Must See Museums Near Kona

Hawaii offers something for everyone with its stunning beaches, lush tropical landscapes, and rich cultural history. Among the top destinations in Hawaii is the town of Kona, located on the western coast of the Big Island. In addition to its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, Kona is home to several museums that offer a fascinating look at the history and culture of Hawaii.

Kona’s museums provide a wealth of information and insight into the fascinating story of this beautiful part of the world. This article will explore some must-see museums near Kona and what visitors can expect to experience at each one.

Different Kinds Of Museums


Museums are fascinating places that allow people to explore various areas of interest. Different kinds of museums are available to suit every preference, from history museums that allow visitors to travel into the past to art museums where they can indulge their love for expression and creativity. Science museums are perfect for those with a curious mind, while natural history museums cater to those curious about nature and the world around you.

Whatever the subject, museums provide a unique way to learn and discover new things, and visitors leave with a sense of awe and wonder at what they have seen and witnessed. Exploring different kinds of museums can be an enjoyable and enriching experience that broadens your horizon and ignites your imagination.

Must See Museums Near Kona

Did you know that Kona is home to some of Hawaii’s most interesting and unique museums? Here are a few must-see spots for those visiting this charming town:

Hawai’i Museum of Contemporary Art


Looking for a unique museum experience near Kona? Look no further than the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art. The HMOCA is a vibrant and engaging space showcasing art, theater, and culture from local and global perspectives. While the museum focuses on temporary exhibitions, they also offer arts education programs for the public. And don’t miss their small permanent collection of artwork created by Hawaiian artists.

The HMOCA is located in Hilo at 141 Kalakaua St. and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Whether you’re a visitor or a long-time resident, the HMOCA is a must-see destination for anyone interested in discovering more about Hawaiian art and culture.

Hawai’i Plantation Museum


If you’re looking to delve into the rich history of Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiʻi Plantation Museum is a must-visit destination. The sugar industry played a significant role in shaping island life for over a century. This museum is dedicated to preserving the artifacts and memorabilia of that era. From the last sugarcane plantation closing in 2016 to the small business (Mom & Pops stores) in the area, the museum provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of life in Hawaiʻi.

The museum’s mission is to educate and entertain visitors, and it’s conveniently located just 5 miles north of Hilo, making it a perfect addition to your itinerary. Don’t miss learning about this unique aspect of Hawaiʻi’s past.

Hulihe’e Palace

Cultural Sites

Hulihe’e Palace is a significant historical landmark and a must-visit destination for those seeking a glimpse into Hawaiian royalty. This magnificent palace was the favored vacation residence of Hawaiian monarchs, offering a fascinating insight into Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. Inside, the museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and personal memorabilia of Hawaiian royals.

Whether you opt for a guided tour or explore the site independently, you will surely be in awe of the palace’s exquisite decor and well-preserved treasures. Hulihe’e Palace is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, so make sure to pencil it into your itinerary when visiting Kona.

Laupahoehoe Train Museum


For those seeking a glimpse into Hawaii’s past, the Laupahoehoe Train Museum is a must-visit attraction. Located in a restored old station agent’s house, this museum pays homage to the Hilo Railroad that operated from 1899 until 1946, when a catastrophic tsunami destroyed much of the railroad and its facilities.

Visitors to this fascinating museum will be treated to an array of historical photographs, railroad artifacts, and memorabilia from a bygone era. Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, add the Laupahoehoe Train Museum to your list of must-see museums near Kona.

Hawaiian Quilt Museum


The Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the vibrant culture and history of Hawaiian quilting. This museum is a treasure trove of locally made vintage and contemporary Hawaiian quilts, showcasing the intricate patterns and designs that make these works of art so unique.

With family-friendly activities for keiki and a small library of books about Hawaiian quilting, the Kona Hawaiian Quilt Museum is a guaranteed highlight of any trip to Hawaii. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk story with the docents on hand, who can provide valuable insight into the history and significance of each quilt. And for those interested in hands-on learning experiences, visitors can trace a Hawaiian quilt pattern to take home.

Honoka’a Heritage Center


The Honokaʻa Heritage Center is a must-see museum near Kona, Hawaii, that offers a unique opportunity to experience the rich heritage of Honokaʻa. With a focus on preserving and celebrating the town’s history, this museum provides visitors with educational exhibits and a chance to explore the area on a self-guided tour.

The archives, visitor center, and gift shop add to the experience, offering information and resources for those looking to learn more about the town’s past. Whether you are a local or a traveler, the Honokaʻa Heritage Center is worth a visit.

Which Of These Wonderful Museums Will You Choose?

In conclusion, Kona, Hawaii, is home to many amazing museums offering unique educational and cultural experiences. Whether you prefer to learn about the history of Hawaiian royalty, explore the culture of quilting, or take a trip back in time with a visit to a restored train station, there’s something for everyone near Kona. So explore these wonderful museums during your next trip to Hawaii and discover the unique aspects of Hawaiʻi’s past. Mahalo!

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