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The Ultimate Oahu Family Guide

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Historic Buildings, Monuments and Points of Interest  in Oahu


Aloha Tower Marketplace

Pier 9, Honolulu Harbor (808) 528-5700

This marketplace houses stores and restaurants with outdoor seating. Visitors can go to the top of the clock tower to get a good view of Honolulu Harbor, where all of the cruise ships dock, and the mountains.


Many points of interest are found throughout this colorful, enegetic neighborhood including The Wo Fat Building, the Dr. Sun Yat-sen statue, the Izumo Taisha Shrine, Hawaii Theatre, The Lum Sai Ho Tong Temple, the Maunakea Market Place and Foster Botanical Gardens.

Eternal Flame Memorial

Across the street from the State Capitol, this memorial is dedicated to World War II soldiers.

Fort Street Mall

Fort Street, Honolulu

Four-block business pedestrian mall with Our Lady of Peace church at one end and the modern Hawaii Pacific University at the other end. There are many international restaurants and benches for people-watching.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

7455 Kalaniana’ole Hwy. (808) 396-4229

The Marine Education Center next to this popular spot for scuba diving and swimming has interactive exhibits relating to local marine inhabitants and geology.

Hawaii Maritime Center

Pier 7, Honolulu Harbor (808) 523-6151

Maritime history museum which opened in 1988. It houses Falls of Clyde, a 266-foot sailing ship which used to ferry passengers between Hilo, Hawaii and San Francisco from 1899-1907.

Iolani Palace

Corner of King St. And Richards St., Honolulu (808) 522-0832

Commissioned by King David Kalakaua and was fashioned after Victorian England, this is the only royal palace in the United States. Queen Liliuokalani was imprisoned here for nine months following her two year reign. The palace was then the set for the TV series Hawaii Five-0. Come for a free concert at the bandstand every Friday at noon (except for August).

Kawaiaha’o Church

957 Punchbowl St., Honolulu (808) 522-1333

Many Hawaiian monarchs and their families were baptized and crowned in this church.

King Kamehameha’s Statue

Just outside of the Judiciary Building at 417 S. King St., Honolulu

Bronze statue of Kamehameha the Great welcomes all to Hawaii.

Mission Houses Museum

553 South King St., Honolulu (808) 531-0481

This museum contains the oldest timber frame house in Hawaii. Come to see the clothes worn by Christian missionaries in the mid-1800s.

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the Honolulu Memorial

2177 Puowaina Dr., Honolulu (808) 532-3720

Almost 40,000 military graves arranged in circles on the floor of the crater of an ancient volcano.

Queen Emma’s Summer Palace

2913 Pali Hwy., Honolulu (808) 595-3167

This was the summer vacation home for King Kamahameha and Queen Emma and contains Hawaiian artifacts.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral

229 Queen Emma Square, Honolulu (808) 524-2822

This church was built in the French-Gothic architectural style and has a wall of stained glass which depicts the European explorers that visited the Hawaiian islands.

Shangri La

This historic home can be accessed by shuttle from the Honolulu Academy of Arts. This is a private residence overloking the Pacific that was built by Doris Duke, heir to the American Tobacco and Duke Energy fortunes. It is filled with Islamic and Hawaiian artifacts.

(808) 532-3853

State Capitol

415 S. Beretania St., Honolulu (808) 586-0178

Unusual open, airy architecture meant to convey the openness of the government. The number eight is found throughout the capitol buildings, signifying the eight Hawaiian islands. Tours are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:30 pm.

Windward Oahu

Byodo-In Temple

47-200 Kahekiki Hwy., Kane’ohe (808) 239-8811

Replica of the 11th century Temple at Uji in Japan. In addition to the building, there are beautiful gardens and a mediation house. Have the kids rung the 5-foot brass bell. There are also 10,000 carp that you can feed in the 2-acre pond.

Kalapawai Market

306 S. Kalaheo Ave., Kailua (808) 262-4359

A landmark is Kailua since 1932, this grocery store has a great selection of wine and a good place to pick up lunch before heading to the beach.

Windward Villages

These tiny villages each consist of a beach park, a store and a post office but each one has something distinct to come and see; fruit stands, art galleries, a woodworking shop, and a photo studio.

Polynesian Cultural Center

55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie

Luaus, cultural demonstrations, restaurants, fire dancing, and an open-air shopping center with Polynesians crafts.

North Shore

Waimea Valley Audobon Center

59-864 Kamehameha Hwy., Hale’iwa (808) 638-9199

Native species abound in this 1,800 acre garden and you’ll also find the remains of the Hale O Lono temple. The Waihi Falls waterfall at the back end of the valley goes down 45 feet into a swimming pond.

Pu’uomahuka Keiau State Monument

Pupukea Rd., Haleiwa

On the National Register of Historic Places, this monument was once the site of human sacrifices and is a great stop to see a view of Waimea Bay.

James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge  

66-590 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa (808) 637-6330

160 acres of wetland habitat devoted to the recovery of  four of Hawaii's six endemic water birds: the Hawaiian stilt, the Hawaiian moorhen, the Hawaiian coot, and the Hawaiian duck. An interpretive trail and guided tours are available to the public.

Wai’anae Coast

Hawaii Plantation Village

94-695 Waipahu St., Waipahu (808) 677-0110

Outdoor museum exploring the lifestyle of Hawaiian plantation workers who were the backbone of the sugar industry. Eight ethnic groups are represented here.