Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, but did you know that it’s also home to some amazing National Parks and other historical sites? From volcanoes to rain forests and historical monuments, there is something for every outdoor interest. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the most popular parks and historical sites on the islands and what makes them so special. If you are planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, be sure to add one of these parks to your itinerary!
Haleakalā National Park
Located on the eastern side of Maui, this park is easily one of the most popular parks in Hawaii. Home to the Haleakala volcano, which is the tallest mountain in Hawaii, visitors can hike or drive to the summit of the volcano for fantastic views above the clouds. There are also great hiking trails and campgrounds throughout the park to choose from.
Things To Do In Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park is one of the best places in the world to see a sunrise or sunset. The views from the summit of the volcano are incredible and well worth the early morning wake-up call!
Hiking: There are many beautiful hikes throughout Haleakala National Park, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous. No matter what your fitness level, you can find a hike that’s perfect for you.
Scenic drives: If you don’t feel like hiking, take a drive through the park instead. The Crater Road Scenic Drive takes you around the crater of the volcano and offers some daunting views of the inside.
Biking Haleakala: Another great way to explore the park is by bike. Many companies offer rides and shuttle opportunities so you can catch fantastic views on the way up and take a leisurely cruise down the volcano. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous face it head-on and bike the whole way to truly test your limits.
Haleakala Skywatching: If you’re into astronomy, Haleakala National Park is a great place to do some stargazing. With its clear skies and lack of light pollution, the stars are truly amazing here.
Camping: Haleakala National Park offers both tent and RV camping, as well as cabins for those who want a little more luxury. In a paradise like this you definitely won’t regret your decision to camp out among the stars.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
This park is a must-visit for any fans of volcanoes. Home to the Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, near the southern coast of the Big Island, offers visitors the chance to see an active volcano up close. There are also many hiking trails throughout the park, as well as other historical sites.
Things To Do In Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Hiking: With more than 150 miles of hiking trails, there’s something for everyone in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Whether you’re looking for a short easy hike or a challenging trek through the wilderness, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.
Volcano tours: If you want to see an active volcano up close, there’s no better place than Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. There are many tours available that will take you right to the heart of the action.
Camping: If you’re looking for an overnight adventure, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park offers both tent and RV camping as well as cabins for those who want more space and comfort.
Drive Tour: The Kilauea Iki Overlook Drive is a great way to see the park without having to hike. This drive takes you around the Kilauea Iki crater and offers amazing views of the volcano.
Kalaupapa National Historic Site
The leper colony at Kalaupapa was established in 1866 by King Kamehameha V. At the time, there was no known cure for leprosy. Those who contracted the disease were often sent to isolated colonies like this one to live out their lives.
Today, Kalaupapa is a popular tourist destination located on the island of Moloka’i. Visitors can learn about Hawaii’s history and see some of the remaining buildings from the leper colony. The town is only accessible by mule or plane.
Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
Located on the west coast of the Big Island, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is a great place to visit if you are looking to learn about Hawaii’s history. You can also check out the Hawaiian fishponds there or venture to the beaches taking in the wildlife you see on the way.
Some other things to do here involve catching a glimpse of Honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) or exploring the Kaloko fishponds where Hawaiian monk seals often hang out.
Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
This park is located on the west coast of the Big Island and is home to an ancient place of refuge. In Hawaiian culture, those who had broken a kapu (law) could come to this puʻuhonua (place of refuge) to avoid punishment. It is estimated that this area was designated as sacred by the ruling chief approximately 450 years ago. Today, visitors can learn about this interesting part of Hawaiian culture and see the sanctuary up close.
Ala Kahakai National Trail (Trail By The Sea)
The Ala Kahakai National Trail is a 175-mile coastal trail that stretches from Kailua-Kona to the town of Hawi. The trail was created in 2000 and passes through many different types of ecosystems, including rain forests, lava fields, and coral reefs.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, this is the trail for you. Or if you’re not up for a strenuous trek, there are plenty of places along the way where you can stop and enjoy the view.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a tribute to the more than two thousand Americans who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The memorial includes the USS Arizona Memorial, as well as several other exhibits that tell the story of December 7th, 1941.
If you’re interested in history, or if you just want to pay your respects to those who died during the attack, Pearl Harbor is worth a visit.
Hono‘uli‘uli National Historic Site
The Hono‘uli‘uli National Historic Site is located on the island of Oahu and though not yet open to the public, it is planned to be a site to reflect on the prisoners of war that were held there during WWII after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Hono’uli’uli was Hawaii’s largest and longest operating POW camp, detaining roughly 4,000 prisoners of war.
When the site does open for the public it will not only serve as an excellent historical attraction to learn more about WWII, but also give an opportunity for contemplation and reflection.
Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Pu’ukohola Heiau is a temple built in 1791 by Kamehameha I. The heiau was constructed to help Kamehameha unite the Hawaiian islands under his rule.
Today, Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is open to visitors and offers a glimpse into Hawaii’s ancient culture and history. If you’re interested in learning more about the origins of Hawaii, this is a great site to visit.
Come Experience The National Parks of Hawaii
There are so many amazing national parks in Hawaii waiting to be explored. Whether you’re into astronomy, volcanoes, or Hawaiian culture, there’s a park or historical site for everyone to marvel at. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get over here!