8 Beautiful National Parks in Hawai’i Military Can Visit For Free
For 100 years, the National Park Service has preserved our national treasures, and as they celebrate their centennial, this is the perfect time to highlight how you and your military family can enjoy the beautiful National Parks throughout the beautiful state of Hawai’i and for free!
You and your military family can enjoy the beautiful National Parks throughout the beautiful state of Hawai’i – for free!
The National Park Service offers a free Annual Pass to all military members and dependents in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, as well as Reserve and National Guard members with valid military ID.
Annual Pass for U.S. Military holders receive the following benefits:
- Free admission at sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees for one full year from the month obtained (through last day of that month).
- Allows pass owner and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle to enter federally operated recreation sites across the country.
- Covers the pass owner and three (3) accompanying adults age 16 and older at sites where per person entrance fees are charged. No entry fee charged for children 15 and under.
The pass does not cover or provide a discount on expanded amenity fees such as camping, boat launch, or interpretive fees. Passes can be obtained at Federal sites that charge an entrance fee.
Being stationed in Hawaii is a unique experience, so be sure to embrace your time here and visit any or all of these beautiful National Historic treasures.
1. Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
Big Island, Hawaii
Ala Kahakai is a 175-mile trail that was established in 2000 to honor and preserve the Native Hawaiian Culture. You will be immersed in the beauty and history of this amazing island chain.
2. Haleakalā National Park
Whether you hike the backcountry of Haleakalā or you sit and enjoy a spectacular sunrise, you will know you are in a sacred space. This is a remote area, so preparation for a hiking expedition is imperative. Be sure to bring a heavy jacket and blankets if you plan to visit for sunrise. Yes, it does get cold in Hawai’i. And of course, do not forget your camera!
Sunset above the clouds at Haleakala
3. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Hilo, Big Island
A rare and amazing experience to witness active volcanoes, this national park is sure to appeal to people of all ages. It is an incredible reminder of how this island chain was formed and how the island of Hawai’i is continuing to grow. Witnessing the creation of new land is truly something to behold.
Witnessing the creation of new land is truly something to behold
4. Kalaupapa National Historic Park
This National Historic Park is a stark reminder of the banishment of individuals who contracted Hansen’s disease, better known as leprosy. Since 1866, more than 8,000 people lived and died on this isolated peninsula of the island of Molokai. It is humbling to walk this area and to garner a minute understanding of what life must have been like for those stricken with this horrible disease. There are a few remaining residents, who are cured, that still call this peninsula home, so it is important to show the utmost respect when visiting.
Kalaupapa Lookout in Molokai, Hawaii
5. Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
Kailua-Kona, Big Island
This National Historical Park provides insight into how the Native Hawaiian people survived and thrived in the extreme conditions on the island of Hawai’i. Ancient fishing techniques that involved the creation of fish ponds provided sustenance to the Hawaiian people.
6. Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Honaunau, Big Island
On the gorgeous coastline of the island of Hawai’i, the significance of this National Historical Park is apparent to those who visit. Known as a refuge for those running from the law, civilians in time or war, or defeated warriors, no harm could come to them if they were to reach this remote and safe space.
View of the carved faces of the Tiki (Ki’i Images of the Gods) at the City of Refuge (Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau) National Historical Park. These carved Ki’i surrounded Hale O Keave Haeiau in Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau which served as a sanctuary in ancient times for defeated warriors, noncombatants, and those who violated the kapu (sacred laws), Hawaii.
7. Pu`ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
Kawaihae, Big Island
Walk where King Kamehameha I worshiped and lead his people. This temple is built entirely without mortar and it is said to have been created through the use of a human chain, passing volcanic rocks to the building site. This historic site will transport you to the roots of Hawaiian royalty and culture.
8. World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
One of the most recognizable National Monuments, Pearl Harbor has profound historical significance. This solemn memorial site for those lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor personifies what service and sacrifice mean. Be sure to visit the National Park Service website for information on how to obtain one or more of the 1,300 free tickets given out each day.
US flag flying off the back of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, USA (Photo credit: www.nps.gov/)
Do You Have Military Orders to the Beautiful State of Hawai’i?
If you have any questions about this article, or would like more information about Oahu real estate opportunities, contact me so I can help you create your perfect Hawai’i Life!