Honolulu Museums
World Class Military & Hawaiian Collections

Most Honolulu museums either focus on military history or Hawaii & Polynesian culture. In some cases admission is free but they do appreciate and rely on donations. You choose how much you are comfortable giving.

honolulu museums

Where there is a cost to enter you can enter for free with the Go Oahu Card and save over half price on additional activities. It covers admission to 9 museums including the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Japanese Cultural Center which I have not covered here. Skip directly to the Hawaiian Culture themed museums here.




Honolulu Museums-Military Themed


Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor)

pearl harbor oahu

The Arizona Memorial is a structure in Pearl Harbor memorializing the servicemen who lost their lives during the 1941 attack by the Japanese. Inside the names of all who died are engraved on a wall which sits over the sunken vessel. On land there are exhibits explaining world events leading up to that fateful day. Read more...




Battleship Missouri

battleship missouri

Built during World War II in 1944 The Battleship Missouri was part of an ongoing battle against the Japanese. It also later became the site where General MacArthur signed a peace treaty ending the war and thus its place in history sealed forever.

These days it is docked at Ford Island near Pearl Harbor and is open for touring.





Pacific Aviation Museum

pacific aviation museum

Located on Ford Island the Pacific Aviation Museum houses an exhibit of aircraft used during World War II and the Korean War.

There is also a theater where patrons can watch a short film about historic events at the time and a flight simulator to see what it feels like to be a pilot.


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US Army Museum

us army museum

Located in Waikiki at Ft DeRussy beside the Hale Koa & Hilton Hawaiian Village hotels the US Army Museum is free to visit. Formerly a structure built to protect Hawaii it now houses exhibits explaining Hawaii's military history from ancient times to the Gulf War & the War in Iraq. Read more.




Hawaiian Culture Themed


Iolani Palace

iolani palace

Formerly the home of the Hawaiian monarchy built in 1882 Iolani Palace is now open for tours. King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani were the last to live there.

It has been meticulously restored and guided or self-guided tours are allowed of the first and second floors.




Bishop Museum

bishop museum hawaii hall

Founded in 1889 by philanthropist Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his late wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last known heir of the Kamehameha family.

The Bishop Museum houses the largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts in the world. There is also an extensive insect collection of over 13.5 species.


Queen Emma Summer Palace

queen emma summer palace

This palace served as a retreat for Queen Emma, her husband King Kamehameha IV and their son Prince Albert Edward during the mid to late 1800s.

Located in the tropical Nuuanu valley on over 2 acres the home features many of their possessions and historical portraits of interest.




Hawaii State Art Museum


honolulu state art museum

Located on the 2nd floor of the #1 Capitol District Building in downtown Honolulu there are 3 galleries and admission is free.

There is a permanent display of Hawaiian art dating back to 1960 featuring works of artists who capture the local spirit & culture. Read More


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