Historical places in North America
Lapakahi is an archaeological complex set along the shore of Koai'e Cove. The first settlers came here 700 years ago and the area was inhabited until 1920. The trail leads through some of remnants of this once thriving settlement, mostly stacked rock walls. There are sweeping views of the beautiful North Kohala coastline and in season you might be able to spot humpback whales.
On December 7th, 1941, just before 8 am, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 Americans died in that attack and 1,143 were injured. The day after USA declared Japan war and entered WWII officially.
Today Pearl Harbour is still an active US naval base, but there are four historical sites, all accessed from the visitor center. USS Bowfin Submarine Museum (at the visitor center), USS Arizona Memorial (reached by free shuttle ferry), Battleship Missouri Memorial (on Ford Island, take the free shuttle bus from visitor center), Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (also on Ford Island, take the free shuttle bus). The visitor center has several displays and memorials, and is free of charge. So is the USS Arizona Memorial, but you will need to reserve tickets, as there is a daily limit. The last three historical sites all have admission fees.
This petroglyph field is located within the Volcanoes National Park almost at the end of Chain of Craters Road. You have to hike 1.2 km over rugged lava fields to reach the collection. There is a boardwalk to protect the petroglyphs. Like the other petroglyph fields on Big Island not much is known about them.
The petroglyph field at Puako features more than 3,000 ancient Hawaiian rock carvings, depicting humans, animals, tools and symbols. Nobody knows for sure when they were carved, but probably between 1000 and 1800 AD. Getting to petroglyph field isn't obvious. From the parking lot at the beach follow the paved trail to a small collection of replica petroglyphs. Then continue by following the rugged trail through the "enchanted" kiawe forest. You will eventually reach the viewing area of the real site.
There is another petroglyph field not far away at Waikoloa (10 km).
This rich petroglyph field is set among resorts and golf courses. It's an open area with lava slaps filled with mostly geometric patterns and symbols, but there are humans, canoes and animals too. Like the other sites, nobody knows when they were carved, but probably between 1000 and 1800 AD. "Newer" rock carvings have also been added after contact with the Europeans (English initials and horses).
There is another petroglyph field at Puako a short drive away (10 km).
Poliahu Heiau is the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple. It was probably used during the 17- and 18-centuries, but it may be older than that. Based on the sheer size of the temple, it has been suggested that Poliahu Heiau was dedicated to the war god Ku, and therefore a place where human and animal sacrifices were offered. None of that can be seen today, as only the stone wall stands.
This is one of the best-preserved and most significant ancient temples in Hawai'i. It was built entirely by hand, with no mortar, in just one year during 1790 by the ruler Kamehameha. He dedicated the temple to the Hawai'ian war god Kukailimoku to help his quest to unite the Hawai'ian Islands. Not a bad move considering he did manage to unite the Hawai'ian Islands in 1810. The name Pu'ukohola means "Hill of the Whale", maybe referring to the fact that humpback whales can be spotted during the winter and spring months - even today.