We now come to our next set of islands in our “Featured Islands Summer Series.” Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe are being grouped together into one post because they are some of the least visited islands of Hawaii.
But another interesting note about these islands is that they are in fact joined together as one single island. As early as 200,000 years ago when sea levels were at their lowest, you could see that these three islands were joined together with the main island of Maui in what is known as Maui Nui.
Today, all four islands now make up the county of Maui.
Molokai has earned the nickname of “The Friendly Isle” due to the friendliness of people who live there. It’s the only island (except for Niihau) that has the largest percentage of Native Hawaiians.
Come to Molokai if you want to slow down and experience true Hawaii. There’s no high-rise buildings, shopping malls, or fast food restaurants. In fact, there’s very little tourism here. Only one hotel exists on the island. So when it comes to overnight accommodation, most visitors look to condos and houses.
There is a national park, a wildlife refuge, and lots of different beach parks. So if you’re a nature lover, come to Molokai.
Lanai has earned the nickname of “Pineapple Island” due to its plantation fields once producing the largest percentage of Hawaii’s pineapples. But it has more recently earned the nickname of “The Private Isle” because it is now owned 97% by Larry Ellison, the Founder of Oracle.
Being the smallest populated island of Hawaii, Lanai only has about 3,100 residents. It’s a very simple life on Lanai. There’s only one school, one hospital, no traffic lights, and mostly dirt roads covering the island.
Tourism is not big at all on Lanai. There are two resort hotels and three golf courses. You’ll need a 4-wheel drive if you plan to explore the island outside of the main town.
Kahoolawe has earned the nickname of “The Target Isle” when the United States military used it as a training ground during World War II.
The island only has 45 square miles of land, making it the smallest Hawaiian island. There is no population on Kahoolawe due to its scarcity of food and water. Now, it is only being used by native Hawaiians for cultural and spiritual purposes.
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Image By: Hawaii Guide