The big Island has more to offer than just beautiful waterfalls and volcano’s. There is a rich and long history that can be enjoyed at four different museums. Weather you are a history buff or just looking for something to do on a rainy day these museums should not be missed. Join us on a small trip around Hawaii to enjoy The Arts, of all kinds! From Museums to Palaces, Spectator Events to Theatres and Cultural Centers, don’t miss out!
East Hawaii Cultural Center
The first of the four is the East Hawaii Cultural Center. The center was recently voted the “Best Gallery of East Hawaii.” This is a wonderful place to see art exhibits that have been created by the local community. What better way is there to learn about a place than through the eyes of the people who live there.
Every piece of art is for sale. This means you can take a beautiful piece of the Hawaiian community home with you. The exhibits change frequently so be sure to stop in anytime you are on the Big Island.
Tour Hawaii’s Hulihee Palace
The Lyman family mission house was built in 1838 and is the oldest wood framed building on the island. It was converted into a natural history museum in 1931. Famous guest of the mission house include the author Mark Twain. The house still has many of the tools and household items the Lymans used when they built it after moving to Hawaii from New England. The guided tour will give you a chance to see life through the eyes of the Lyman family. This is a fantastic place for any history lover.
The museum also showcases Hawaii’s native shells and minerals including orlymanite which was named for after the great grandson of the Lymans. There are two galleries in the museum. The Earth Heritage Gallery and the Island Heritage Gallery. While visiting the Earth Heritage gallery you will get a first hand look at the natural wonders of the Island. You can walk through lava that has cooled of course. View the numerous rocks and minerals that make up the island. They also have the only exhibit in existence of two flightless birds that are native to Hawaii. The Island Gallery gives you a glimpse into local life and the diverse world that is Hawaii. You can view exhibits on how the earliest inhabitants lived. The museum has everything from the houses they lived in to the hooks and nets they used to catch their meals and the cookware they had to prepare it. You can learn all about the chiefs who went on to become Hawaiian Royalty. This is a great place to visit if you are interested in how the Island came to be what it is today.
tour The Pacific Tsunami Museum
The fourth museum on the Island is the Pacific Tsunami Museum. The primary goal of this museum is to promote tsunami awareness as well as tell the history of the island. It is a memorial to all the lives lost due to tsunami’s. Here you will learn about several tsunami here and around the world as well as other disasters in Hilo history. The science of tsunami exhibit is a great place to learn all about tsunami’s and how they occur. The Donna Saiki Vault theater has video footage from the 1946 tsunami. This theater is in an actual vault that was left behind when the building was converted from a bank into the museum.
Image of Vault Theater
Thanks for touring the big island with us! What do you think, which are the best museums and places for cultural engagement in Hawaii? Let us know!