Explore Bishop Museum in Honolulu

Nov 19, 2019

When the name Hawaii is heard by one, you end up picturing picturesque beaches with pristine waters and white sands and a general sense of relaxation and immediately you are bound to move into vacation mode. However, what most people are unaware of is the rich history that Hawaii is also known for. And for any history lover, when you in Hawaii a visit to the Bishop Museum is an absolute must. The Bishop Museum, Hawaii is known to hold some of the most extensive collection of newspapers, books and periodicals that contains the history of not just Hawaii but also the Pacific. What sets the Bishops Museum apart is the detailing that has gone into constructing, renovating and maintaining the entire museum. For a history buff, a week spent here will be too less to absorb the marvels that this museum holds.


  • History of Bishop Museum
  • Hawaiian Hall
  • Kahili Room
  • Pacific Hall
  • Science Adventure Center
  • Watumull Planetarium
  • Key Information that You Must Know of the Bishops Museum
  • How to Get There?

You may have two thoughts if you are visiting with family or in a group and are not too certain if a museum is the right place to go and spend the day. Put these thoughts aside and let the Bishops Museum blow you away with the surprises it holds. It is said that any number of hours spent in this area is not enough as there are so many aspects to cover. What is even more brilliant with the museums is its dedication to nature and more specifically the Pacific Ocean. From dedicating an entire section of the museum to the Pacific Ocean and the culture it holds, to providing elaborate deals on the ecological aspect of Hawaii (mainly the volcanic aspect), the Bishops Museum covers it all and is an absolute must visit. You can either choose from online subsidised rates or even other clubbed in travel agents to cover other aspects of Hawaii along with the Bishops Museum.

Explore Bishop Museum in Honolulu

History of Bishop Museum

The Bishop Museum, Hawaii, also known as the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum was named after the wife of the museum founder, Charles Reed Bishop, who was also the last descendant of the Kamehameha royal family. Known to house more than 24 historical and cultural natural artefacts, the exhibits include not just relics of the past but additionally a three-story Hawaiian Hall and a Sports Hall of Fame too. What is more appealing is the fact that the Bishop Museum has gone through a twenty million dollar renovation and is known considered to be one of Honolulu’s biggest attractions. The Bishop Museum is not just restricted to holding relics and artefacts from the past depicting the history of Hawaii but also hosts within its campus a planetarium, an entomology research center, a sports hall of fame museum, a Maritime center and a botanical garden to just name a few of the attractions that the place has to offer. So if you plan on visiting the Bishop Museum, rest assured you are going to spend an entire day and more as the attractions won't stop. What is even more appealing is the fact that there is something for everyone here. Be it the history aspect of it or the shows they have on display, they seem to have covered entertainment for all age groups and hence of you are travelling in a large crowd with people of different interest and age groups a visit to the Bishop Museum, Hawaii is an absolute must.

Explore Bishop Museum in Honolulu

Hawaiian Hall

Known to be spread over three different floors, the Bishop Museum’s Hawaiian Hall is known to consist of all the Hawaiian gods and legends on the first floor, the life of the Hawaiian people on the second floor and the seat of gods and important historical moments on the third floor. A trip through just this area of the Bishop Museum is enough for you to get a through and through download of what is what like and what it is like to live in Hawaii. It is highly recommended that you spend at least a day here even if you are not a history buff as the displays are so mesmerizing, that you are automatically inclined to spend lots of time reading and understanding more. From clothing to fishing nets, from vessels to instruments, the Hawaiian hall has everything on display, giving you a glimpse into the Hawaiian world. An important fact to note is that the Hawaiian Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic places and is home to the skeleton of a sperm whale. The Hawaiian Hall is considered by most people as the most important aspect of the museum as it not only gives you an insight into the past of the Hawaiian culture but also elaborates the present culture while keeping in mind the changes it has experienced over the years. It has been said that the entire hallway so large and covers such different aspects that this area alone requires a good one day to explore.

Kahili Room

This is one of those sure-shot places you must not miss at any point while visiting the Bishops Museum. The room displays the kahili or precious feathers along with the portraits of various monarchs along with their personal belongings. The room gives you a sneak peek into the past of the Kamehameha’s past and the Hawaiian Royalty that followed. Not just the displays of the monarchs but also stories of the dynasty’s that existed and the mode of governance and other such historic milestones have been beautifully depicted and hence usually this area of the Bishops Museum has and will always continue to be a favourite among people. The room also has a display of Kahili feathers, which were the state of art feathers that were used in the ancient times for Hawaiian royalty. The feathers were displayed and were used to show status, lineage and family ties. This room of the Bishop Museum has a display of the various feathers used and hence quite exciting. The room was dedicated to honour the monarchs of Hawaii and was constructed and renovated again so as to maintain the legacy that they held. With intricately worked walls and amazing out of the world displays of feathers, one can get lost in time here.

Pacific Hall

Dedicated to the Moananuiākea, the expanse of Oceania, this two storey gallery covers art and culture like no other museum across Hawaii. While the first floor has cultural treasures such as model canoes, woven mats and contemporary art-work, this place is nothing short of an art museum. While the main theme of this area of the Bishops Museum is dedicated to the people and culture of the Pacific Ocean, the second floor is exclusively dedicated to the origins and migrations of the people of the Pacific. The Pacific Hall is said to be one of the most prominent museums in the Pacific and decisions taken at the Bishops Museum have specific relevance to the Pacific Museums today. The Pacific Hall’s exhibits mainly include the various different collections of Polynesia and Islands Melanesia (Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu). It is pertinent to note, that the Pacific Hall is still located in the original building and is a relatively smaller area topped with a mezzanine that runs around the edge of the hall. Just the architectural work done in this area is enough reason for a person to come by and visit. With high ceilings and an actual Fijian canoe hanging above the entrance to this Pacific Hall, be rest assured this place is a marvel by and in itself. They say that the one of the most important features of the Pacific Hall is the wood that is used to construct it. The wood is ancient and of such high quality and so well maintained that the wood in itself deserves a separate mention and visit of its own.

Science Adventure Center

Opened in 2005, the Mamiya Science Adventure Center is a comprehensive interactive facility that has been designed to give the visitors of Bishop’s Museum a clear understanding of the habitat and environment of Hawaii. Spread over 16500 square feet of space, the attractions are such here that will amuse both, the adults and the children alike. From erupting volcanoes to interactive learning sessions, this area of the museum has been dedicated to research in the fields of volcanology, oceanography and biodiversity for Hawaii and the Pacific region. While attending the adventure center one must keep in mind to attend the twenty-five minute presentation of the lava show. While specifically designed for kids, you will be surprised as to how thrilling it can be for an adult to observe the show. Hawaii on account of being more prone to the lava attacks of nature, the show explains in details on how lava rock forms and how live (real) lava flows. The show also goes on to explain how fast the lava cools and hardens and honestly for most people visiting the Bishops Museum, this is the highlight event of the entire trip.

Watumull Planetarium

Known to hold two different shows that last for a duration of not more than 30 minutes, the shows are mainly focused on traditional Polynesian navigation and the way to Tahiti from Hawaii. There are other cartoon related shows for children below the age of 8 and parents accompanying them. While at the planetarium be sure to catch the Sky Tonight, which is a live show which educates one on the current evening sky. What makes the entire experience more exciting is that you will leave the planetarium with a sky star map which will help you locate the different constellations as the sky moves into the evening. But this is not all, while the shows that the planetarium hosts are a must-attend, one must also check out the planetarium lobby that provides great visualization of information that is otherwise difficult to convey. The ease with which this shows have been made show hoe dust blows on the surface of Mars, how a hurricane slowly forms and other such exciting topics are covered at large. An important aspect of the planetarium that one must remember is that late comers are not entertained and hence if you are looking to catch one of the shows, you need to assemble in the planetarium well before time.

Key Information that You Must Know of the Bishops Museum

The Bishops Museum is situated at 1525 Bernice St, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States and is open to visit for all, both adults and children alike. While the museum in itself is one of the hot attractions of Hawaii, the best part of it all is that the museum is open on all days of the week between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Even on Sundays ! so one can either spread their visit over the week and cover different parts of the museum or spend a leisure Sunday exploring the museum. The only exception for this would be Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. There is absolute freedom to check out all aspects as per one whims and fancies. Another tourist-friendly aspect of the Bishops Museum is that fact that they offer subsidised rates for groups of people where a group can be classified as any number above ten people. While travelling in numbers more than 10, the ticket prices would drop to $19.95 per person for Adult (ages: 18-64), $16.95 per person for seniors (ages: 65 ) and $14.95 per person for youths (ages: 4-17) as compared to $24.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors and $16.95 for youth. Another valuable information that one must keep in mind while making these bookings are the one day and two day passes that one can also avail. These rates are discounted and are usually universal passes that one can avail so as to view all the attractions that are provided by the Museum. Another pertinent feature to note is that there are subsidised rates available for war veterans and one can avail further discounts by booking the tickets online. The tickets once booked have a validity of up to a year and can be used accordingly.

While Bishops Museum provides you with all the comforts that you could possibly wish for, an added advantage is the fact that they provide for parking that you could avail for. This will make your experience all the more memorable as the convenience factor kicks in. As a gesture of gratitude, it is recommended you do avail of this parking service as the amounts collected from this are actively used for the Museums research, educational programs as well as exhibits. The rates are highly affordable and is priced at $5 per car per visit for the duration of eleven hours from 6:00am to 5:00pm. In the evenings there is a reduced rate of $3 for a duration of thirteen hours from 5:00pm to 6:00am. It is important to note that evening and special events rates may apply accordingly and the failure to pay for parking will result in an additional charge of $5 payable at Diamond Parking. As a special mention one must take note of the fact that there is no overnight parking privileges.

How to Get There?

There are tons of means that one could avail to get to Bishops Museum. While you could choose to take the local transport such busses or even your own cars. While the Bishop Museum also provides for trolley services connecting the important locations to the museums, they also provide for parking services hence enabling you to bring in your own vehicles. There are tons of buses that ply from Laulani Village Shopping Center, Navy Exchange, Kapiolani Reginal Park and hence the Bishops Museum is accessible very well by road. The stations are at a distance of 850 yards (eleven minutes by walk away) and hence highly convenient.

The Bishops Museum is an out of the world, state of the art experience for anyone who is interested in the culture, history and legacy of Hawaii. With all the main attractions that the Bishop Museum has to offer, it also provides you with tons of activities to relax, and café’s just around the corner to grab quick on the go bites. You can even indulge in elaborate dinners, and for anyone looking to complete the entire tour over two days, you will be spoilt for options when it comes to the food. While here and before you make your exit be sure to visit the pick up the different souvenirs that the local gift shops have to offer. To experience a holiday of a lifetime, there is no doubt the Bishop museum has to be on your must-visit places across the globe. A tip that one must keep in mind is to wear comfortable shoes while exploring the Museums. There is so much walking to do that it is recommended that you do the same in your most comfortable attire. Make sure you check the weather forecasts and dress accordingly, but more importantly, keep your mind and sense open to get blown by the history and culture of Hawaii. To make the trip more memorable than it already promises, do may the trip with .trip.com