The Hawaiian Islands are home to some truly magnificent historical landmarks that serve as a constant reminder of the rich history of our island chain, including prehistoric Hawaiian settlements, abandoned sugar mills, historic lighthouses, and royal residences. These breathtakingly unique Hawaii landmarks should be on everyone’s historical bucket list because they are truly one-of-a-kind.
Historical Places in Hawaii: #0 King Kamehameha Statue, Oʻahu
King Kamehameha the Great, the monarch of Hawaii who united the main Hawaiian Islands, is depicted outside Aliiolani Hale, which is located across the street from Iolani Palace, standing tall (literally, the man is thought to have been over 7 feet tall). Every Lei Day, the figure is adorned with lei, which is beautiful to see. King Kamehameha is commemorated by a number of statues, including ones on Maui, Hawai’i Island, and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. 447 S. King St., Honolulu.
King Kamehameha the Great, the Hawaiian monarch who united the main Hawaiian Islands, is depicted standing tall outside Aliiolani Hale, which is located across the street from Iolani Palace. The man is estimated to have been over 7 feet tall. Every Lei Day, the figure is beautifully adorned with lei. Other King Kamehameha statues can be found in Washington, D.C.’s U.S. Capitol, on Maui, on Hawai’i Island, and at 447 S. King St. in Honolulu.
Historical Places in Hawaii: #1 Aloha Tower
The Aloha Tower, which is situated on Honolulu’s Pier Nine, is one of Hawaii’s most recognizable landmarks in addition to being a lighthouse that has assisted numerous ships in reaching land. It was constructed in 1926 for the then-unheard-of sum of $160,000. The Aloha Tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii for 40 years, standing 10 stories tall and 184 feet tall with an additional 40 feet of flag mast.
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, Aloha Tower Drive, Aloha Tower Dr
Historical Places in Hawaii: #2 Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement
The Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement, which Robert Louis Stevenson called a “prison fortified by nature,” is situated on the small island of Molokai, with the ocean on one side and enormous 1,600-foot cliffs on the other.
Currently a U.S. National Park, Kalaupapa is home to a dwindling population that is vastly outnumbered by those buried there, including an estimated 2,000 unmarked graves in addition to those marked by headstones.
189 Kaiulani Street, Kalaupapa, Hawaii 96742, United States
Historical Places in Hawaii: #3 Kawaiaha’o Church
Kawaiaha’o Church, also known as Hawaii’s Westminster Abbey, was formerly the national church of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the royal family chapel. One of the first Christian places of worship in Hawaii still stands today, the church is situated in the heart of Honolulu.
Kawaiahao Church, 957 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, United States
Historical Places in Hawaii: #4 Old Sugar Mill of Koloa
The Koloa Sugar Mill, which was built in 1835 and is situated on Kauai’s southern coast, was a part of Hawaii’s first commercially successful sugar plantation; however, it was eventually replaced by the current building to the east in 1912.
The Koloa Sugar Mill ran continuously until it was shut down in 1996. It is now vacant.
Historical Places in Hawaii: #5 Pearl Harbor
A visit to Hawaii for many people wouldn’t be complete without seeing Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, a U.S. naval base was attacked, ushering the country into World War II. Nearly 79 years later, the location is now home to World War II artifacts and features the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
There is also the USS Arizona Memorial, which receives 4,000 to 5,000 visitors each day and is run by the National Park Service. The memorial was erected above the sunken battleship in memory of those who died while aboard the USS Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Below the water’s surface, you can still make out some of the battleship’s massive, rusted exterior.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA
Historical Places in Hawaii: #6 Captain Cook’s Landing Site
In honor of the Earl of Sandwich, British Captain James Cook gave the islands the name “Sandwich Islands” when he first set foot in Hawaii in 1778. The following year, Captain Cook passed away during a fight after the British had introduced numerous new infectious diseases to the islands.
Waimea, Hawaii 96796, United States, Captain Cook Landing Site
Historical Places in Hawaii: #7 Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau
The largest Hawaiian temple on the island, Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau is perched on a hillside overlooking Waimea Bay. It may have been built as early as the 1600s. There may have been human sacrifice at the temple in the late 1700s, a time of political upheaval, perhaps to promote war victory.
Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712, USA: Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site, 59-818 Kamehameha Highway #96712.
Historical Places in Hawaii: #8 Honokohau Settlement
This well-known national historical park, created in the 1960s, is located on the Kona coast of Hawaii Island and was once the location of Honokohau Settlement. Ancient Hawaiian fishponds used for aquaculture, petroglyphs, platforms for house sites, and sacred locations can all be found at the archaeological site.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740, USA: Kaloko-Honok?hau National Historical Park
Historical Places in Hawaii: #9 Washington Place
The location of “Queen Lili’uokalani’s arrest during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom” is Washington Place in Honolulu. 13 Hawaiian Governors later resided in the house before it was turned into a museum.
320 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA
Historical Places in Hawaii: #10 Lahaina Banyan Tree
Is there anything more breathtaking than an enormous, grand, and lovely tree? With a trunk and aerial root system covering 0.66 acres, the largest banyan tree in Hawaii and one of the biggest in America can be found close to Lahaina. The seedling, which is the oldest banyan tree in the Hawaiian Islands, was about eight feet tall when it was planted in 1873.
Lahaina, Hawaii, 96761, USA: Banyan Tree Fine Art Gallery, 648 Wharf St. #101.
Historical Places in Hawaii: #11 National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
This national cemetery, which is situated in Punchbowl Crater, serves as a memorial to remember the men and women who served in the American armed forces. You can pay your respects to some of America’s bravest here by strolling along the memorial walk, a path lined with memorial markers from different organizations. You can also wander the green fields. Wah Kau Kong, the first Chinese American fighter pilot, Norman Keith Collins, a well-known tattoo artist better known by his stage name “Sailor Jerry,” and Ellison Onizuka, an engineer and astronaut from Hawaii, are a few notable interments. Honolulu, 2177 Puowaina Drive
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located at 2177 Puowaina Drive in Honolulu.
Historical Places in Hawaii: #12 Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace, one of the best preserved sites related to Hawaiian culture and royalty, depicts a complex period in Hawai’i’s turbulent history. The palace, which was constructed in 1882, had modern amenities like indoor plumbing, a telephone system, and electric lighting. As her kingdom was being overthrown, Queen Liliuokalani, the last independent monarch of Hawai’i, was kept in her home under house arrest.
Visitors can visit the palace from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Self-guided audio tours cost $20 for adults and $6 for children, while guided tours cost $27 for adults and $6 for children. Visit iolanipalace.org to learn more.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, United States, 364 S King St
Topic: 12 Historical Places in Hawaii You Absolutely Must Visit
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By: Travel Pixy