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Honolulu, Hawaii history museum: Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii.  Photo 1966.

Built in America Collection,  #HABS, HI,2-HONLU,8-. Library of Congress, American Memory




Historical Museum Guide for Hawaii

A directory of Historical Museums in Hawaii, categorized by island.

Taking a trip to Hawaii?  A visit to these Hawaii history museums and historical sites will allow you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there.  Visit a Hawaiian historical museum and gain insight into the history of the Hawaiian people.

Some history museums have virtual tours, histories, genealogy data and historic photos to view online, giving you the opportunity to visit them from the comfort of home.

Hawaii Museums Index      Museum Index for Other States

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Of Special Historic Interest

Hawaii History Timeline

Native Hawaiian History Timeline

Hawaii State Symbols


Historical Photos Online

1851-1991 Panoramic Photos

Hawaiian Historical Society Photo Collection

Historic Hawaiian Surfing Photos

KaluKalu Ranch Photos

University of Hawaii Digital Collections


Hawaii Traveler Info

Free Hawaii Guidebook



History, to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not on opinions..... Lord Acton




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Hawaii History MuseumsHawaiian Grass Shack.

Island of Hawaii


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 

[The Museum Collection]

[Photo Gallery]  [Webcams]

Since 1916, visitors have been making this trek through the volcanic activity on the "Big Island" to get a look at the world's most active volcano.  Upon entering the park, you will find a Visitor Center where you will learn more about this active volcano through exhibits and films.  You may choose to take a hike or there is an 11 mile road called Crater Rim Drive where you will pass through desert, rain forest and see the scenic sites along the way.

Lyman House Memorial Museum

Built in the 1830s, the Lyman Mission House is the oldest wooden building on the island of Hawaii.  Originally, a family home to David and Sarah Lyman, it also served as the Hilo Boarding School for young Hawaiian men.  Guided tours are available and visitors will find historical artifacts, tools, antique furniture, and early household items which were typical for early missionary families in Hawaii.  Located at 276 Haili Street in Hilo, HI.

Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo

[Photo Archives]

The primary focus of the museum is to educate the public about tsunamis while preserving the social and cultural history of Hawaii and serve as a living memorial to those who have lost their lives in past tsunami events. Located at 130 Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo, HI.

Parker Ranch in Waimea



Island of Hawaii

District of Kona



Greenwell Store Museum

Focused on the history of Kona, the Greenwell Store was established in 1875  The archives holds over 40,000 historical photos, artifacts and publications.  Located 14 miles south of Kailua in the area known as Kalukalu.

Kalukalu Ranch Homestead

This outdoor museum features exhibits about the daily life on a typical Kona ranch in the 1890s.  Located at Captain Cook, in the Kona Heritage Corridor.

Kona Coffee Living History Farm

This 7 acre farm was first homesteaded in 1900 and includes a 1925 farmhouse built by Japanese coffee pioneers.  Visitors will step back in time and learn about the lifestyle of coffee farmers in historic Kona through living history interpreters.

Kona Heritage Corridor at the Kona Historical Society


Island of Lanai Lanai Culture and Heritage Center

[Some Lanai History]

Housed inside the old Dole building, the center is focused on the preservation, documentation and sharing the history of Lanai with residents and visitors.  Featuring Hawaiian artifacts and exhibits related to the plantation and ranching culture on the island of Lanai.

730 Lanai Avenue, Suite 126 in Lanai City, Hawaii.


Island of Maui

Alexander Baldwin Sugar Museum

Devoted to the history of the sugar industry of Maui, the museum features exhibits about growing, harvesting and milling sugar on the island.  Located next to the largest sugar factory in the historic town of Puuene on the island of Maui where over 37,000 acres of sugar cane are grown, the museum is housed in a 1902 sugar plantation home at the corner of Mokulele Hwy. and Hansen Road.  Visitors will find a gift shop, where sweet souvenirs may be purchased.

Hawaiian Hall Museum

Maui Historical Society and Museums


Island of Oahu

Bishop Museum

[History]  [Research & Collections]

Founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, husband to the last descendant of the royal Hawaiian Kamehameha family: Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the museum was originally housed in the Polynesian and Hawaiian Halls on the grounds of the Kamehameha School for Boys.  The museum has grown and now features over 24 million objects in it's collections.  Visitors will learn about the rich history of the Hawaii and the Pacific in this, the largest museum in the Hawaiian islands.  Located at 1525 Bernice Street in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Dole Plantation 

Visitors can hop a train tour through the working pineapple plantation, started by James Dole and learn about the history of pineapple agriculture in Hawaii.  There is a walking tour as well where you can get a real birds eye view of these amazing plants.... OR if one is inclined to be adventurous, the plantation features the world's largest pineapple garden maze (actually in the Guinness Book of World Records).  Try some of the pineapple... the fresh pineapple here is the best in the world!  This site features a nice movie about the history of the Dole pineapple fields in Hawaii.  Located at 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa, HI.

Honolulu Police Department Law Enforcement Museum

Featuring the history of the Honolulu Police Department, the museum recounts law enforcement in Hawaii under the kapu system which dates back to the pre-cook era down through present day with exhibits of antique weapons, patches, photographs and other historical artifacts.  Located at 801 S. Beretania Street in Honolulu, HI.

Iolani Palace

The magnificent palace was built in 1882 for King Kalakaua.  It is the only real palace in the United States which was actually lived in by royalty.  King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Lili`uokalani were the only two rulers to reside in the palace before the monarchy was overthrown.  The palace is being preserved and restored. Tours are offered  Located at 364 S. King Street in Honolulu, HI.

Mission Houses Museum 

Three historical mission houses which were built in the early 1800s make up the Mission House Museum.  The houses were home to the first Christian missionaries sent to the Hawaiian Islands.  The museum features guided tours, and school programs.  The Hawaiian Mission Children's Society library is located on the museum grounds.  The library holds the earliest book which were printed in the Hawaiian language and were used by the missionaries to teach. Visit at 553 South King Street in Honolulu, HI.

Pacific Aviation Museum

Opened on December 7th, 2006 the Pacific Aviation Museum will eventually occupy three hangars on historic Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Hangar 37 is the first phase of the Museum and contains aircraft from the first year of the United States involvement in World War II. Some of the aircraft currently on display are a Mitsubishi Zero fighter, an Aeronca civilian plane attacked in the air, a Grumman Wildcat, and a Stearman Training plane. An Aviator's tour will take you into the restoration area where a Navy F14, a Stinson L-5, Cobra and Huey Helicopters are housed. Walk the ground that was under fire on the day that Japan launched its surprise on the island of Oahu over 60 years ago.

Polynesian Cultural Center

[History of the Luau]

Although this is not a museum exactly, visitors will experience the culture and heritage of the Polynesian peoples!  Don't miss this one if you are taking a trip to Hawaii.  It is living history and the productions performed here are so beautiful, it will take your breath away.  Featuring 7 native villages, providing exhibits and display of each one's unique culture,a Hawaiian luau and the beautiful night show, visitors will take home lovely memories of the Polynesian peoples.  Located at 55-370 Kamehameha Highway in Laie, HI on Oahu.

USS Arizona Memorial 

[Pearl Harbor Attacked!]

[Hear President Roosevelt's speech about Pearl Harbor]

[Read President Roosevelt's speech about Pearl Harbor]

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park

USS Missouri   [Facts and History]

The USS Missouri was first launched in 1944 and in use during WWII.  The surrender of Japan was signed on the deck of the USS Missouri  View a History Timeline to learn more about this historic ship.  Located in Pearl Harbor just a short distance from the USS Arizona Memorial Visitors Center.



Museum Index for Other States

Hawaii Census Records


Related History Links 

Hawaiian Culture and History

Hawaii Museums Association

Hawaii State Library and Archives

Hawaiian Historical Society


Hawaii Genealogy:

Hawaii Genealogy

Hawaii Genealogy Data at Ancestry

Hawaii Genealogy Societies

Hawaii Vital Records

Hawaii Vital Records Links

Back to Historical Museum Guide States Index 


Do you have a museum not listed here?  Submit Links


HOME    Census Records  Historical Societies  County Maps  Census Questions by Decade  Spotlite  Links  Link to us!

Genealogy Sources:   Ancestry.com   US Vital Records  CensusDiggins.com   Ancestor Hunt   Surname Search



Hawaii Historical Museums Guide is a tool designed to help you find Hawaii history museums, Hawaiian cultural exhibits and HI historic sites.  

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