HAWAII — Central Maui

Honolulu is the only big city found in the Hawaiian Islands and it is the centre of business, culture and politics. Most of the sights you will see in this area are found in downtown and Chinatown. You will find lots of things to see including beautiful public gardens, lovely beaches, museums, restaurants as well as some great shopping centres which are easily accessible on foot.

The areas found here are:
Kanaha Wildlife Sanctuary
Kahului
Keopuolani Park
Maui Arts and Cultural Center
Mauinui Botanical Gardens
Halekii-Pihana Heiau State Monument
Wailuku
Bailey House Museum
Kepaniwai Park and Heritage Gardens
Iao Valley
Maui Tropical Plantation
Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum

Kanaha Wildlife Sanctuary

Kanaha Wildlife Sanctuary
This is the only royal palace in the USA. It was the last official residence of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani from 1882 to 1891 and of Queen Lili´uoklani in 1892 and 1893. It was the first building in Hawaii to have telephones and electric lights. When the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893 by the USA the building became the Capitol for the territory then the State. The government moved out of ´Iolani Palace in 1969 and it was left until 1978 when it was fully restored and turned into a museum. The highlight of this building is the red and gold Throne Room with the original thrones of the king and queen. The interior of the palace can be visited by a guided tour or on a self-guided audio tour. You are free to visit the palace grounds which include the former Royal Household Guards barracks, the Coronation pavilion built for the coronation of King Kalakaua in 1883 and is still used for the inauguration of governors. Every Friday afternoon from 12 to 1pm (except in August) there is a free concert by the Royal Hawaiian band in the pavilion.
For information about the palace visit the website at: http://www.iolanipalace.org/

Traveller's Tip

Visitors to the palace need to dress appropriately which means no beachwear or brief tops or shorts and men will need to remove hats. When you take the tour you will need to wear booties over your shoes to protect the wooden floors.
Kahului

Kahului
The Hawaii State Art Museum is found across the street from the ´Iolani Palace in the former Capitol District Building which was built in the Spanish-Mission style in 1928. The museum exhibits the best of traditional and contemporary art and promotes ethnic diversity. There are three galleries displaying fine art, sculpture, photography and mixed-media.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.state.hi.us/sfca

Keopuolani Park

Keopuolani Park
The bronze statue of Queen Lili´uokalani who was Hawaii’s last queen is found between the ´Iolani Palace and the State Capitol and faces Washington Place. The statue holds the Hawaii constitution which was the cause of Queen Lili´uokalani’s deposing in 1893. The statue is draped with fresh leis everyday.

Maui Arts and Cultural Center

Maui Arts and Cultural Center
This large colonial building is the governor’s official residence and it is found across the street from the State Capitol. It was built in 1846 by US sea captain John Dominis whose son (of the same name) became the governor of O´ahu and married the hawaiian princess who later became Queen Lili´uokalani. Queen Lili´uokalani lived in exile here until 1917 when she died. A new Governor’s residence has been built here and the original is now a museum of Hawaiian history. You can take a tour by reserving a place in advance and it is free.
For information about the museum visit the following website at: http://hawaii.gov/gov/about/washington-place/index.html?searchterm=Washington+Place

Mauinui Botanical Gardens

Mauinui Botanical Gardens
The State Capitol building was built in the 1960s and this era is reflected in the architecture which is loved by some and hated by others but the two cone-shaped chambers represent volcanoes and the supporting columns represent palm trees so this makes it interesting. It has an open rotunda which you can walk through and the building is surrounded by a pool that represents the ocean surrounding Hawaii. The State Capitol houses the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the state legislature.
For information about the State Capitol visit the following website at: http://hawaii.gov/gov/about/state-capitol/state-capitol.html

Traveller's Tip

Guided tours of the building are not available at the moment but you can take a self-guided tour by picking up a brochure from Room no 415. Check the website from time to time to see if they are going to resume giving guided tours.
Halekii-Pihana Heiau State Monument

Halekii-Pihana Heiau State Monument
This museum is found near the Aloha Tower and it contains a fascinating insight into the history of Hawaii from the time of Captain Cook’s visit up to the present day. There are some great boats found in the museum which you can explore for yourself including a four-masted rigger and a double-hulled sailing canoe. This Centre is closed at the moment and it is not known when it will reopen so you can check the website from time to time to see if this changes.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.holoholo.org/maritime/

Wailuku

Wailuku
The Aloha Tower was built in 1926 and in those days it was the tallest structure in Hawaii. That is no longer the case but it is still one of the most recognisable landmarks in Hawaii. It is used as the traffic control centre for Honolulu Harbour and cruise ships disembark at the terminal under the tower. It is also a popular attraction for visitors because you can take a lift to the tenth floor observation deck for spectacular 360° views. There is a shopping centre under the tower full of shops and places to eat.
For information about the tower visit the website at: http://www.alohatower.com/

Bailey House Museum

Bailey House Museum
This church was founded by King Kamehameha 1V and Queen Emma in 1858 but the building wasn’t finished until 1867 which was four year’s after the king had died. The church is French Gothic in design and has an impressive stained glass window made from hand blown glass that came from England.

Kepaniwai Park and Heritage Gardens

Kepaniwai Park and Heritage Gardens
Kawaiaha´o Church is the oldest church in O´ahu and was built between 1837 and 1842 on the site of the original grass thatch church built by the missionaries when they first arrived in Hawaii. The church was built of around 14,000 stones and it took more than a thousand men to build it. They collected wood from their own lands and carried coral reef rocks from the ocean. The church has been popular with Hawaiian royalty and it was the site of King Kamehameha IV’s coronation as well as his wedding to Queen Emma. Today Kawaiaha´o is one of the few remaining churches in Hawaii to offer services in the Hawaiian language.
For information about the church visit the website at: http://www.kawaiahao.org/index.php/home

Iao Valley

Iao Valley
These buildings are found across the road from Kawaiaha´o Church and they include three of the original buildings from the Sandwich Islands Mission headquarters. The Mission Houses contain original furnishings and are authentic recreations of what life was like for the missionaries and their families when they came to the islands. The first of the three buildings is the Hale La´au which is the oldest frame structure found in the Hawaiian Islands and served as a home for the missionaries. The second building is the Ka Hale Kamalani or Chamberlain House and was built from blocks of coral skeletons. It was used as a storehouse. The third building is the Ka Hale Pa´i or Printing Office and it housed a press to print the Bible in Hawaiian.
For information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.missionhouses.org/

Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation
This building was built for King Kamehameha V to be used as his palace but he died before it was finished and so it was never used as a palace but as the headquarters for the Hawaiian government and home to the Legislative Assembly and Supreme Court. It was in this building that the Provisional government officially overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. Today it is the home of Hawaii’s Supreme Court and State Law Library and there is a Judiciary History Centre on the first floor.
For information about the Judiciary History Centre visit the website at: http://www.jhchawaii.net

Traveller's Tip

If you are a fan of the TV series Lost you may like to know that this building was used in several scenes in the series. One of the conference rooms was used in the scene where Claire meets the prospective adoptive parents of her baby and where Michael and his wife meet with their attorneys about their divorce.
Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum

Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum
Honolulu Hale is City Hall and was built in 1927 as a Spanish Mission. The building is quite beautiful and contains an inner courtyard, staircase and ceiling that were modelled on the Bargello Museum in Florence. The courtyard is sometimes used as a concert venue. It is found on King Street near some of the other historic buildings such as the State Capitol, ´Iolani Palace, the Mission Houses Museum and Kawaiaha´o Church. At the front of the building is an eternal flame memorial to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack.