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5 Great Places to Visit in Honolulu for Art History & Culture

October 25th, 2021 Culture
5 Great Places to Visit in Honolulu for Art History & Culture

On your next visit to Honolulu, don't just follow the path to the beach, the city has a burgeoning art scene that is worth exploring in its own right! You’ll find world-class institutions throughout Honolulu, including collections devoted to the classics and cutting-edge works from emerging artists, as well as relics from Hawai‘i’s royal past that are among the island’s best attractions. Check out our top picks for spaces defining art and culture in Honolulu right now.

Although we strive to provide the most current information, museums and galleries mentioned may close at any time or operate with limited entry, timed ticketing, or reduced hours. We recommend checking individual websites for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures before visiting. According to the “Safe Access O‘ahu” program, all patrons must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter museums, art galleries, and other similar establishments.


1. Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMa)

Art, history, culture, and education converge in the heart of Honolulu at HoMa. The museum’s permanent collection features over 50,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years, from the Bronze Age to the present, with significant holdings in Asian art, American and European painting and decorative arts, 19th- and 20th-century art, an extensive collection of works on paper, Asian textiles, and traditional works from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum has expanded over the decades, to include an impressive library, education wings, a gift shop, café, art center, and a theater. Visit HoMa’s website to see upcoming exhibitions, and be sure to check out the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture, & Design, which has partnered with HoMa to offer same day admission. 900 South Beretania St.


2. Hawai‘i State Art Museum (HiSAM)

Visit HiSAM for the best in contemporary art. Artworks in the collection are primarily from artists with a connection to Hawai‘i, and admission, events, and activities are always free! Be sure to visit their Sculpture Garden located on the ground floor, an urban oasis with pathways and gardens for discovery and sites for reflection. 250 South Hotel St. Second Floor


3. Bishop Museum

Created in honor of the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family, the Bishop Museum was established to house an extensive collection of Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms. The largest museum in the state (with over 25 million treasures!) has since expanded to include objects, documents, and photographs of Hawai‘i and other Pacific island cultures. Bishop Museum also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. 1525 Bernice St.


4. ‘Iolani Palace

The only official royal palace in the United States and National Historic Landmark tells of a time when Hawai‘i was still under a monarchy. Built in 1882 by the last king of Hawai‘i, King Kalakaua, ‘Iolani Palace served as the capital of the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory and State of Hawai‘i until 1969. Today, you can visit the palace that has been restored to its former grandeur. 364 South King St.


5. The Sun Collective

The Sun Collective, an artist network that works exclusively with creative talent from the islands, has been a driving force in cultivating the local arts community and introducing Hawai'i-inspired art to the world. Their portfolio includes artists specializing in a variety of mediums including illustration, mixed media, painting, and photography. Visit their website to see artist portfolios and where you can catch the collective’s art shows around the island.

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is thrilled to celebrate its first ever revolving Art Gallery, a creative series featuring artworks by local artists in partnership with The Sun Collective. The inaugural installation presents the captivating works of local surf photographer and cinematographer, Connor Trimble. Transport to a new sensory and emotional level with Trimble’s vibrant photographs that explore far more than nature’s beauty (pictured above).

View the works of Connor Trimble, now adorning the walls of Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. Bring home a piece of aloha! The framed curated collection of vacation-inspired giclée prints is available for purchase on-site or online. Best of all, a portion of your purchase will be put into action and go towards organizing Hawai'i beach clean-ups.

Stay with Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Get to Honolulu’s art museums and cultural institutions faster when you stay in the middle of it all. Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is located on Kalakaua Avenue across from Kuhio Beach Park - the perfect home-base for spending time in Waikiki. Book a room with an oceanfront view to enjoy stunning sunsets and views of Diamond Head, an ancient volcanic crater and iconic symbol of O‘ahu.

Stay and Save! Stay longer with Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel and enjoy extended discounts with our Escape to Hawai'i offer to save up to 30% off our standard rates. Read more about the exclusive offers only available on our website and start booking your travel plans with us in Waikiki.

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