Lyman Museum

Lyman Museum, Hilo: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Lyman Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Lyman Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
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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Tours and Tickets

Popular mentions

4.5
269 reviews
Excellent
145
Very good
96
Average
21
Poor
6
Terrible
1

Brad H
6 contributions
Great tour and museum!
Oct 2021 • Friends
One of our fav stops at Hilo! Take the tour, it was very informative and the museum taught us so much about the whole state. Must see!
Written October 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jdc8mbc
California622 contributions
Small, excellent museum - wish we had more time to spend there
Aug 2021
Due to Covid social distancing protocols, admittance is by timed entry tickets and assumes one can cover the museum in about 2 hours.... except there are so many fascinating items that we could have easily immersed ourselves in the museum for three hours. The museum covers just about every aspect of Hawaiian culture and history, including terrific exhibits on volcanoes, lava tubes, shells, minerals and gems, marine life, hula, musical instruments, fishing, petroglyphs, oral history, as well as a play area where visitors can learn about Kapa patterns, mats, and knots.
Written September 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Attila Denes
1 contribution
A quick and worthwhile overview of Hawaiian natural and cultural history
Sep 2021
The museum's first floor gives a great overview of the geological history of the Hawaiian Islands, and features top-notch shell and mineral collections from around the world. But the museum's greatest collection is the cultural and historical displays on the second floor, which focus primarily on the Big Island. Plan on spending two hours on the self-guided tour. The additional half-hour guided tour of the Lyman mission house is also very informative and features some of the finest antique koa wood furnishings around. Well worth a few hours of your time, particularly if the people, culture, and history of the Big Island are of interest to you.
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mona O
1 contribution
A Gem in Hilo!
Sep 2021 • Friends
An absolute gem in Hilo!
The Lyman Museum is a modern and clean facility with well-organized displays and beautiful presentations that were educationally engaging for all ages. The enthusiastic staff were very friendly and passionate about their museum.
The amazing crystal collection was displayed very nicely with succinct explanations to aid in the appreciation of the different kinds of crystals.
The seashell collection was exhaustive and immaculately presented.
The cultural history section on the second floor was amazing and educational; a great learning place.
The Habitats of the Island of Hawaii shines as a source of pride to Big Islanders.
The gift shop had a very nice selection of items from local artists, including Hawaiian music CDs and relevant books on the great migration to Captain Cook to the Asian Immigration.
Highly recommend that people take time to appreciate this museum— multiple visits would be good. This was a very enriching experience.
Written September 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Linda LW
Stockton, CA2 contributions
Great displays and information. Mahalo.
Jul 2021 • Couples
The displays on the lava in the geography of the island was very very interesting. And the upstairs cultural information and displays on life in Hawaii was even more interesting! Definitely definitely worth everyone’s time to learn and understand a little bit about this beautiful island. The room for hands-on experience making rope and other crafts was excellent!
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

tkaiteris
Portland, OR1 contribution
Great way to spend a morning
Jul 2021 • Family
Gem of a museum! Full of historical and ecological wonders. Walks you through the geological history of Hawaii as well as the evolving history of the people who inhabit the islands.
Written July 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Megan T
10 contributions
Small but Amazing!
Jul 2021
I was really surprised how much I loved this museum! It's small, but really packs a punch. We spent about an hour on each floor and learned so much. The exhibits were informative, clean, and well-designed. I appreciated the arrows on the floor that guided you through the exhibits. The highlight, though, was the staff. I've never met a nicer group of people before. They all genuinely seemed like they loved working there and went above and beyond to accommodate my grandma in a wheelchair. Cindy in particular, made sure that we had everything we needed. We bought a few items from their gift shop to help support. Thank you for creating such a great experience! Highly recommended this place if you have an extra two hours and don't want to spend for an expensive activity. Make sure you make reservations ahead of time on their website. Since covid, they've started booking groups in 2 hours sections, with 15 minutes in between for cleaning. I loved that they did this and made me feel more safe while we were touring the exhibits as there are some interactive parts that require you to touch surfaces.
Written July 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Laura D
Sonoma County, CA2 contributions
Excellent museum!
Jun 2021 • Couples
Wow! What an amazing place. We spent a solid 4 hours here. The exhibits on natural history are very thorough and interesting. The cultural history is fantastic, giving an overview of the first people in Hawai'i up to present day. There are audio and video presentations as well as artifacts. And an interactive room where you can learn to decorate cloth, design tattoos, tie knots, etc. The separate Lyman home is worth the tour. Our docent gave us an excellent history of missionaries in Hawaii. We learned a lot during our time here and highly recommend a visit.
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kristina B
2 contributions
Time well spent!
Apr 2021 • Family
The staff were so courteous and knowledgeable. The exhibits were well put together and really enjoyed the audio and visual displays. The gems were gorgeous and the illuminated rocks were awesome! Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful history of the islands.
Written April 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

brown-benjamin
Juneau, AK7 contributions
The Lyman Museum is something you really must see!
Feb 2021
The Lyman Museum is delightful, with friendly and helpful staff. It is absolutely worth taking the time to visit when you're in Hilo. The upstairs floor of the Museum Building is currently closed so the Hawaiian Heritage Exhibit isn't open, but was reportedly wonderful in the past. As it is currently being updated and improved, there's every reason to expect it to be a world-class destination when it re-opens.

The Natural History Exhibit on the ground floor is excellent, and displays an amazing collection of shells from all over the world. The topographical maps of the Hawaiian Islands are really interesting and informative. There's a lot to learn about lava here as well!

The Museum Shop behind the entrance counter is excellent, with lots of wonderful books, tea towels, CDs, cards, and other fun things you should look at and will likely want to purchase some of to take home as gifts or to remember your visit to Hawai'i Island.

The Lyman House is really delightful and worthwhile, and our docent Cindy was truly amazing - intelligent, charming, well-informed, and full of energy. We felt so lucky to have her give us a tour, and we learned a great deal about the Lyman Family's important place in Hawaiian history.
Written February 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Lyman Museum

Lyman Museum is open:
  • Mon - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM