History Museums in Honolulu

THE 5 BEST Honolulu History Museums

History Museums in Honolulu

Types of Attractions
Museums
Traveller rating
Neighbourhoods
Good for
8 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travellers are saying

  • Michael J
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So very happy that we chose the Docent led tour. Marybeth was a phenomenal guide. So much culture and history. Don't skip this if you've never done it before.
    Written 15 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Rosie
    California4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    For the USS Arizona Memorial $1 tickets, try to book at least a month prior. A limited release of tickets does happen the day prior to the visit at 3 PM (through website, not app) but is literally gone by 3:01 PM.

    We had a party of 17 and the tours were entirely too expensive for taking a tour with a bus and guide. If you book a tour, you have to arrive with your tour bus.

    Visiting the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is FREE with $7 USD parking charge and we were able to put our names on a standby list. There is no estimated time and we waited 2 hours to get the notification.

    Onsite museum range from $19 - $24 USD for Adults.

    Only Clear bags are allowed in. Purses can’t be bigger than your phone.
    Written 13 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Angela837
    Littleton, CO248 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I visited the Arizona memorial 35 years ago as a kid and all I remember was the actual Arizona and the galleries. Today it is so much more, it can (and did for us) take an entire day and then some, and you will leave fully appreciating the Greatest Generation and their sacrifices. In and around the Memorial is also the Bowfin (a submarine nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger), the USS Missouri battleship, and the air hangar and tower. We knew we wanted to see it all and not take a tour that controlled how much time we spent. Here is how we did it.

    On the afternoon we arrived on Oahu we went to the memorial via a ride-sharing service (about 45 min in Honolulu traffic and about $30 one way), beelined to the shuttle wait area, and took the bus to the air hangar. Our goal was to climb the tower to get a birds eye view of Pearl harbor and to understand the attack at a macro level. Great decision! This will cost $35pp and was a great experience and a way to really appreciate the battle on a grand scale. We then returned to our hotel (memorial was closed by then), ready to return the next day.

    The next day, the day we had our Arizona reservation (you can make them 60 days in advance at reservation.gov), we returned right as it all opened at 7am. We walked through the galleries first and my son completed his Jr Ranger book. The galleries are very well done and we went through them in a non hurried pace, reading everything and watching every video. We did not buy the audio guide. By 9:00 we were done with the galleries. Our reservation for the Arizona was at 11 so we watched the movie that is at the take-off point (it's just over 20 minutes) then since we still had time before our reservation we walked over to the Bowfin. The Bowfin was around $35pp (audio guide included) and was really neat. You get to walk through all the parts of the sub and the included audio guide is definitely a necessity here and very well done. We had a little time for the adjacent museum but not enough to see it all before we had to walk back over to where the Arizona tours depart from. The Bowfin took a good 45 min and to have seen the whole museum would have added another 45 minutes.

    At the departure point, you line up 15 minutes before your reserved time then get a safety briefing before getting on the boat. I was glad we had seen the galleries and movie ahead of time as it helps you appreciate more what you are about to see at the Arizona itself. I do wish we had gotten an earlier reservation and done the Bowfin after but that's just how it worked out. If you don't have a reservation you can wait it a standby line in case something opens but try to do the reservation.

    After seeing the Arizona (and please remember you are entering a gravesite) we then went over to the shuttle landing area to see the Missouri. The shuttle runs a loop from the Arizona/Bowfin to the Missouri to the airfield and back to the Arizona. We did have to wait a bit as the first one filled up.

    When we got to the Missouri it was about 1:00 and we were hungry. There are some food trucks at the Missouri (literally right next to it, how cool to eat lunch right next to a battleship!). We then got our Missouri tickets (again about $35pp) and went aboard. The first couple things to see are on deck - the impressive guns, the surrender deck (wow, humbling) and an area where a kamikaze left a dent. After that you can descend to the lower decks to see how the more modern sailors lived in the 80s and 90s. This part was interesting but skipable if you are short on time.

    By the time we completed the Missouri we had been there two hours including about 20 min for lunch. We waited for the shuttle to the airfield (again having to wait for two circuits due to room) and then made it to the airfield by 3:30. Since we'd seen the tower the day before we went into the hangar ($35pp with audio guide included) and the planes inside are impressive and several seemed really unique compared to other aviation museums we have visited. Then we walked to the other hangar where there isn't as much to see but the bullet holes in the windows are a neat remnant. If you are short on time, you can speed through by just seeing the outside where you can see some planes and the bullet holes without paying before returning to the Arizona.

    By that point it was 4:15 so the hangars didn't take as much time and we had just enough time to catch the shuttle back to get Arizona and make it to the gift shop before everything closes at 5.

    A long day but worthwhile. It takes some planning but is doable.

    Also something worth knowing is no bags allowed, you must check them unless they are see-through. We had read this ahead of time so took only what we could fit in pockets and that saved time waiting in line at the lockers.
    Written 12 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jonnyjubb
    Rayleigh, UK225 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Came across this museum on one of walks and made a point of coming back to it. Spent a very informative hour in here. Very well laid out, with interesting artefacts and relevant descriptions. Add in that this was free to get into and it’s well worth a visit.
    Written 18 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • knf;dv nad'vxlj x
    Virginia Beach, VA9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoyed visiting on a rainy day. The summer palace provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of some of Hawai'i's last royals. We enjoyed learning more about the royal family and seeing how they lived at their special get-away that was less formal than the palace in Honolulu.
    Written 6 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Dana Q
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States69 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Only downside was wish had more time to explore Pearl Harbor. A few extra tours require you to board a boat to see so did not have time to see those areas. You get super yummy donuts and coffee to start then see some landmarks on the way back to your hotel. I recommend.
    Written 22 August 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Runi58
    Chicago, IL22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Japanese Cultural Center was easy to find, there is parking in their lot for a slight fee or plenty of street parking.
    FYI, it is located close to Wakiki hotels. They had 2 exhibits, one was free and had a movie which was about the intern ment of the Japanese during WW2, and the other was an exhibit about the ancestry and life of Japanese in Hawaii, there was a fee. This exhibit was very interesting and well done. What was especially nice was that the peaople at the center circulated in the area and answered questions and explained some of the exhibits.
    Written 16 December 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
All Honolulu HotelsHonolulu Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Honolulu
All things to do in Honolulu
Day Trips in Honolulu
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire