This blog post was updated on July 31, 2018.
Granted the Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the world’s most stunning landscapes with plenty of world-class beaches and all sorts of opportunities to lounge around mindlessly by a pool in the sun with a frilly drink at hand. Still, there are other reasons to visit this fascinating corner of the Pacific. How about an island hopping tour through Hawaii’s unique history? This quick tour points out some of the more interesting moments in Hawaiian history with some ideas on you can experience it for yourself.
Take this quick online jaunt across the isles for an introduction to just a few of this major landmarks, tours, and shows to help you get a sense of the centuries of history waiting to be discovered by visitors to Hawaii.
Visit Kauai’s old Koloa town to learn about the sugar production industry at the site of Hawaii’s first sugar plantation. Experience the town’s history while browsing through shops in restored plantation buildings and checking out the remains of the old sugar mill. Although Hawai’i no longer produces sugar, this boom time in the islands attracted immigrants from across the globe resulting in the ethnic diversity of the islands today.
A number of sites can be visited to pay tribute to the attack of Pearl Harbour, a monumentally disastrous event in Hawai’is’ past including the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.
Best of Hawai’i by Kalani offers an audio tour, which guides visitors through the development of popular Waikiki locations. Users have the option of downloading the tour as a smart phone app, or ordering an mp3 player with the tour pre-loaded. It provides passionate explanations of the Hawaiian culture, giving tourists a wholesome grasp on each spot.
Critically acclaimed show, ‘Ulalena, theatrically connects ancient Hawai’i with the modern day. Shown at Maui Theatre, it tells the story of the Hawaiian people, incorporating authentic music, dance and instruments.
Lahaina, Maui was the royal capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom until 1845. Visitors to the seaside resort town can follow the Lahaina Historic Trail and walk in the footsteps of its once regal residents. Other highlights here include the Wo Hing Museum and the Lahaina Jodo Mission, both reflections of Chinese and Japanese influence in Maui.
Hawaii (the Big Island)
The bustling and popular destination of Kailua-Kona is home to a number of historic sites, such as Mokuaikaua Church, the first Christian church on the islands; Hulihee Palace, the summer residence of Hawaiian royalty; and Ahuena Heiau, a temple built by the great King Kamehameha.