Visiting a museum is always a unique experience, as each one has its own distinct characteristics, style, and of course, content. Museum subjects vary greatly from city to city, and can range from firefighter's museums to fine art, to sports. If you need help making a selection, our 10Best list highlights the top spots to visit in Big Island.

Lyman Mission House and Museum


When David and Sarah Lyman finished their Big Island home in 1839, it was one of the island's most unique. The house's architecture is a masterpiece of juxtaposition – the Lymans used hand-hewn, local koa wood to build the New England-style...  Read More

Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center


This informative facility is located just a few miles north of Kailua-Kona – at Keahole-Kona International Airport, to be exact. What the museum lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quality, and first-rate exhibits feature model...  Read More

Volcano National Park


Founded in 1974, VAC is dedicated to preserving – and promoting worldwide awareness of – the Hawaiian Islands' rich artistic history. The center hosts a variety of monthly exhibits and art sales that showcase paintings, wood sculptures,...  Read More

Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site


Constructed in the late 18th century, this coastal temple was intended as an offering to the war god Kukai'ilimoku from King Kamehameha the Great. The entire island community took part in the building process, as recorded by British sailor John...  Read More

Parker Ranch


Parker Ranch, one of America's oldest and largest ranches, was founded in 1847. Island visitors eagerly venture here to find out about paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) and to see what ranch life is like in paradise. Guests may opt to tour Parker's...  Read More

Mo'okini Heiau


This three-story stone temple, erected more than 1500 years ago, stands as one of the oldest structures in the state. Built to honor Ku (the Hawaiian god of war), it was the setting for countless rituals and observances, including human...  Read More

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park


In times of yore, those in trouble – women, thieves, and escaped prisoners trying to evade capture – could find safe haven within the walls of this sacred burial ground, wherein lie the remains of Keawe, forefather of the legendary King...  Read More



Englishman Henry Nicholas Greenwell arrived on the Big Island around 1850 and, soon after, purchased a parcel of land in Kalukalu. On his farm, he raised cattle and grew everything from pumpkins and coffee to tobacco and corn. The only standing...  Read More

Pacific Tsunami Museum


On the east coast of the United States, hurricane season runs from June to November, and coastal residents keep track of weather systems while meteorologists chart low and high pressure systems. In Paradise, however, the seasonal threat of...  Read More

Jaggar Museum at Volcano National Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


As one of the busiest locations in the park, the Jaggar Museum is a hot spot with intriguing displays to view. The museum is all about volcanology with displays of equipment used by scientists in the past to study the volcano, working...  Read More