Top 10 Best Museums In Honolulu

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1. USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

The USS Arizona Memorial is a must-see for anyone interested in American history. By visiting the monument, you can pay your respects to those who died in the battle of Pearl Harbor and get a firsthand look at one of America’s most infamous sites.

More than 1,000 sailors are buried at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which was built on top of the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona.

2. Honolulu Museum of Art

If you’re looking to explore cultures from all around the world, not only Hawaiian culture, then a visit to Honolulu Museum of Art is the one for  you. From Hawaiian and Asian art to European collections, this museum has it all. Also regarded as one of the most important art museums in America, it’s a comprehensive experience that any lover of art will appreciate. 

Anna Rice Cooke founded the museum with the intention of honoring Hawaiian history and culture, as well as works of art from all over the world such as from Asia, Europe, America and Oceania. The museum has been open since 1927, and in that time it has become a safe space for artists to express themselves. Through exhibitions and programming, the organization strives to bring people closer to art overall.


3. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a place where you can learn and celebrate the brave aviators who served during WWII. Located inside two gigantic hangars on Ford Island, with views of Pearl Harbor, this museum has over 50 aircrafts on display–including historic planes like the Douglas SBD Dauntless and the Flying Tigers P-40. If you have an interest in aviation or history, this museum should definitely be at the top of your list!


4. US Army Museum of Hawaii

The US Army Museum of Hawaii, located in Fort DeRussy Park near Waikiki Beach, is a great way to spend an afternoon if you’re looking for something educational and different to do. 

This museum focuses on Hawaiian military history during WWII and the Vietnam War through interesting military artifacts, photographs, and interactive audio tours that visitors can take part in.

5. Iolani Palace

For an educational and at the same time regal experience, come to Iolani Palace. This  place was built in 1879 and is the only royal palace in the United States. This building was home to Hawaii’s last two reigning monarchs: Queen Liliuokalani and King Kalakaua. 

After they were overthrown, it also served as the government capitol building for several years. Now a museum and place of worship for royalty, Iolani Palace is still an active site.

6. Bishop Museum

Known as one of the largest museums showcasing Polynesian culture in the world, Bishop Museum is essential for anyone wanting to learn about Hawaii’s history and cultures. This museum, founded in 1889, contains 26 million artifacts and specimens from various Pacific island cultures throughout different centuries. You’re sure to walk away with a significant amount of knowledge after visiting this incredible location.

7. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

Don’t leave Honolulu without exploring the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, a few steps away from the USS Arizona Memorial. You’ll have the chance to walk through a decommissioned submarine and learn about its role in naval history. The warship was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986 by the federal government for its historical significance.

8. Hawaii Plantation Village

Have a Hawaiian historic-plantation adventure while learning about the customs and way of life on sugar plantations during the early 1900s. The Hawaii Plantation Village is an outdoor museum that offers hands-on experience with over 25 historically restored homes. Curious of how the sugar is processed? Get excited and you’ll get to witness it here. You can really have a blast visiting here!

9. Queen Emma Summer Palace

Prepare to be impressed and have a fulfilling experience at the Queen Emma Summer Palace. This palace was established as a summer getaway for King Kamehameha IV and his wife, Queen Emma. 

Nowadays, this historic landmark is recognized by Hawaiians as a symbol of their culture and heritage and also known as Hanaiakamalama. The 350+ native Hawaiian plant species on perfectly manicured grounds are surely something to see.

Strolling around the gardens, viewing the house, and leaning in during interactive presentations about Hawaii’s most loved royal couple is an opportunity you won’t want to miss out on.




10. Tropic Lightning Museum

The Tropic Lightning Museum is a 1941 organization dedicated to remembering and celebrating the 25th Infantry Division. The museum contains photographs, pieces of memorabilia, and other artifacts from historical events that this division was involved in. 

There is also a lot of information about this crucial time period in American history. It’s perfect for anyone who loves learning about military history or is particularly interested in the role that this infantry played during that time.

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