There are five top historical sites in Hawaii that people will enjoy while vacationing. Most people who think of Hawaii will conjure up images of large waves, surfing, palm trees, and golden beaches, but Hawaii is much more than that. It is a tropical paradise, but it is also a cultural center that has some of the deepest history out of all the states that include both human tragedies and human achievements.

1. The Memorial of the USS Arizona in Honolulu

The USS Arizona has become famous for being one of the first battleships to be attacked and sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese in December of 1941. Since that time, Hawaii has memorialized the site and has drawn in over one and a half million people annually since it became a U.S. National Park dedication in 1980. People who visit the site will be treated with the history of the area in the form of a documentary film and a memorial boat trip.

2. Kalaupapa National Park in Moloka’i

The history of Kalaupapa has a compelling story that started in the years of 1865 and 1895 when indigenous people were sadly forced to move out of the Kalaupapa area and other people suffering from Hansen’s disease were forced into isolation on the Kalaupapa Peninsula. Hansen’s disease, which is mostly known as Leprosy, was the first tragedy to break ties with the land in over 900 years, until a selfless missionary came along to help the dying and their families. Joseph De Veuster was known as Father Damien, who was given the title of Saint Damien after he showed true bravery for regenerating the pride and dignity of the Molokai people. The national park was created in 1980 as a reminder of the sacrifices that Saint Damien and victims who suffered such a destructive disease, made so many years ago.

3. Kaloko-Honokohau National Park

The Kaloko-Honokohau National Park is a 1,160 acre park located on the Coast of Kona, and was created to preserve the practices of Hawaiian culture. Since its establishment in 1978, the park has received over 45,000 people a year to experience its natural beauty and historical heritage. The national park is home to ancient Hawaiian’s who settled in four different divisions of the land.

4. Royalty Homes in Oahu.

Hawaii was once ruled by a royal family that has long since provided their pristine homes as a monument for many visitors to the Hawaiian Islands. The lolani Palace and the Queen Emma’s Palace are established monuments that are located in the city of Honolulu. One of the main royal rulers was Queen Liliuokalani who resided, and then became imprisoned in the lolani Palace after the Monarchy was overthrown.

5. Memorial of the Battleship Missouri in Oahu

September 2, 1945 was the day that the Japanese formerly surrendered to the allies unconditionally aboard the USS Battleship Missouri. The USS Arizona is anchored a short distance away from the USS Missouri which represents the symbolic beginning and ending of the second world war in the Pacific for the United States. The Battleship Missouri has been called “The Mighty Mo.” “The Mighty Mo” was a battleship that was built for fighting. The World War II battles of Iowa Jima, Okinawa, and the Korean War were some of the successes that the Battleship was known to battle in.

The Battleship Missouri was finally memorialized in 1996 after she was used for her awesome power during the Persian Gulf to launch missiles during the Operation Desert Storm in 1991.