Soaring sea cliffs—the world's highest—drop off into the blue depths of the Pacific on Molokai's north coast. These barren slabs of rock convinced Captain Cook in 1778 that the island was inhospitable and uninhabited. Long stretches of white sand further along the coast, rain forests, waterfalls, rolling hills and deep valleys wisped in mist point to a mistake on Cook's part, though Molokai does lacks some of the amenities that make bigger islands such tourist hot-spots. However this means that for a taste of the real Hawaii this is it.
Kaunakakai, the big city in Molokai, is approximately three blocks long, obviously not the island's biggest attraction. What brings people back to Molokai are the friendly beaches less crowded than those on other, bigger islands, the spectacular scenery and possibly the deep-sea fishing.
Hit Halawa Bay on the east side of Molokai for safe swimming and enough surf to ride. In the west, explore the small beaches beyond Moomomi Beach to find a deserted one and stake it as yours for the afternoon. Several are suitable for swimming and there is so-so surfing. Keep in mind that winter swells and currents can make some waters particularly hazardous. Rent kayaks to do some exploring in safe areas on your own, or book guided tours to make sure you've got someone around to help you affix your spray-skirt.
Much of Molokai's interior is privately owned, so pitch a tent in official camping areas like Palaau State Park or Papohaku Beach Park. If you are tired of sand in your shoes, stretch your stride on a hike through Halawa Valley or wander out onto the Kalaupapa Peninsula. Rest your haunches horseback with one of the trail rides offered locally.
Several boats offer charter fishing if you haven't had much luck casting off the beach. Try your hand at reeling in marlin, mahimahi and ono (wahoo). Take a day off with the proper hunting permit to stalk game on land when the fish aren't biting.