Kaunakakai is a census-designated place (CDP) in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. It is the largest town on the island of Molokaʻi. The population was 3,425 at the 2010 census. It has the largest port on the island and the longest pier in Hawaii. The town was made famous in the 1930s by the song "The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai", beginning an ongoing tradition of designating an honorary mayor for the town.
In the mid-1800s, King Kamehameha V sometimes spent his summers on Molokai at a home in Kaunakakai. The main street of Kaunakakai, Ala Malama Avenue, was named after the king's summer home.
Around mid-1935, the song was written for the celebration of the first honorary mayor, the cockeyed mayor of Kaunahahai, during the vacation visit by Academy Award winning Best Actor for 1929, Warner Baxter. The "election" was a seven day celebration by the locals and Baxter's vacation party.
Kaunakakai is located at 21°5′20″N 157°0′45″W (21.088968, -157.012542).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42.6 km2), of which 12.8 square miles (33.2 km2) is land and 3.6 square miles (9.4 km2), or 22.00%, is water.
Kaunakakai has a tropical savannah (As) climate.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,425 people, 1,254 households, and 850 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,342.7 people per square mile (518.5/km2). There were 1,533 housing units at an average density of 473.8 per square mile (183.0/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 15.4% White, 0.5% Black, 0.3% Native American, 22.2% Asian (of whom 15.5% were Filipino), 22.4% Native Hawaiian, 0.3% from other races, and 37.4% from two or more races.