There are quite a few good Hawaii museums to consider when trying to build up your vacation itinerary. Finding a Hawaiian museum that piques your interest won't be hard, thanks to the number of good choices. The Hawaii museums can help you get a better understanding of the state's history, its culture, and its people, which is why you'll do well to visit more than one. Even if you only visit one Hawaiian museum, however, the experience is bound to arm you with some valuable knowledge that will help you better enjoy your overall trip. So don't forget to include some of the museums in Hawaii on your itinerary. If nothing else, they make for great rainy day attractions.
The Bishop Museum
on the island of Oahu is easily
one of the best museums in Hawaii, partly because of the fact that it offers
up a collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts that is one of the greatest
of its kind. The artifacts here give tremendous insight into the natural and
cultural history of Hawaii and the South Pacific, and you might be interested
to know that the collection was started by a Hawaiian Princess.
When you're not hanging out at Waikiki Beach during your Oahu visit, another Hawaiian museum that you might add to your agenda is the Hawaii State Art Museum, which displays some delightful works that are based on the cultural and ethnic traditions of the islands. The building in which the Hawaii State Art Museum is housed is worth the visit alone. Formerly the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, it was built in 1872. The Hawaii State Art Museum is free, which is one good reason to visit it.
Big Island Museums
The island of Oahu isn't the only place to find some good museums in Hawaii.
For those who are planning a visit to the Big
Island to see the lava flows in Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park, among other things, two museums that deserve a
look include the Kona Historical Society Museum and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.
The former is a great place to learn about the history of Kona Town and of the
Kona Coast. The Kona Historical Society Museum is housed in a historic store
that dates back to 1875, and many of the pieces that are on display here harken
back to earlier times, when coffee and cattle were the main industries.
As for the Pacific Tsunami Museum, you'll find it on the other side of the island in the city of Hilo. This museum covers the deadly tsunamis that ravaged the city of Hilo in 1946 and 1960, and it also offers an in depth look at tsunamis in general. Don't forget to also stop by the Lyman House if you're looking for a good Hawaiian museum to spend some time at on the Big Island. This historic house, which was built in 1839, is one of the more important historical houses in the state.
Over on the island of Maui, there's definitely a lot of ways to keep busy. Come the winter months, the whale watching opportunities are glorious, and the island is also an ideal place to go if you fancy some scuba diving or some golf. When you're not enjoying these kinds of activities during your Maui trip, you might take some time out to visit a museum or two. Two of the better Hawaii museums on the island of Maui include the Bailey House Museum and the Baldwin Home Museum.
The Baily House Museum can be found in Wailuku, which is due west of Kahului. It was built in 1833 and served as the home for a sugar planter by the name of Edward Bailey. It's a wonderful architectural piece, and the objects inside are every bit as interesting. The collection is quite varied, and among the most interesting pieces are the landscape paintings that Bailey himself executed in the latter half of the 1800s. As for the Baldwin Home Museum, you'll find it in Lahaina. Built in 1834, it too is an architectural and historical gem that offers fantastic insight into Hawaii's history. Be sure to check out the Masters' Reading Room when visiting the Baldwin Home Museum. It can be found next door and is the oldest building on the island.
The Kauai museums might not be the most renowned museums in Hawaii, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve some of your time when on the island. The Kauai Museum is where you should head first if you are limited on time. Here, you can learn all about the island's heritage. It's recommended that you visit the Kauai Museum before you start exploring the rest of the island, as it will help you get a grasp on all things Kauai.
Other Kauai Hawaii museums that might interest you include the Grove Farm Homestead Museum and the Waioli Mission House Museum, both of which offer insight into Kauai's earlier days. At the Grove Farm Homestead, which was founded in 1864, you can learn all about life on a sugar plantation as it would have been back when sugar was king. Over at the Waioli Mission House Museum, you can view one of the best architectural examples of a mission house. The home was built in 1836, and you might make special note of the chimney, which is made of lava rock. The Kauai museums do well to complement the other Hawaii museums, so don't forget to keep them on the radar.