The State Historic Preservation Division, a branch of the Department of Land and Natural Resources for Hawaii, works to preserve historical sites, from burial grounds to ancient buildings. For more information and a list of sites to visit, go to http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/hpd/index.htm.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has opportunities for visitors to explore the 230,000-acre area that displays the results of 70 million years of volcano activity. The park includes the earth's most massive volcano, 56,000-foot tall Mauna Loa, and one of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea. For more information, call the visitor information line (808) 985-6000 or visit http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm.
Lahaina Restoration Foundation maintains eleven major historic sites in Lahaina. Among them are the Lahaina Lighthouse at Lahaina Harbor, the Wo Hing Museum of Chinese history, and the 19th century Baldwin Home. For more information, call the office at (808) 661-3262 or visit the website at http://www.lahainarestoration.org.
The Bailey House Museum contains wonderfully preserved memorabilia of one of Hawaii's first missionary families. The museum is dedicated to both Maui's pre-contact era and its missionary period. For more information, call (808) 244-3326 or visit the website at http://www.mauimuseum.org/.
Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum teaches children about the many cultural contributions made by Maui's immigrant laborers. The laborers arrived in the 1950s from places such as China, Japan, Portugal, the Philippines, Spain, and Puerto Rico to work on the sugar plantations. The museum itself is located next to Hawaii's largest working sugar factory. For more information, call (808) 871-8058 or visit the website at http://www.sugarmuseum.com/.
Limahuli Gardens are located on Kauai, at the foot of the mountain that became Bali Hai for the movie South Pacific. These gardens showcase a variety of plants cultivated by ancient Hawaiians, as well as some more recent introductions. Near the visitor center, a series of 700-year-old terraced waterways demonstrate how the Hawaiians grew taro (a staple of their diet). Further up the valley lies an ancient Hawaiian archaeological site. A guidebook explains the cultural and ecological significance of the rare plants and geologic formations that can be seen on a hike through the valley. Visit their website at http://ntbg.org/gardens/limahuli.php.