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Must-Visit Museums in Honolulu

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
93 Reviews
12.2km from downtown
"The Pacific Aviation Museum also has a lot of military aircraft, like the wartime aircraft, the variety and specifications are very rich, the Space Museum also has room to eat and drink, the outdoor area is very wide, and enjoy a lot of things."

Reasons to Recommend: The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor Hawaii is both one of the top sights in Hawaii and is also one of the most historically important. More than two thousand American soldiers and civilians passed away that fateful day on December 7, 1942 and this somber memorial pays their heroic memories due honor. Entrance into the statue itself is free, as is a ride out to the popular USS Arizona Memorial, although they are on a first come first served basis. There are also a variety of other attractions to see, including the USS Bowfin Submarine, the USS Missouri, and the freshly remolded Pacific Aviation Museum. In addition to the museum, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center itself undertook a drastic renovation at the end to 2010 that permitted this beautiful open-air facility to better take advantage of the picturesque Hawaiian bay that it sits near. If you are on Oahu, do not miss your chance to tour and learn at this truly historic location. The best time to visit is right away in the morning, before the tour buses arrive.

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Iolani Palace
147 Reviews
49m from downtown
"The only royal palace on American territory, and the Forbidden City of Hawaii, was listed on the National Historic List in 1966. It is a great place to start a walking tour of Honolulu's historic district."

Reasons to Recommend: The Iolani Palace has a lot of unique distinctions associated with it. Constructed in 1882 by David "The Merrie Monarch" Kalakaua,this beautiful building happens to be the only Palace in the United States. Additionally, it had electricity a full four years before the White House, Windsor Palace and the Imperial Palace of Japan, flushing toilets before any palace anywhere, and was the first place in Honolulu to have a working telephone. There are a number of beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding this historic building, and tours proceed throughout the complex every thirty minutes. Adorned with authentic Hawaiian memorabilia, tours of this facility provide both a lesson in history and a look at a wide range of native art.

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USS Bowfin Memorial Park
22 Reviews
10.8km from downtown
"Very interested in visiting the submarine so we went. The tour was 35 minutes with an audio guide which was great and very informative. Chatted with a former Navy soldier staff member. He told us about life in the submarine etc which was great."

Reasons to Recommend: The Bowfin Memorial Park is a place dedicated to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor. For a meager admission price you can include this attraction full of history to your day at Pearl Harbor, and learn the shocking past of one of the navy's most victorious vessels. The USS Bowfin went through nine tours of duty in the Pacific, accumulating innumerable "kills" over that span of time. Japanese decals are spread on the ships hull in abundance, exemplifying the deadly accuracy at which the Bowfin went about it's job. Visitors are encouraged to read up on the past of submarine warfare at the waterfront around the Bowfin, before heading on board the sub itself to view the deck and the small living quarters below. Both an magnificent piece of machinery and an historic remain of one of the most impactful events in world history, the USS Bowfin, and the Pearl Harbor National Monument, are both important to see Oahu attractions.

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Honolulu Museum of Art
32 Reviews
1.1km from downtown
"Close to the city, it can be considered a museum, not high, only one floor, the front is a garden, there is a small fountain, there is a restaurant, the exhibition inside is very diversified, but there are many valuable paintings, many works of Van Gogh, Picasso, Still the real work, and also some Asian style exhibits such as costumes, sculptures, etc., tired can order a cup of coffee and snacks, take a good rest, and continue. Inside can really bring an afternoon, very beautiful."

Reasons to Recommend: As you might expect, this internationally respected home of the arts contains a particularly large collection of Asian arts. Truth-be-told, the Asian collection at the Honolulu Academy of Arts is the largest in the United States. Works from throughout mainland Asia and Polynesia can be found here in abundance. Hawaiian artwork is represented particular well too. In fact, they have a rather large collection of ancient art from around the globe at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Visitors also come in for the unique classically focused artwork represented in their Renaissance and American collections. This facility has a great focus on Hawaii that is excellent for the excited visitor who is now Hawaii's biggest fan, but it also has international attractions that make it well suited for the more diverse critic.

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Mission Houses Museum
14 Reviews
351m from downtown
"The Missionary Museum is not open every day, at least when we passed by, we thanked guests behind closed doors. If you understand the local history, you should walk around the museum. The surrounding area is also very lively, and it is quite interesting to stroll around."

Reasons to Recommend: Created by Protestant missionaries during the early 19th century, this collection of three old buildings is currently home to exhibits intended to teach the public about the unique relationship between Hawaii and missionaries. The Frame House was built in 1821, and is the oldest still-standing wooden framed building throughout the Hawaiian islands. Unlike the just mentioned Frame House, which had to be sent around South America from Boston before arriving to Oahu, the Chamberlain House is composed of coral blocks. It was the base for missionary services for the Hawaiian islands, and today contains the museum's temporary exhibits. Finally one more old building is the Printing Office. Another coral building, this complex was where some of the first books in Hawaii were created, and rounds off a list of attractions that together is one of the most curious places to visit in Oahu.

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King's Guard Museum
12 Reviews
4.8km from downtown
"A very small museum. In the inner area of a street here, the King’s Guard Museum is also a very unique place. There are many facilities about clothing. The museum also has a very traditional style of clothing. I am also very good."