For those who are interested in learning more about Hawaiian history and culture, visiting some of the state's sacred sites is recommended. The sacred sites in Hawaii are quite numerous, and since they can be found on all of the main islands, visiting one or more of them should be easy. It is important to note that many of the sites that feature a historic church or temple in Hawaii are relatively fragile. They are also of great significance to native Hawaiians, who have high regard for their sacred sites. Whether you're visiting one of the temples or one of the churches in Hawaii, it's important that you are both respectful and careful. In other words, you should aim to leave little to no mark of your presence. It is also important to note that the word for temple in Hawaii is heiau. You're bound to see this word used often when it comes to Hawaii's sacred sites.
Maui Sacred Sites
Maui is a good place to start if you are interested in visiting some temples and churches in Hawaii. Two of the more interesting Maui Hawaii temples include the Wo Hing Temple, which was a Chinese society hall that was built in 1912, and the main Jodo Temple, which is a Buddhist Temple that can be found near Lahaina.
For those who are interested in a more ancient temple in Hawaii, Maui also boasts the Piilanihale Heiau. This temple, which can be found on the grounds of the Kahanu Garden, was built in the thirteenth century and is widely considered to be the largest ancient place of worship in all of Polynesia. The Kahanu Garden is one of the best botanical gardens in Hawaii, and you'll do well to explore as much of it as possible. There are quite a lot of Hawaiian churches and temples in Maui, and you might look to book a historical tour upon arrival if you want to get a better understanding of some of them.
Oahu Sacred Sites
Like the Island of Maui, the island of Oahu
boasts quite a lot of interesting Hawaii temples and churches. Among the most
highly regarded sacred sites in Oahu is the Byodo
In Temple, which is a replica of a renowned temple that can be found in
Kyoto, Japan. Other fascinating Oahu sacred sites include the Puu O Mahuka Heiau
State Monument and the Royal Mausoleum State Monument. The former is an archaeological
site where a large Hawaiian temple once stood. Though the temple is in ruins,
many native Hawaiians still bring offerings of fruit to its living altar. A
national historic landmark, the Puu O Mahuka Heiau State Monument definitely
deserves a visit when hanging out on Oahu's North
As for the Royal Mausoleum State Monument, it is where two of Hawaii's royal families are buried. Ask most Hawaiians, and they will likely tell you that the Royal Mausoleum State Monument is one of the state's most sacred burial sites. Interestingly enough, though it is only a short drive away from Waikiki, this sacred site doesn't figure on many tourists' itineraries. An attraction that does figure on many tourists' itineraries is the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is a wonderful place to gain insight into Hawaii history and culture.
Big Island Sacred Sites
While you can find some interesting Hawaiian churches and temples on the Big
Island, its most sacred site is arguably Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park, which is home to Mauna Loa; the largest and most
active volcano on the planet. This 333,000-acre park is also home to the Kilauea
Volcano, which is the fabled home of Pele. Pele is Hawaii's Goddess of the Volcano,
and she has long been an important figure when it comes to the archipelago's
sacred culture. In addition to a sacred volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
also boasts archaeological sites, among the most interesting of which are the
One of the other top sacred sites on the Big Island is the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, which can be found in the Kona area. This 1,160-acre park was once the site of an ancient settlement. Among the remnants are petroglyphs, a heiau, and some fish ponds. When you're not taking in the historical and sacred attractions at the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, you can hike along the coast, enjoy a picnic, go fishing, or even try some snorkeling or surfing.
Kauai Sacred Sites
Over to the westernmost island of Kauai,
visitors who are looking for interesting churches in Hawaii to add to their
agendas will want to keep the Hanalei Church in mind. Also known as the Waioli
Huiia Church, the Hanalei
Church was built in 1912, though the Waioli Mission Hall, which is a separate
building, dates back to 1834. Of the other Hawaiian churches that are found
on the island of Kauai, the Lihue Lutheran Church and the Waimea United Church
of Christ are among the most notable. The former is the oldest Lutheran church
in Hawaii, while the latter is an 1850s church that is made out of coral. Kauai
also boasts some Hawaii temples, petroglyphs, and other sacred attractions that
you will do well to keep an eye out for along the way.
Lanai Sacred Sites
Lanai might be a small island, but it has some interesting sacred sites of its own that visitors might find interesting. Temple ruins and ancient petroglyphs figure among the sacred and historical attractions on the island, and you can find both at the Luahiwa Rain Heiau and Petroglyph Preserve, which can be found on Lanai's southern side. Don't forget to visit the Kaunolu Archaeological Interpretive Park when looking for historic and sacred sites on Lanai. This park is a National Historic Landmark, and among the things that you will find here are house platforms, gravesites, shelters made from stone, a temple, and a fishing shrine.
Molokai Sacred Sites
The island of Molokai, while largely undeveloped, is home to a number of sacred sites that are bound to pique the interest of some. Among the best are the Kalaupapa National Historic Park and the Kaluaaha Church. At the Kalaupapa National Historic Park, you can learn more about Father Damien, who established a refuge for lepers on the island in the late 1800s. You can also take in some rich archaeological sites, visit a historic Roman Catholic Church, and even enjoy a mule ride on the expansive grounds. As for the Kaluaaha Church, it dates back to 1844, making it the island's first Christian church. While part of the church is in ruins, much of it still stands, and you're bound to find that it resembles a fortress in many ways.