From warriors to royalty, the Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the nation’s most fascinating history – and the historic homes to prove it. You will certainly find awe-inspiring mansions with unbelievable views and modest homes alike throughout the Aloha State, and visiting these historic homes is one of the best ways to learn more about Hawaii’s unique history and culture. The majority of these 12 homes in Hawaii are on the National Register of Historic Places, and some have even transformed into museums or bed and breakfasts. If only walls could talk, yeah?
1. Washington Place, Honolulu
Located in Honolulu, this home is the site where "Queen Lili'uokalani was arrested during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom." The residence later housed 13 Hawaiian Governors before being converted into a museum.
2. Fred C. Baldwin Memorial Home, Makawao
In the mid-1900s, the Baldwin's provided housing for elderly men, but during World War II, the home was used as a military hospital. The house was also used to house seminary students, summer pineapple plantation workers, and later sat abandoned before being converted into an educational retreat.
3. Lyman House Memorial Museum, Hilo
This Hilo-based natural history museum was founded in 1931 in the Lyman family mission house, which was originally built in 1838. The home is island’s oldest surviving wood-framed building, and exhibits include Hawaiian cultural displays, as well as an impressive collection of shells and minerals. The Lyman Museum has been an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2002.
4. Albert Spencer Wilcox Beach House, Hanalei
This folk-Victorian style home is a one of a kind gem in Hawaii, and a Hanalei landmark. When the home was built, it was covered with sand, a practice thought to prevent termite damage at the time.
5. Doris Duke’s Shangri La, Honolulu
Often considered to be one of Hawaii’s most architecturally significant homes, Shangri La is an utterly enchanting Islamic-style mansion built in the late 1930s by heiress Doris Duke near Diamond Head just outside Honolulu, and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
6. Old Bailey House, Wailuku
Now a museum of Hawaiian history and art, the Old Bailey House was one of the first western-style houses in Wailuku and a former royal residence. The home was originally intended as a mission for children and adults, but after a funding failure, was purchased by the Bailey family in 1850.
7. Hulihee Place, Kailua-Kona
Once used as a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty, the Daughters of Hawaii converted Hulihee Palace into a museum in 1927. John Adams Kuakini, governor of the Island of Hawaii during the Kingdom of Hawaii, built the palace out of lava rocks.
8. Lilijestrand House, Honolulu
Located on Mount Tantalus overlooking Honolulu is this impressive home. Built in the 1940s for the Lilijestrand family, the home feels ahead of its time and is considered an architectural beauty.
9. Old Volcano House No. 42, Hilo
Now home to the Volcano Art Center, this old house within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was built in 1877 as one of Hawaii's first western-style buildings.
10. Gulick-Rowell House, Waimea
Built from coral limestone, the Gulick-Rowell House is easily one of Kauai's most historic homes.
11. Queen Emma’s Summer Home, Honolulu
Located just minutes from downtown Honolulu in the heart of Nu’uanu Valley, Hanaiakamalama served as a summer retreat for Queen Emma from 1857 to 1885. The home was completed in 1848, and features one story, six rooms, and a porch with columns in the Greek revival Style. Today, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace is a museum, tourist site and historic landmark, and is maintained by the Daughters of Hawaii.
12. Shipman House
This authentic Victorian Bed and Breakfast is on the National Register of Historic Places, and offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience the monarchy period of Old Hawaii. Previous guests include author Jack London and Queen Liliʻuokalani.