Culture + History 

Discover Historic Honolulu Activities & Cultural Attractions

Just west of Waikiki, downtown balances historic Honolulu with contemporary Honolulu culture. Ask THE MODERN HONOLULU Concierge for itineraries (or recommendations for Honolulu history tours) – it's simple to connect landmarks like Iolani Palace, King Kamehameha I's statue, Aloha Tower and the Hawaii State Capitol on a walkabout.

  • Honolulu Hisotry Bishop Museum

    THE BISHOP MUSEUM

    Old Hawaii meets the natural world at The Bishop Museum, featuring royal Hawaiian heirlooms, a planetarium and interactive science exhibits.

  • Honolulu Culture Polynesian Cultural Center

    POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

    Travel back in time to learn about Polynesian island life, honoring the ancient ways of living off the land.

  • Honolulu Cultural Attractions Iolani Palace

    Iolani Palace

    Iolani Palace was the last home to Hawaiian monarchs. Experience the spirit and ostentation of old Hawaii.

  • Honolulu Cultural Attractions Iolani Palace

    Neal Blaisdell Center

    See the stars, under the stars at the Waikiki Shell, the tropical outdoor amphitheater part of a multi-purpose entertainment complex.

  • Honolulu Cultural Attractions Iolani Palace

    Honolulu Museum of Art

    Open-air courtyards connect each of the Museum’s galleries and invite you to explore Hawaiian culture swathed in 4,500 works of art.

  • Honolulu Cultural Attractions Iolani Palace

    Hawaii Opera Theatre

    International opera artists vie for the opportunity to perform in paradise.

  • Honolulu Cultural Attractions Iolani Palace

    Hawaii Theatre Center

    The Pride of the Pacific sets the stage for comedy, big band musicians and classic Hawaiian music.

  • Honolulu Cultural Attractions Iolani Palace

    Diamond Head Theatre

    Curtains open on the 100th anniversary season of the Broadway of the Pacific.


MORE ABOUT / HAWAII CULTURE + HISTORY

A side trip to neighboring Chinatown is a must – its historic buildings reveal lei-makers, antiques dealers, temples and a global smattering of eats. By day, shop the district's markets for exotic souvenirs. By night (particularly during monthly First Fridays), go face-to-face with Oahu's contemporary arts and social scene. If performance is your medium, ask THE MODERN HONOLULU Concierge what's happening at Hawaii Opera Theatre or what event coincides with your stay. Spectators come for the PGA TOUR Sony Open, NFL Pro Bowl and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

So much Waikiki history is woven with world influences, such as the Japanese-styled New Year's Ohana Festival or July's Dragonboat Festival. For pure Waikiki, target May or September. May begins with Lei Day, observed on the islands since 1927, while September's age-old Aloha Festivals distill Hawaiian music, dance and history into street parties and concerts.

Summer encourages art appreciation through the respected Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival and juried Haleiwa ArtFest. Foodies savor the Oahu Food Festival, honoring staples like pineapple, coffee and the Aloha State's own James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, who co-chair the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.


  • If you are visiting between November and February, don’t miss Waimea Bay on the North Shore where the island’s top surfers take on 30-foot waves


IN PICTURES / IMAGES OF HAWAII CULTURE + HISTORY


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