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Bishop Museum

From lava flows to a whale skeleton and the regalia of ancient royalty, you’ll find aspects of Hawaii’s unique heritage on display at this gallery with planetarium.

Learn how the ancient Polynesians navigated using the stars, watch a volcano erupt and browse the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Polynesian artifacts at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. Established in 1889, the museum features collections designed to educate the public on the cultural, geographical and natural history of the “Aloha State.”

The centerpiece of the museum is the stunning Hawaiian Hall. This was the first part of the museum to be built, and its classical Victorian architecture stands in stark contrast to the wooden pillars carved in Polynesian style. Admire the colorful Hawaiian capes hanging on the walls and check out the extensive collection of traditional artifacts.

The hall also impresses visitors because of the 50-foot (15-meter) skeleton of a sperm whale that hangs from its ceiling. Only partially covered with a papier-mâché skin, the installation allows you to inspect the bone structure of these magnificent marine creatures.

Attached to the Hawaiian Hall is the Polynesian Hall, which contains traditional clothing, weapons and musical instruments from the state’s surrounding islands.

From here, head to the Science Adventure Center. Five floors of exhibits, many of them interactive, are designed to give a comprehensive account of Hawaii’s environment. Control the lava flow from a volcano or guide yourself through the ocean floor with a hand-held controller. Children will love the volcanic eruption displays, which take place several times each day.

Don’t miss the planetarium, where over 8,500 bright stars and planets replicate the constellations of our galaxy. Visit one of the daily shows or just wander through the displays at any other time.

The Bishop Museum is located in the Kalihi district of Honolulu. Several bus routes service the area, and there is free parking on the museum grounds. A large lawn area provides a picnic opportunity, and the museum café serves up a tasty menu of brunches and lunches as well as lighter snacks. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and Christmas Day. Allow at least 2–3 hours for a visit.


Guide to Exploring around Bishop Museum


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Lodging Near Bishop Museum

See all 539 Hotels near Bishop Museum
$93
Pacific Marina Inn Airport Hotel

Pacific Marina Inn Airport Hotel

2628 Waiwai Loop, Honolulu
2.9
of 5, from 872 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Western Honolulu, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Navy Marine Golf Course, Bishop Museum, and Kamehameha Shopping Center. Aloha Tower and USS Arizona Memorial are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$169
Aston at the Executive Centre Hotel

Aston at the Executive Centre Hotel

1088 Bishop St, Honolulu
3.8
of 5, from 124 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Downtown Honolulu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hawaii Pacific University, Aloha Tower, and Hawaii State Capitol. Iolani Palace and Ala Moana Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$152
Best Western The Plaza Hotel

Best Western The Plaza Hotel

3253 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu
3.2
of 5, from 478 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

4 miles from Pearl Harbor Naval Station, this hotel is just a half-mile from the airport, with a complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle.

$149
Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra

Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra

410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu
3.8
of 5, from 1,565 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Adjacent to the expansive Ala Moana Center shopping mall, this 2-tower hotel is across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center and 1 block from the family-friendly Ala Moana Beach Park.

$170
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu
4.2
of 5, from 6,158 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

With lush gardens, ponds, and waterfalls, this 22-acre Honolulu destination resort is fronted by several acres of Waikiki Beach; offers views of iconic Diamond Head Crater; a weekly Polynesian extravaganza includes traditional dance and fireworks.

$169
Airport Honolulu Hotel

Airport Honolulu Hotel

3401 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu
3.5
of 5, from 727 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

This Honolulu hotel is just a half-mile from Honolulu International Airport.