Many of Hawaii’s treasures are a part of the landscape, in ancient villages and temples. Other pieces of history are displayed in museum collections and exhibits. Here are five museums and cultural centers to visit on the Big Island of Hawaii.
1. Hulihee Palace, Kona
Huliheʻe Palace was built in 1838 by Gov. John Adams Kuakini for his daughter-in-law Princess Ruth. The Kuakini Room contains many delicate and precious heirlooms from pre-contact and post-contact Hawaii.
2. Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo
The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, an extraordinary facility where the volcano and its telescopes meet indigenous Hawaiian culture and language to — at last — articulate the intriguing link between the secrets of the stars and the ancient path of Hawaii’s native culture.
3. Lyman Museum and Mission House, Hilo
The Lyman Museum and Mission House brings Hawaii’s past to life and the family home is now the oldest wooden frame building on the Big Island. More than 26,000 volumes, documents, and historic photos of Hawaii are on display in the museum, which exists solely to tell the story of Hawaii, its islands and its people.
4. Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Laupahoehoe
Laupahoehoe Train Museum and Visitors Center features a handsomely restored railroad employee home, beautifully decorated in early 1900s furnishings.
5. Mokupapapa Discovery Center
Mokupapapa Discovery Center is rich with informaitn about one of the last wild places on earth — the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument which includes the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. It’s a great place to take the family, as there are lots of hands on exhibits.