Hawaii is beaming with bountiful natural wonders, flavorful cuisine, and luxurious beauty of its culture and tradition. The Paradise of the Pacific also teems with historic sites, testaments of its role in one of the deadliest conflict in human history – the Second World War – and its roots as a monarchy.
We list down five national historic landmarks in the Aloha State you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
United States Naval Base, Pearl Harbor
A surprise attack by the Naval Air Service of Imperial Japan on December 7, 1941, led to a lagoon on the island of Oahu to be recognized in world history.
The Pearl Harbor, acquired by the Naval fleet of the United States through the Reciprocity Treaty of 1975, was the site of the surprise military strike of Japan which prompted the United States to enter the Second World War.
The United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor was designated as a national historic landmark on January 29, 1964.
Old Sugar Mill of Koloa
Sugarcane planting was one of the driving force of Hawaii’s economy. The industry was also credited with the Aloha State’s rapid population growth and cultural diversity because of the immigration of people to work on sugarcane plantations.
The Old Sugar Mill of Koloa is regarded as the first large-scale commercial sugarcane plantation in Hawaii. It was founded in Koloa, the island of Kauai in 1835 by William Ladd, Peter A. Brinsmade, and William Hooper.
On December 29, 1962, the sugarcane plantation was designated as a national historic landmark.
Before being taken over by the United States in 1898, Hawaii was ruled by a monarchy and was recognized as the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning 1795.
Under the rule of Kamehameha III, the third and longest reigning king of the kingdom, the ‘Iolani Palace became the royal residence of the monarchy until the overthrowing of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893.
The palace is the only structure in the United States which served as an official residence of a reigning monarch. It is also one of the two palaces in the country with the Hulihe’e Palace being the other one.
The ‘Iolani Palace was designated as a national historic landmark on December 29, 1962. It is presently open to the public as a museum managed by non-government organization Friends of ‘Iolani Palace.
Ka Lae or South Point
Known as the southernmost point in the United States, the Ka Lae is also recognized as one of the earliest settlement sites in Hawaii. Strong winds and ocean currents characterize the area. It is also one of the most famous fishing spots on the island where red snappers and giant trevally are abundant.
On December 29, 1962, the Ka Lae was designated as a national historic landmark under the name South Point Complex.
Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Washington Palace was the site of the arrest of Queen Lili’uokalani, the first queen and final monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, when she was overthrown.
The palace also served as the private residence of the Queen until her death on November 11, 1917. Following her death, the palace was used as a residence of 12 territorial and state governors of Hawaii, not including John Owen Dominis, the consort of the Queen and the Governor of Oahu from 1868 until his death in 1891.
The Washington Palace was designated as a national historic landmark on March 29, 2007.