Molokai Historic Sites | Go Hawaii

Historic Places

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Molokai Historic Places

With a high percentage of Molokai’s population being of Native Hawaiian descent, it’s no wonder why Molokai is sometimes known as the “most Hawaiian Island.” A visit here is like a journey into Hawaii’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 Molokai’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 Hawaii.

Molokai Heritage Site

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

Hawaiian Fishponds

Molokai 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 Alii Fishpond, one of the finest examples of early Hawaiian ingenuity.

Halawa Valley

One of the oldest known Hawaiian settlements on Molokai was in Halawa 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 Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove in the 1860s. Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park is one of Molokai’s most recognizable natural landmarks, while One Alii Beach Park was once a favorite of Hawaiian royalty.

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