Hawaii boasts a historical, natural, and social scene like none other you could find on Earth. These beautiful islands are the birthplace of surfing, the home of the tallest sea mountain, and some of the most spectacular volcanoes in the world.
Visitors to Hawaii come from all corners of the globe to bask in the natural beauty, enjoy the superb cuisine and customs, as well as glimpse the cultural heritage of this enigmatic destination. The best places to get a feel for the rich heritage of Hawaii is at the many historical sites and buildings of these islands. Following are some of the must see locations no trip to Hawaii would be complete without.
This impressive neoclassical building was completed in 1882 for the Hawaiian King Kalakaua. This spot is the official home for Hawaiian Royalty and the only royal palace to exist on US soil. Since it’s original construction the palace has been lavishly restored to its original splendor. Today this is the best place to better understand the rich historical value of the Hawaiian Islands.
Inside the palace, visitors can gaze at the elaborate woodwork taken from native Koa and many imported varieties as well. The original throne has been kept intact, and sits beneath its original chandelier. The palace is decked with stained glass and luxurious decorative work.
Also on these grounds, visitors can see the barracks of the Palace’s Guards. This is where the king’s personal bodyguards would live while in service. This building is definitely iconic and looks like something from a medieval setting. Both these buildings are listed in the U.S Historical Places Register.
Kamehameha Statue, Kapaau, Hawaii Island
Just outside of the picturesque town of Hawi in North Kohala is another small town called Kapaau. In front of the civic center in Kohala stands the proud statue of Kamehameha I. This statue was erected near the spot Hawaii’s greatest king was born.
King Kamehameha was a dynamic leader, cunning diplomat, and courageous warrior. It was he who united the islands into a single kingdom in 1810 after many years of bloody conflict. From the day he was born, King Kamehameha was destined to be the greatest figure in Hawaiian history. Many historians believe that Haley’s Comet was seen over Hawaii in 1758, the year this great king was born.
The only tales more fascinating than those of the great king is how the statue came to rest in this spot, and why there is another memorial to the king erected in the middle of Oahu. We won’t spoil all the fun for you though. Ask about the origins of both statutes, and the tale of a shipwreck off the Falkland Islands. These tales will chill, surprise, and amaze.
Makapuu Point Lighthouse, Oahu
Just outside of Hanauma you will see a large parking lot along another stretch of beautiful sandy beaches. Follow the sandy trail to a paved trail that overlooks this picturesque lighthouse. This is an easy to navigate route and the views over the ocean and Oahu’s windswept Coastline are well worth the visit. The island of Molokai can even be seen from this spot.