With its rich history and beautiful culture, Hawaii is home to a number of wonderful museums. Here is a look at the top five that Honolulu has to offer.
USS Arizona Memorial
Bombed about 15 minutes after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona fell just off the coast of Ford Island in about 40 feet of water. Over 1,177 sailors and Marines were killed from the bombing, with more than 900 never being recovered. Built in 1962 on top of the sunken USS Arizona, the USS Arizona Memorial was designed by architect Alfred Preis to preserve the memory of those who were lost.
Located on the southern end of Oahu, the memorial itself can only be reached by boat from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Although the visitor center is located on a military base, it is accessible to the public and offers ample free parking. The visitor center is open seven days per week from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design
Designed to help visitors learn more about the global culture of Islamic art and design, the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design boast exhibits, public tours and special programs for visitors to enjoy. Items in the museum’s collection include tilework, late Ottoman Syrian interiors, and associated furnishings, AQajar Iranian art in a variety of media, carpets, textiles, and architectural recreations. Guided tours provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts are offered Wednesday through Saturday. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Once the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Iolani Palace is considered to be the spiritual and physical epicenter of Hawaii. Dating back to 1882, the palace housed members of the Hawaiian monarchy until it was overthrown in 1893. The structure, which is the only official royal residence in the United States, was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Since then, the palace has been meticulously restored and is open to visitors Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Also known as the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum or as the Hawai’i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Bishop Museum is the largest museum in Hawaii. Founded in 1889, the museum contains the largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and history specimens in the world. In all, the museum holds 24 million natural history specimens, including more than 13.5 million specimens of insects. The museum is open every day other than Thanksgiving and Christmas day from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Founded in 1922, the Honolulu Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the state. Formerly known as the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the museum houses one of the largest collections of Asian and Pan-Pacific art in the United States. In all, the museum is home to more than 50,000 pieces of art