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The popular local T-shirt proclaiming 'Molokaʻi time is when I want to show up' sums up this idiosyncratic island perfectly: feisty and independent, while not taking life too seriously. The moniker 'Friendly Isle' means slowing waaay down and taking your sense of rhythm from the locals.

Molokaʻi is often cited as the 'most Hawaiian' of the islands, and in terms of bloodlines this is true – more than 50% of the residents are at least part Native Hawaiian. But whether the island fits your idea of 'most Hawaiian' depends on your definition. If your idea of Hawaii includes great tourist facilities, forget it.

But if you're after a place that best celebrates the islands' geography and indigenous culture, then Molokaʻi is for you. Ancient Hawaiian sites in the island's beautiful tropical east are jealously protected and restored, and island-wide consensus eschews development of the often sacred west.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Moloka'i.