Dixie Maru on the island of Molokai in Hawaii

Kapukahehu is a beautiful sandy cove on Molokai’s southwestern tip. Though neighboring Papohaku Beach is famed for being one of the longest white sand beaches on Molokai, Kapukahehu is much more protected and offers visitors the chance to swim or snorkel during the calm summer months.

Set at the end of Pohakuloa Road, the beach has a small parking lot and a short trail leading down to the sand through a grove of coastal kiawe. Lava outcroppings on either side usually protect Kapukahehu from stiff northeasterly trade winds, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing beach day or picnic.

When the ocean is calm, you can cool off in the protected bay of Kapukahehu. During the winter months, there are often waves for seasoned surfers and bodysurfers. As with all of the sandy beaches on Molokai’s western end, Kapukahehu is also a great spot to enjoy a stunning sunset.

Though its Hawaiian name is Kapukahehu, the beach is also commonly referred to as “Dixie Maru.” The name Dixie Maru dates back to 1916 when a wooden boat of the same name was wrecked on the rocks offshore.

Today this small, sandy cove is a favorite of families who are traveling with children and beachgoers just looking to relax. It’s likely you’ll have the beach to yourself, though a day with 15 people would be considered “crowded” for Kapukahehu.

At 40 minutes from Kaunakakai it’s considered “far away” (at least by Molokai standards), so be sure to stock up on food and water before you set out for the beach. You can pick up supplies in Kaunakakai or stop in the town of Maunaloa at the Maunaloa General Store. You’ll also want at least half a tank of gas before leaving Kaunakakai behind, considering the round trip driving distance is right around 50 miles.