Must See Historic Hawaii Landmarks on Oahu

Historic Hawaii landmarks in Honolulu

These historic Hawaii landmarks have been integral to the course of international relations and world history. Learn what historical treasures Hawaii has to offer. Scroll through these historic Hawaii landmarks on the island of Oahu or click on them one-by-one in the list below to explore them in your own order: Aliiolani Hale & Kamehameha Statue, Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, Mission Houses Museum, The Cathedral of St. Andrew, Washington Place, Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin, Ford Island Control Tower, USS Missouri

Aliiolani Hale, King Kamehameha Statue

Standing prominently atop a stone mantel in his gold leaf ceremonial garb in front of Aliiolani Hale (House of the Heavenly King) is the Kamehameha I statue.
Kamehameha was the visionary who united the Hawaiian Islands under one government. His descendent Kamehameha V commissioned the construction of the Aliiolani Hale in 1872 originally as a palace but quickly changed the plans to accommodate the growing need for office space for the Hawaiian Government.
Today the building houses the Hawaii State Supreme Court. Also, the exterior of the Aliiolani Hale is the fictional office building of the 5-0 from the 2010 prime time TV show Hawaii 5-0. Learn More about the Aliiolani Hale.

Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop as a museum to house the many Hawaiiana artifacts and heirlooms passed down to his late wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Princess Pauahi was the last heir of the Kamehameha family that ruled the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1810-1872. The museum has the largest selection of polynesian culture artifacts in the world and showcases the royal crown and royal outfits worn by the rulers. Learn more about the Bishop Museum.

Iolani Palace

The Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the United States. Only two Hawaiian monarchs ruled from this palace before the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893. King Kalakua ruled after Kamehameha’s death in 1874 and then Queen Liliuokalani. The Queen was held prisoner in this Palace while her Kingdom was taken from her. The windows of her imprisoned room are still waited out as they were when she was held there. The Palace was used as a government building until 1978 when it opened to the public as a museum. Learn more about the Iolani Palace.

Kawaiahao Church

Considered the Westminster Abbey of Hawaii, the Kawaiahao Church (pronounced Ka va ee ah ha o) in Honolulu was the center of religious activities for the monarch’s of Hawaii. It was built from 14,000 coral stones cut from from the nearby reef by Hawaiian skin divers with hand tools. Learn more about the Kawaiahao Church.

Mission Houses Museum

The Mission Houses consist of three buildings; the Wood House, the Chamberlain House and the Print House. This collection of structures mark the arrival of the first christian churches in Hawaii. The Wood House or Ka Hale Laau, is the oldest frame house in Hawaii. The materials to build the house arrived Boston via Cape Horn already measured and pre-cut.
The museum showcases artifacts from the missionary period between 1820 and 1863. Admission is $10. Learn more about the Mission Houses Museum.

The Cathedral Church of St. Andrew

The Anglican Church was invited to Hawaii in 1862 by Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. The building of the Cathedral that would become the Church of St. Andrew was then commissioned. However, Kamehameha IV then died on the St. Andrew Day of Feast in 1863 leaving his brother Kamehameha V to oversee the project. Learn more about the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew.

Washington Place

This Historic Hawaii Landmark was the center of the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani which ended in the annexation of Hawaii. 1893 a detachment of US Marines and the new government forces arrested Queen Liliuokalani under charges of treason. She was tried before a military tribunal and found guilty of concealment of treason towards the government. She was held imprisoned at the Iolani Palace and then released to live out the remainder of her life at Washington Place. The Kingdom of Hawaii had ceased to exist. Learn more about Washington Place.

Historic Hawaii landmarks at Pearl Harbor

Arizona Memorial

The Arizona Memorial is a long rectangular structure that rests directly on top of the wreckage of the USS Battleship Arizona. The memorial sags in the center to resemble the defeat of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and rises at the ends to symbolize victory. The USS Arizona is also a tomb. 1,102 of the ship’s 1,177 sailors are still inside the ship’s hull. This fateful day marks the United State’s entry into World War II. Learn more about the USS Arizona Memorial.


One year after Japan’s attack on Pearl harbor, the Balao-class submarine USS Bowfin was launched. Named for a feisty predator fish from the Great Lakes, Bowfin headed straight for the Pacific war zone. The submarine now docks at the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s center and offers self-guided tours for $20. Learn more about the USS Bowfin.

Ford Island Control Tower

Ford Island in Pearl Harbor served as the Naval Air Station for WWII and continued up until 1962. The Pacific Aviation Museum now offers many historic planes and memorabilia from that era. The Air Traffic Control Tower is considered a great monument to this era and the vital service it provided. Learn more about the Ford Island Control Tower.

USS Missouri

The USS Missouri is the last battleship ever made by the United States and was the site of the final surrender of Japan that ended World War II. The Battleship is now docked on Ford Island next to the USS Arizona Memorial. You can visit the battleship on a self-guided tour for an admission price. Learn more about the USS Missouri.

Tours are great ways to take in all the sites

There are many ways to view these wonderful historic Hawaii landmarks, however, we at Discover Hawaii Tours offer enjoyable and informational tours that will leave you feeling like a Hawaii history buff.

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