Category: Places

Russian Fort Elizabeth – A Historic landmark in Waimea, Hawaii

Russian Fort Elizabeth - Waimea HawaiiRussian Fort Elizabeth is a declared national historic site located southeast of Waimea on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Now a park, it is the former location of Fort Elizabety, the last remaining Russian fort on the Hawaiian islands.  Situated on the east bank of the Waimea River, the park offers spectacular views of Waimea Bay.

The fort, which was named in honor of then Empress of Russia, Elizabeth Alexeievna, was built in the early 19th century (1817) by the Russian-American Company as the result of an alliance with High Chief Kaumualii. It is octagonal in shape, about 300 feet (91 m) to 450 feet (140 m) across, with walls 20 feet (6.1 m) high. The fort used to house a small Russian Orthodox chapel, the first Orthodox Christian church ever built on the islands. Today, only the ruins of the massive stacked stone walls and an old  staircase remain as reminder of the historic fort. Read more

Mokupāpapa Discovery Center – A Glimpse of Northwestern Hawaiian Marine Life in Hilo, Hawaii

Mokupāpapa Discovery Center - Hilo, HawaiiThe Mokupāpapa Discovery Center is a 20,000-square-foot marine life facility located within the historic Koehnen’s Ltd. Building in Hilo, Hawaii. The center features educational and interactive exhibits about the unique marine species that inhabit Northwestern Hawaiian Island reefs.

One of the center’s most popular attractions is the 3,500-gallon (9,500 liters) salt-water aquarium which provides a glimpse of the vibrant and rich aquatic life from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Park and the remote atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, providing locals and tourists information about the rare species of these secluded places. Apart from the aquarium, there are also lifesize models of wildlife endemic to the area.   Read more

Friendship Garden – A Beautiful Family Friendly Park in Kaneohe, Oahu

Friendship Garden - Kaneohe, OahuFriendship Garden is a ten-acre public park located on a hillside of Kaneohe in Oahu, Hawaii. It is known for its non-strenuous hiking trails that are ideal for family and small group hikes. The trails take visitors through lush forests of tropical vegetation such as macadamia, banyan, mahogany, strawberry guava and eucalyptus trees, in a natural setting.

The trees in the garden were planted in the 1920s as part of what eventually became Hawaii’s first multi-racial community, Kokokahi (“of one blood”), where people of all ethnic backgrounds came together to live, work and play. Read more

Thomas Square – A Historic Public Park in Honolulu, Hawaii

Thomas Square - Honolulu, HawaiiThomas Square is a historically significant site in Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. It is Hawaii’s first official public park, dedicated in honor of British Rear Adm. Richard Thomas by King Kamehameha III in 1850.

Thomas was responsible for restoring the sovereignty of the Hawaiian Kingdom after British subjects, headed by Lord George Paulet, unlawfully seized the Hawaiian government in February 1843. Read more

Olowalu Beach – A beautiful beach with a dark past

Olowalu Beach - Maui, HawaiiOlowalu Beach is a long, narrow beach with shallow offshore reef located on the road between Ma’alaea and Lahaina, right at the 14 mile road marker. It is a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling.

The reef protects the beach from ocean waves, making the area popular among families with small kids. The nearshore water may have poor visibilitybut the farther out you swim, the clearer it gets.  Fish and other marine creatures are also more abundant and varied as you swim further. Read more