Heritage Sites of Hawaii Island
Heritage Sites of Hawaii are special places located throughout the islands that provide significant historical, cultural and environmental contributions to the understanding and enjoyment of Hawaii. Whether it’s a unique natural wonder; a National Park or Monument; or a sacred place that encapsulates Native Hawaiian customs, beliefs and practices; these are the sites that are “must see” destinations that have been visited by the people of Hawaii for generations.
There are seven Heritage Sites of Hawaii on Hawaii Island. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Hawaii’s most popular visitor attractions. This expansive park is the world-famous home of some of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Maunaloa.
If you want to see a waterfall, visit Akaka Falls State Park. This park features a popular self-guided walk that features two amazing waterfalls, Akaka Falls (442 feet) and Kahuna Falls (100 feet).
On the southern Kona Coast, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park is where the first westerner, Captain James Cook first set foot on the island of Hawaii in 1779. He died here just a year later. A monument stands here in his name.
Take a self-guided tour of Lapakahi State Historical Park and explore traditional Hawaiian lifestyles. This park is home to an over 600-year old, partially restored fishing settlement.
Also on the Kona Coast, the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a 180-acre national historic park that was once the site of royal grounds and was a place of refuge for Hawaiian lawbreakers. It fearures many interpretive exhibits of Hawaiian life and culture.
Part of the National Park System, Puukohola Heiau National Historical Site features one of the largest heiau (temple) built in Hawaii. One of the last major temples built by King Kamehameha I between 1790-1791, this heiau played a significant role in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands.
In Kailua-Kona, you can take a walk back in time at Hulihee Palace, a favorite retreat of Hawaiian royalty. Exquisite koa furniture, Hawaiian artifacts and personal memorabilia of the royal family offer touching glimpses of Hawaii’s yesteryear.
Learn more about the other Heritage Sites of Hawaii.