Murphy’s Beach

Murphy's Beach: Soak in the Sun at Molokai's 20 Mile Beach
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Escape the crowds at Murphy's Beach, which offers a small, but the charming expanse of sand and surprisingly clear water. This may not be Hawaii's most remarkable beach, but it's an excellent spot for experiencing life like a local. 

- The Local Expert Team

Do you like the idea of lounging on a Hawaiian beach but dread competing with other vacationers for parking and space on the sand? These hassles are most easily avoided if you search for the islands’ hidden gems; beaches that, while not pictured on your average Hawaiian postcard, are sure to please with their beautiful views and soft sand. Murphy’s Beach definitely falls into this category, so it’s a worthwhile addition when you want to add a casual day to your itinerary.

While the space is officially known as George Murphy Beach Park, it began as Kumimi Beach Park. It was initially a far cry from its current beach destination; it was simply part of George Murphy’s Puu o Hoku Ranch. That changed when the local branch of the Junior Chamber of Commerce was permitted to clean up the beach and transform it into a park. 

Now a popular hangout among locals, Murphy’s Beach is a decent — if not extraordinary — destination. This is where you go when you want to soak in the sun without worrying about crowds. It stands in contrast to other beaches on the south shores of Molokai, where the water tends to be unfortunately murky. At Murphy’s Beach, however, the water is comparatively clear — especially on calm days.

The beach itself is narrow, but it’s still fairly easy to find a great spot to lounge. Since this beach is one of the lesser-known locations on the already quiet island of Molokai, it doesn’t tend to attract that many tourists. Instead, locals enjoy hanging out here.

If you visit in the morning during the week, you might have the entire beach to yourself. Plenty of shade is available, but you’ll also have more than enough opportunities to soak in the sun if you’re eager to get a good tan.

Murphy’s Beach also makes for an excellent picnicking spot. Amenities are limited; other than a few grills and picnic tables, there are no facilities in sight. This unfortunately means no restrooms either. Still, you can enjoy a leisurely lunch as you take in a remarkable view. 

Should you choose to wade, you may need to navigate some rocks. There is enough sand to get knee-deep. After that, however, you’ll be taking your chances, especially given the complete lack of lifeguards. When in doubt, it’s best to save this beach for sunbathing and dedicate your water-based itinerary to a different beach.

Head to Murphy’s Beach for a peaceful escape and a stunning view. This is your chance to recharge before you tackle the most exciting adventures on the island of Molokai.

Insider Tips:
-Don’t be confused by the array of names used to reference this local hangout. Longtime residents still frequently refer to it as Kumimi Beach Park, while some have been known to call it Jaycees Park. Still, others call it 20 Mile Beach due to its location near Mile Marker 20 along Highway 450.
-If you’re using a navigation app to find the beach, simply enter your destination as George Murphy Beach Park. As you arrive, however, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the sign designating “Mile Marker 20 Beach.”