The premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific and the largest museum in the state, Bishop Museum (1525 Bernice St., 808/847-3511, 9am-5pm Wed.-Mon.), the Hawai‘i State Museum of Culture and Natural History, was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It was erected as a bastion for her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms as the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. The museum also has an extensive library and archives for research purposes.
Bishop Museum has both rotating and mainstay exhibits. Hawaiian Hall utilizes its three floors to explore the different realms of Hawaiian culture from the gods and legends to the customs of daily life. Polynesian Hall, which opened in 2013, represents the peoples of Pacific cultures across Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. And the Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kahili Room honors the kings of the Hawaiian monarchy and displays their kahili, feather standards, and other heirlooms. The Science Adventure Center has interactive exhibits focusing on Hawaii’s volcanic origins and environment. It’s a great installation to let the kids get hands-on and explore every nook and cranny. From the amazing collection of Pacific seashells to the planetarium, Bishop Museum explores Hawaii’s culture through many different disciplines.
Admission is $17.95 adult, $14.95 senior and children age 4-12, children 3 and under are free. To get there from the H-1 freeway, take the Likelike Highway and turn right on Bernice Street.