Most Historic Places To Visit On Oahu, Hawaii

Most Historic Places to Visit On Oahu, Hawaii
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Oahu has a rich history from the rise of Hawaiian Monarchy to the tragic day at Pearl Harbor that will forever "live in infamy". Here are a few of the places on Oahu with cultural and historic importance.

• General: Educational


The district of Chinatown is located in Downtown Honolulu, and feels like taking a step back into yesteryear. There's a multitude of merchants selling fresh fruits, herbs, and seafood in building dating back to the early 1900s. Many of the buildings are dated back to 1901. During the days of the plantation era, many Chinese worker came to Honolulu to start businesses once their contract expired with the plantation. After WWII, Chinatown became run down and was a red light district with brothels and prostitutes. Since then, the district underwent revitalization in the 80s and has emerged as a popular destination on Oahu for trendy restaurants, while still maintaining the charm of it's varied past. More at: Chinatown

Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial

The Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial is the most visited, most somber, and perhaps one of the most spiritual destination on Oahu. The memorial that floats above the sunken USS Arizona is a solemn reminder of the horrors of war, and is the final resting place of the 1,177 officers and crewmen who died in the attack of Pearl Harbor. The tour is reverent and is an excellent presentation from the National Parks Service. More at: Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial

Nu'uanu Pali Lookout

Near the top of the Pali Highway which connects Honolulu with the Windward side of Oahu, is a windy overlook spanning the Ko'olau Mountain range. This route was the main passage for people that populated Oahu for a thousand years. It's also the site of the bloodiest battles in the history of Hawaii. King Kamehameha came to Oahu from the Big Island after conquering both the islands of Molokai and Maui. His men drove the defenders up the valley to the cliff where the Pali Lookout is today. Over 400 men were forced off the 1,000 ft cliff to their deaths. It's a beautiful place, windy part of Oahu with gorgeous views of Windward Oahu and the waters off Kaneohe. There are plaques and information about the historic significance of the area. More at: Nu'uanu Pali Lookout

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace was the residence for the Hawaiian royalty during the era of the Kingdom of Hawaii. It is the only royal palace in the United States. It was occupied by Kamehameha III in 1845 and lasted until the end of the monarchy in 1893. The building was used by the Republic, Territory, and eventually the State of Hawaii until 1969, when it was restored and opened as a museum in 1978. More at: Iolani Palace

Queen Emma Summer Palace

Located on the lower part of the Pali Highway stands the summer retreat of Queen Emma. Queen Emma was the wife of King Kamehameha IV, and was enjoyed by the couple from 1857 to 1885. They brought important guests from around the world to enjoy the peaceful lush surroundings. The palace (which is more of a home) is now a museum with artifacts, furniture, and belongings of the Hawaiian Royal Family. The grounds of the palace are lush with tropical vegetation, banyan trees, and a small stream which flows after rains. Walking around the home and gardens, you can feel what it must have been like back in the 1850s. More at: Queen Emma Summer Palace

Kukaniloko Birthstones State Historic Site

This area is sacred land in Hawaii. The Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument is located in the fields of Wahiawa near the North Shore. The 5 acres that surround it is considered the "piko" or belly button of Oahu. The lava rock stones are believed to be powerful and healing. It's thought that as far back as 900 years ago, the Ali'i would come to this place to give birth to their children. It's a quiet peaceful place where many will place their hands on the stones to feel the "mana" or spirit of the Islands. More at: Kukaniloko Birthstones State Historic Site