Hawaii, with its great weather, beaches and volcanoes, might not seem like a destination in which you want to spend a lot of time in museums. While we agree that you should spend as much time outside as possible, there are several museums worth visiting.
Quick to explore, they’ll provide you with a better understanding of Hawaii as a place, enhancing your understanding of the culture, landscape and history, which in turns helps you better appreciate what you are experiencing throughout your journey. Consider these five museums on your next visit:
Bishop Museum, Honolulu
If you’re interested in learning more about how people first arrived in Hawaii and how the Hawaiian monarchy ruled these islands for centuries before Western contact, the Bishop Museum is the place to go. It is the cream of the crop when it comes to museums concerning Hawaiian history, explaining the overarching narrative of how Hawaii came to be and what it is today.
Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo
Sky gazing on the Big Island at the top of Mauna Kea is the experience of a lifetime, so why not gain a better understanding of what you’re looking at? The Imiloa Astronomy Center walks you through Hawaii’s relationship with the night sky via exhibits and a planetarium. Don’t miss the “Skies Above Hawaii” show for a preview of what you’ll see when stargazing.
Pacific Tsunami Museum, Hilo
You’ll notice when touring around Hawaii that some beaches are unsafe for swimming due to Hawaii’s strong currents and rough surf. Want to know more about the power of the ocean? Stop by the Pacific Tsunami Museum to learn about how tsunamis have impacted Hawaii’s coastlines, and how we prepare for them in the modern day.
Kauai Museum, Lihue
When you land in Lihue, you might be anxious to get to your hotel and decompress after the long journey. But consider making a quick pit stop on the way at the Kauai Museum. Right in the center of Lihue Town, just a few minutes from the airport, it’s a useful first stop as a way to get an overview of the island before you dig in. Learn about the history, its former chiefs and industries and how those legacies are still preserved today.
Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Kahului
No industry has changed the face and scope of Hawaii more than sugar cane, and only recently did the last plantation close in early 2017. Maui was heavily involved in sugar cane, bringing a diverse workforce to the island from Asia and Europe. The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum takes you through the industry’s growth, influence and impact on Hawaii, bringing meaning to the fields you pass as you cruise around Maui.
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