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Hawaii is viewed as a tropical paradise and vacation destination for a reason. The weather is amazing; there are seemingly endless beaches and enough water-based activities to last a lifetime. But Hawaii also offers a rich history and culture just waiting to be discovered.
America’s military presence in the area stretches all the way back to the early 19th century, when at least one U.S. warship stayed to protect whaling and trade ships. Then, in 1869, Congress appropriated $50,000 to deepen the entrance to Pearl Harbor, setting the stage for a permanent U.S. Navy presence completed by 1899. Today the area is home to hundreds of thousands of service members from all branches of the armed forces.
One of Hawaii’s most visited sites is the USS Arizona Memorial. Despite being sunk more than 70 years ago, it still inspires reverence and remembrance. In 1998, the battleship USS Missouri (upon which the Japanese surrendered) was moored facing the Arizona, as if standing guard. Today, both memorials receive more than 1.5 million visitors each year.
As one would expect, there are many things to do in Hawaii that allow you to enjoy the wonderful weather. But don’t limit yourself to just the beach! There are a number of other attractions to check out, both indoors and out. (All located on the big island of Hawaii unless otherwise noted.)