiʻi’s past, where historic spots can be discovered today, looking much like they did hundreds of years ago.

Kalaupapa National Historic Park

Here on this isolated and serene peninsula along Molokaʻi’s rugged north coast, victims of Hansen’s disease were forced into isolation from 1866 to 1969. Yet Saint Damien and Saint Marianne's selfless devotion to treating the people of Kalaupapa has become legendary. In October 2009, Saint Damien was ordained a saint in Rome posthumously and Saint Marianne was canonized posthumously in 2012. Take a memorable mule ride from 1,700 feet to the seaside Kalaupapa National Historical Park, one of the most remote settlements in Hawaiʻi.

Molokaʻi Heritage Site

Molokaʻi is home to one Heritage Site of Hawaiʻi. Kalaupapa Lookout at the Pālāʻau State Park is an overlook that features an amazing view of Molokaʻi’s north coast and Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

Hawaiian Fishponds

Molokaʻi has many well-preserved Hawaiian fishponds along 20 miles of its south shore, most built 700–800 years ago. Ancient Hawaiians practiced a very sophisticated form of aquaculture, building some 60 rock-wall fishponds along the south shore. East of Kaunakakai is Aliʻi Fishpond, one of the finest examples of early Hawaiian ingenuity.

Hālawa Valley

One of the oldest known Hawaiian settlements on Molokaʻi was in Hālawa Valley, an area you can still explore today. Take a guided hike into this cathedral valley, blessed with beautiful vistas and towering waterfalls. Legends say some of the first Polynesian voyagers landed in their canoes at the mouth of the valley.


King Kamehameha V built a vacation home in this sleepy town and planted the Kapuāiwa Coconut Grove in the 1860s. Kapuāiwa Coconut Beach Park is one of Molokaʻi’s most recognizable natural landmarks, while One Aliʻi Beach Park was once a favorite of Hawaiian royalty.

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