Explore Hawaii’s Top Museums And Galleries

Hawaii is a paradise destination that draws millions of tourists every year. Some people come for the beaches, others for the wildlife, and still others for the scenic vistas. Whatever your reason for traveling to Hawaii, make sure to include a visit to some of the state’s top museums and galleries. From the ancient history of Polynesia to the amazing artwork created by contemporary island artists, Hawaii’s museums and galleries offer something for everyone.

Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum is one of the most popular museums in Hawaii. Founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, the husband of Hawaiian royal Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the museum is named after her and is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Hawaii and the Pacific. With over 24 million artifacts, the museum’s collections include natural history, geology, and indigenous cultural objects. The museum also offers hands-on exhibits, educational programs, and the state’s largest collection of Hawaiian language newspapers.

Hawaii State Art Museum

The Hawaii State Art Museum, also known as HiSAM, is located in downtown Honolulu and is home to a collection of artworks by both established and up-and-coming local artists. With nearly 5,000 pieces in the museum’s collection, visitors can see works that range from traditional Polynesian art to contemporary installations. The museum also hosts special exhibitions that feature local artists and special events throughout the year.

Honolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Museum of Art is a world-class museum that houses over 50,000 works of art from around the world. The museum’s collections include Asian art, European art, and contemporary art. The museum also has special exhibitions, films, concerts, and lectures that are open to the public. The museum’s historic Spalding House is also open to visitors and has a collection of outdoor sculptures and a stunning view of Honolulu.

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is the only royal palace located in the United States and was once the home of Hawaii’s last monarchs. The palace was built in 1882 and is now a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can take a guided tour of the palace and see its opulent interiors, including the throne room, the music room, and the private chambers of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. The palace also has an extensive collection of artifacts and personal belongings of the royal family.

Lahaina Arts Society

The Lahaina Arts Society is located on Maui and is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting fine art in the region. The society’s gallery features a range of media, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and photography. The gallery also hosts community events, workshops, and classes that are designed to educate visitors about art and inspire creativity.

Maui Arts & Cultural Center

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center is a world-class performing and visual arts center that is located in Kahului on the island of Maui. The center has multiple venues, including the Castle Theater, the McCoy Studio Theater, and the Schaefer International Gallery. The center hosts a variety of performances, from music to dance to theater, as well as art exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.

Polynesian Cultural Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a living museum located on the North Shore of Oahu. The center is dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditional customs of Polynesia, including Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tahitian culture. Visitors can take a guided tour of the center and see cultural demonstrations, such as fire knife dancing, hula dancing, and traditional cooking methods. The center also has a Polynesian marketplace where visitors can purchase souvenirs and crafts.

Volcano Art Center

The Volcano Art Center is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and is dedicated to promoting art that is inspired by the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region. The center has a gallery that features works by local artists, as well as a sculpture garden and a native plant garden. The center also offers art classes and workshops, as well as cultural and nature tours, that are designed to educate visitors about the Big Island’s unique environment and rich cultural history.


Hawaii may be best known for its natural beauty, but the state’s museums and galleries offer a glimpse into its history, culture, and artistic heritage. Whether you’re interested in ancient Polynesian history or contemporary island art, Hawaii has a museum or gallery that’s sure to satisfy. So next time you’re in Hawaii, be sure to visit some of these top cultural attractions and immerse yourself in the rich and diverse culture of the islands.

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