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Lyman Museum

276 Haili Street, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
808 935 5021
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Ranked #9 of 33 Attractions in Hilo
Type: Historic Sites, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum tells the story of Hawaii’s islands and people through its exhibits on Hawaii’s volcanic origins, flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world, Hawaiian culture, and other ethnic groups that have shaped the unique society of Hawaii today. Admire worldwide collections of sea shells and minerals. Learn about 19th century missionary life on a tour of the historic Lyman Mission House, the Island’s oldest wood frame building constructed in 1839.

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94 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Berkeley, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

Fascinating, well-designed museum of the history, culture and geography of Hawaii. With just two floors and a few galleries, you can fit in a visit in an hour or so, or add a tour of the adjacent Mission House for another half hour well spent. We wish there were a book that distilled all the information from the very well-designed... More

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Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
9 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

This small museum is a gem. You'll get an idea of the island's and its peoples' history in a nutshell. Be sure to sign up for the guided tour of the Lyman house next door.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Medicine Hat, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

This little museum in Hilo had several wonderful exhibits. Their explanations of the volcanic action and all they islands was exceptional. There was a large display of minerals and shells, a old Korean house and the history of the Hawaiian Islands. There was also a Heritage House guided tour next door ( which next started in 1 1/2 hours) ,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

The first floor has wonderful displays of the various natural zones of the isaldn and a volcanic walk through . Above are displays related to the various cultures represented on the island. An excellent Big Island museum. The tour of the missionary house was too rambling and boring for us. We ducked out halfway through.

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Los Angeles, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014

This Museum has two parts: the original house that the New England family in business built and the new addition which has exhibits about the Big Island and Hawaiian culture. It is a manageable size and the docent led tour was very informative.

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
9 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

No luck finding any deals on admission so paid full price but we were all impressed with the exhibits here. The 2pm tour of the Mission House was full when we arrived at 1:30 so we came back the following Monday for that. The exhibits we really enjoyed were the shells, volcanoes, minerals, and the Korean home upstairs. Very nicely... More

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Oahu's Windward Coast, Hawaii
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

The best part of visiting this museum is the opportunity to visit the Lyman residence, which was built in the early 1800's. You will walk away form this visit, gaining first hand insights into life in Hilo during the whaling days---and after.

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Victoria, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

The guided tour of the house is worth an hour of your time, very informative and a real trip back in time.

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Olympia, Washington
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

The Lyman Museum is great. They have an extensive mineral and shell collection from around the world. A great Hawaiian cultural floor and a great Hawaiian animals and plants collection. There is also a Mission House tour available with paid admission to the museum. I had to miss it because of time constraints but will definitely revisit the Lyman another... More

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Annapolis, MD
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Lyman House, next door was the mid 19th century home of a Hilo founder. the modern museum covers the Hawaiian people in the area and the missionaries, early industry and a decent ethnography of Hawaii but also has an excellent geology section with a large rock sample and crystal collection. It does a good job describing the Hawaiian volcanoes and... More

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