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Gay Hawaii Molokai is your travel guide to the very best that this Most Hawaiian Place has to offer the LGBT traveler: stunning empty romantic Molokai beaches, secluded hotels, and plenty of peace and quiet.

Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Gay Molokai

Your guide to the garden isle’s travel bargains, as well as all the very best that Molokai has to offer the LGBT traveler

Molokai Distances and Drive Times

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Well, yeah, sort of.

In the 19th century, white Christian missionaries came to Hawaii to "convert" the pure and natural native peoples, and systematically destroy their culture. Missionaries feared their religious ideals were threatened by the existence of any culture that did not share them.

The missionary-saviours decided that nudity, the hula, Hawaiian religious beliefs, the Hawaiian language, Hawaiian history and all other native "perversions of God's true way" had to go.

Also terminated were gatherings expressly organized for the purpose of oral history-telling, crucial to the survival of a culture with no written language.

Hawaiians never had a problem accepting their gay brothers and sisters, but the missionaries set out to change this too. The gay Hawaiians, or mahu as they are called, looked on with dismay as their straight bretheren meekly submitted to cultural suicide and bought into the missionaries' twisted dogma that branded Hawaiians as sinners. The mahu decided that they would take it upon themselves to keep as much Hawaiian culture alive as possible in secret --most importantly, the hula.

When Hawaiian culture was outlawed, the mahu gathered clandestinely and continued to celebrate time honored Hawaiian ways, including relating oral history and performing and teaching, the hula. The mahu kept ancient Hawaiian ways alive and vibrant, while the more submissive non-mahu Hawaiians stood by as the missionaries --many of whom became wealthy businessmen upon realizing the power they wielded over the native peoples-- acquired or were gifted land, destroyed enormous chunks of Hawaiian culture, and defiled Hawaiian spiritual beliefs.

When I arrived on Molokai the first time, I was a little taken aback when, as I ate lunch at the Molokai Pizza Cafe, a very fashionable, well dressed drag queen with fabulous makeup strolled in with two little kids and ordered a sit-down lunch. Now, boys and girls, Molokai only has a population of about 5000 people, and the fashion of choice is the unisex-baggy-T shirt-and-wrinkled-baggy-shorts-look, smartly accessorized with $2 rubber flip-flops. Molokai has few tourists, and lots of the local guys are preoccupied with being very macho, so to see this in broad daylight really took me aback.

Nobody but me even looked twice at her.

That evening I went to dinner at the Oceanside Restaurant (now called Hula Shores) at the Hotel Molokai where I was staying. The place was crowded, people ate and drank as the sun set and the last rays lit the island of Lanai across the channel. "May I take your order?", boomed a big butch voice. I looked up to see my waitress, all 6'2' of her, decked out in full drag, looking very little like a real woman. I was a bit startled, since in all my years visiting Maui and Kauai, the Big Island and Oahu, the only drag I'd ever seen was in big city Honolulu...but on tiny Molokai?

I looked around. ALL three of the waitresses were in drag, and I watched the faces of the customers --mostly tourists-- to see what their reaction would be as they met their waitress for the first time. I was amazed to see nobody react. Either they were so dense that they assumed their server was just a very large, overly made up, extremely fashionable local gal ...or they just weren't fazed by it.

There are no gay beaches on Molokai to speak of, mostly because you’ll rarely see any people, straight or gay. We have visited virtually every beach on Molokai, a couple of them 8 or 9 times, and it’s unusual to see anyone on the beach during the week at all, period. If you are traveling with someone you are intimate with, or you meet someone in town, there are a lot of Molokai beaches where you can be totally alone. The most isolated of these (because they are on private Molokai Ranch-lands) are in the southwest corner of the island.

Other beaches, even the very public and mammoth Papohaku Beach Park, just south of the Kaluakoi resort can be totally deserted, even on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.



Hawaii Molokai Murphy Beach copyright discoveringhawaii.com


East of Molokai's principal town of Kaunakakai, there is a beach access road, makai (toward the sea). Located right before the hamlet of Puko`o, about 0.7 mile past mile marker 15 on the KAMEHAMEHA HIGHWAY 450, this road may --or may not-- be marked... sometimes the "beach access" sign is missing.

This short dirt road leads to a beautiful seaside area with two beaches, a sublime view of little Puko`o Harbor, and great coastal views. The little dirt road ends at a large grass parking area adjacent to a lovely little coconut grove. At the shore, a very protected brown sand beach awaits, its silty shorebottom a result of mud washing down the adjacent stream after heavy rains.

Hawaii Molokai Pukoo Beach copyright discoveringhawaii.com

Photo: Puko`o Beach looking southwest

However, just walk out along the jetty and you'll find a beautiful white sandy deserted beach more open to the elements, with clear waters and a sandy-coral-rocky shore bottom, providing beautiful coastal views. A short walk to the left reveals nice views of this crescent white beach and the protected waters of handsome little Puko`o Harbor.

The island you see in the distance is Maui.

Hawaii Molokai Pukoo Beach panorama

Photo: A Panorama of Molokai's east shore taken from the jetty at Puko`o Beach.


Murphy Beach at mile marker 20

Papohaku Beach West Molokai naked shower Hawaii copyright discoveringhawaii.com

PAPOHAKU BEACH. At the far south end of Papohaku Beach is a the bluff you see in the photo above, and a trail (visible in this shot) leads to a cool refreshing shower. We’ve been cooling off here for years, yet have never seen another human. The shower can more easily be reached by car: driving directions can be found in Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai.

MURPHY BEACH PARK. Also known as JAYCEES BEACH, at mile marker 20, Murphy is an idyllic South seas vision with wonderful snorkeling and amazing windsurfing. The beach itself is gorgeous, with dreamy views of Maui across the channel. Murphy is probably the busiest beach on Molokai, as the crowd in the picture makes clear. There are no “nude” beaches on Molokai, but since 99% of the time on most any beach no one will be around, just about any isolated beach could maybe be a nude beach.  This photo was taken from the road turnout after passing Murphy Beach.




Naked Shower

Molokai Eats

Kualapuu Cookhouse on the way to the Phallic Stone and Kalaupapa Lookout, turn left onto Farrington. The Cookhouse is by far the best restaurant on the island. Doesn’t look like much, but you’ll leave happy and full.

Hula Shores Restaurant at the Hotel Molokai has always been an interesting magnet for a wide mix of guests and locals, and over the years has had its ups and downs as far as food quality goes. Gay-friendly Aqua Hotels completely renovated the place in 2010, but the recent eaters’ reviews on tripadvisor.com are not happy ones.

Molokai Pizza Cafe serves average bland fare. We have eaten here many times over the years because we know what to expect. You’ll find better pizza in the frozen foods section of any supermarket.

Kamoi Snack’n’Go: Great ice cream, welcoming staff.

Neighborhood Store on your way to Halawa Valley, near the 15 mile marker is the only choice, but luckily it’s pretty decent for local plate lunches. We’ve eaten here 4 times over an 8 year period and it has  always been fine.

Outpost Natural Foods has a lunch counter that keeps odd hours, but their burrito is worth a try if you don’t want to drive all the way to the Kualapuu Cookhouse for lunch.

Molokai Sleeps

There are no fine lodgings on Molokai. Your best bet would be a condo that you research on tripadvisor,com. On the west end, best choice is at Paniolo Hale, and at the Wavecrest on the east end. Units will vary by owner, so reviews are very helpful to narrow your search. Read the reviews for Hotel Molokai as well, but keep in mind they have live music every night if you turn in early.