Aliʻiōlani Hale NRHP

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Aliʻiōlani Hale means  “House of Heavenly Kings.”  It was built by King Kamehameha V in 1874 (and Aliʻiōlani was one of the King’s given names.)

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It was originally supposed to be the royal palace, but it was converted into a much-needed government building. The interior was gutted and remodeled to accommodate the court system in 1911. Today Aliʻiōlani Hale houses Hawaii’s State Supreme Court, a law Library and a museum on the Hawaiian judiciary.

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The famous gold-leaf statue of Kamehameha the Great stands in front of the building and it’s across the street from ‘Iolani Palace.

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Oahu Posts:

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Location: 417 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date established/designated: 1874, added to NRHP February 2, 1972

Date of my visit: April 13, 2019

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King Kamehameha Statue

IMG_4560Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

King Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810 after long years of conflict between the different tribes. His bronze statue stands in front of Aliʻiolani Hale, across the street from Iolani Palace. We stopped by to see it after touring Iolani.

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Originally commissioned to commemorate  the centennial anniversary of Captain Cook’s arrival in Hawaii, the statue was completed in Italy and France a little to late to make it. Then the ship it was on sank. King Kalākaua, who was building Iolani Palace at the time, had the statue recast and dedicated it in honor of Kamehameha I in 1883.

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There are four panels at the base of the statue depicting scenes from Kamehameha’s life.  The first is Kamehameha as a boy, training to be a warrior and demonstrating remarkable skill.

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In the second he is surveying his armada of Koa wood canoes, capable of transporting 8000 warriors between the islands.

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The third represents the ‘law of the splintered paddle’ which decreed that all Hawaiians should be able to travel freely and without fear of harm.

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The fourth depicts Kamehameha meeting with Captain Cook aboard his vessel off the island of Maui.

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Oahu Posts:

Location: 447 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Designation: Statue

Date established/designated: 1883

Date of my visit: April 13, 2019

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Fort DeRussy Beach Park Video

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

Fort DeRussy is a beach-front military reservation in the Waikiki area. The beach stretches between Kahanamoku Beach and the Outrigger Hotel. While it is under the jurisdiction of the US Army, most of the park, including the beach, is open to the public. You can see my original post on Fort DeRussy here.

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When going through my camera roll, I found a video clip I’d forgotten to include in the original post, so here it is. Enjoy!

Location: 2055 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Designation: Military Reservation

Date established/designated: circa 1904

Date of my visit: April 2019

Diamond Head National Natural Landmark

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Diamond Head is a dormant volcano crater. It provides the iconic backdrop to Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu.

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Hawaiians called the crater ‘Le’ahi’ (Tuna Ridge, because it resembles the fin of a tuna.) Western explorers thought they saw diamonds sparkling on the crater walls as they approached from the sea which is how it got the name Diamond Head. There were no diamonds.

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The military built the trail to the top in 1908 and defensive bunkers were built at the summit during World War II. There are still antennae up there in use by the government.

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The hike to the summit is the most popular trail on the island, so we Ubered over to the trail head at the crack of dawn. The car dropped us off in the parking lot where there is a small visitors center kiosk and some restrooms.

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The trail head begins from the parking lot, which is already halfway up the crater. It starts out as a steep sidewalk and then gives way to rocky, slippery switchbacks.

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Near the end of the switchbacks is a side trail leading to an overlook. This is a good pace to take some photos, catch your breath and drink some water.

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The trail is only 1.8 miles round trip, but it’s steep.

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Further up the trail, the switchbacks lead to an even steeper staircase. After climbing the stairs, you get to huff and puff your way through a narrow tunnel blasted through the rock.

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Once through the tunnel, there are more stairs to the bunkers on top. We climbed up there for breathtaking views of Honolulu, the Pacific and Diamond Head Lighthouse down below.

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Once we got back down to the trail head, we continued walking past the park’s entrance to the farmer’s market, about a 1/2 mile down the road. There are dozens of food stalls with fresh fruit and specialties from many different countries. We snacked our way around the world and then were off to our next stop.

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Oahu Posts:

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Location: Diamond Head, Honolulu, HI 96815

Designation: National Natural Landmark, State Monument

Date established/designated: 1968

Date of my visit: April 13, 2019

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The Aloha Tower – NRHP

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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The Aloha Tower is a lighthouse on Pier 9 of Honolulu Harbor. When it opened in September 1926 it was the tallest structure in Hawaii at 10 stories. It cost $160k to build, a huge sum at the time.

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Like the Hawaiian Statue of Liberty, the Aloha Tower welcomed immigrants for decades. During WWII, it was painted camouflage. Today, it has an observation deck on the 10th floor, is surrounded by the Aloha Tower Marketplace (part of Hawai‘i Pacific University,) and welcomes cruise ship tourists to the port of Honolulu.

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Oahu Posts:

Location: 155 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96813

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date established/designated: May 13, 1976

Date of my visit: April 13, 2019

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Fort DeRussy Beach Park

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Fort DeRussy is a beach-front military reservation in the Waikiki area. The beach stretches between Kahanamoku Beach and the Outrigger Hotel. While it is under the jurisdiction of the US Army, most of the park, including the beach, is open to the public.

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The Army purchased this land from a Chinese billionaire in 1904. The army built defensive batteries there, but after a test of the guns shattered the windows of nearby resorts, that use was discontinued. Battery Randolph then became an R&R installation during the Vietnam War. Today it houses the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaiʻi.

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I walked the beach from Kahanamoku to the end of DeRussy each morning to watch the sun rise over Diamond Head. The DeRussy Beach is said to be the largest in Waikiki, which is made up of 6 or 7 beaches. One morning, after it drizzled on me for a bit, I saw a rainbow.

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DeRussy Park also has a large landscaped greenspace. We could see people running, walking dogs or participating in a Tai Chi class there in the mornings.

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Oahu Posts:

  • Kahanamoku Beach
  • Fort DeRussy Beach Park
  • Green World Coffee Farm (coming soon)
  • The Dole Plantation (coming soon)
  • Anahulu River (coming soon)
  • Waimea Falls (coming soon)
  • Hau’ula Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Tropical Macadamia Farm (coming soon)
  • Byodo-In Temple (coming soon)
  • Polynesian Cultural Center (coming soon)
  • Aloha Tower (coming soon)
  • Diamond Head (coming soon)
  • Iolani Palace (coming soon)
  • King Kamehameha Statue (coming soon)
  • Aliʻiōlani Hale (coming soon)
  • Pearl Harbor (coming soon)

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Location: 2055 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Designation: Military Reservation

Date established/designated: circa 1904

Date of my visit: April 2019

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Kahanamoku Beach

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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There is a law in Hawaii mandating public access to its beaches which states that any land below the highest wave line is considered state property and open to the public. As a result, resorts and developments must provide free access to beaches fronting their property. Only certain federal lands are exempt from this rule.

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Kahanamoku Beach is at the western edge of Waikiki, in front of Hilton’s Hawaiian Village.

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It is named for Hawaii’s legendary surfer, Duke Kahanamoku. His family owned the land before the resort was built.

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Duke learned to swim on this beach and went on to become an Olympic Gold Medalist. He was born in 1890 and died in 1968.

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While staying in Honolulu,  we had a room at the Hawaiian Village.  Each morning, still on NYC time,  I’d walk the beach and  lagoon, catching the sunrise over Diamond Head and watching shore birds before the beach-goers arrived.

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Kahanamoku Beach is adjacent to Fort DeRussy Beach, which is a military reservation

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Oahu Posts:

  • Kahanamoku Beach
  • Fort DeRussy Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Green World Coffee Farm (coming soon)
  • The Dole Plantation (coming soon)
  • Anahulu River (coming soon)
  • Waimea Falls (coming soon)
  • Hau’ula Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Tropical Macadamia Farm (coming soon)
  • Byodo-In Temple (coming soon)
  • Polynesian Cultural Center (coming soon)
  • Aloha Tower (coming soon)
  • Diamond Head (coming soon)
  • Iolani Palace (coming soon)
  • King Kamehameha Statue (coming soon)
  • Aliʻiōlani Hale (coming soon)
  • Pearl Harbor (coming soon)

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Location: Public access at the end of Paoa Pl, off Kalia Rd, Honolulu, Hawaii

Designation: Public Beach

Date established/designated: circa 1954

Date of my visit: April 10 2019

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