Guide to the Waikiki Historic Trail

1. All sights on the Waikiki Historic Trail are within walking distance of each other.
2. Public bus transportation is also great. You can download the free app “Da Bus”.
3. One Way Fare: $2.50
4. Transfer coupon is given upon request to cash paying customers at the time of boarding.
5. Transfer coupon is valid for two connections only and is not valid for return/ round trips.   

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole

One of the most important stops on the Waikiki Historic Trail is the statue of Prince Kuhio. Born into the Kalakaua dynasty, he was the first Native Hawaiian and Royal to be a representative in the United States Congress. He was introduced the first ever Hawaii Statehood Act in 1919, though it would be another 40 years before seeing fruition. March 26th is a state holiday that honors Prince Kuhio’s birth.  

Duke Kahanamoku Statue

A five time Olympic medalist in swimming, Duke also popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing.  If you are addicted to the surf, then your Waikiki Historic Trail is definitely not complete without paying homage to Duke.

King Kamehameha Statue

Another prominent figure on the Waikiki Historic Trail is King Kamehameha. The Hawaiian king conquered most of the Hawaiian islands in 1810, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the Naha Stone. King Kamehameha succeeded in moving the stone which meant that he was the chosen one to unify the islands. His final resting place is unknown as his body was hidden according to the ancient custom hunakele. The mana (power) of a person was considered sacred and as a result the remains of a person were buried in secret. 

P.S. The statue is covered in gold leaf.

Iolani Palace

The official residence of the Hawaiian monarchy beginning with Kamehameha III of the Kamehameha Dynasty and ending with Queen Lili’uokalani of the Kalakaua Dynasty. The palace was opened to the public as a museum in 1978. The only royal palace on US soil, Iolani Palace is a must see on the Waikiki Historic Trail.

The Queen’s Conference Center

Originally named after Mabel Smyth, the first Hawaiian woman to receive her degree in public health, The Queen’s Conference Center is the largest private hospital in Hawaii. 

Honolulu City Hall

The location of the city and county government headquarters, the city hall is a regular stop on the Waikiki Historic Trail.

Kawaiahoo Church

The Kawaiahoo Church is a significant site on the Waikiki Historic Trail for many reasons. Considered the mother church and Westminster Abbey of Hawaii, the church was designated a National Historic Landmark and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. 

King Kamehameha III granted land to Christian missionaries as well as donated the tower clock, known as the Kauikeaouli Clock. Even today, the clock operates on its original machinery. 

Tomb of King Lunalilo who preferred to be buried in a church cemetery as opposed to the Royal Mausoleum. 

The Kawaiaha’o Fountain is a freshwater spring that was frequently visited by the High Chiefess Ha’o. Hence, the name of the church: Ka Wai a Ha’o- the water of Ha’o.

Hawaii State Library

With a collection of over 3 million books, the Hawaii State Public Library System has the only statewide library system and one of the largest in the United States. 

Ali’iolani Hale

Originally designed by Thomas Rowe in the Italian Renaissance Revival architectural style to serve as King Kamehameha V’s royal residence, this beautiful buildng is worth photographing on the Waikiki Historic Trail. Today it houses the Hawaii State Supreme Court.

In the Hawaiian language, Ali’iolani Hale means “House of Heavenly Kings”. 

King David Kalakaua Building

Named after Hawaii’s last king, it is also known as the U.S. Post Office, Custom House and Courthouse building. Its architecture is inspired from Mission/ Spanish Revival elements.

Aloha Tower

You cannot complete your Waikiki Historic Trail without checking out the Aloha Tower. Located in Pier 9 of Honolulu Harbor, this lighthouse was the tallest structure in Hawaii for four decades. Today the First Hawaiian Center is the tallest building in Hawaii.

Built in the Hawaiian Gothic architectural style, Aloha Tower is a symbolic beam of welcome for the thousands of immigrants who come to Hawaii.