Our list of great visitor destinations near Honolulu International Airport (HNL) grows with each passing month, as we know that you want to maximize every single minute of your time on the island. That means whether you’ve just arrived or you’re about to depart, you want to squeeze in a unique island activity or attraction within minutes of HNL. We’ve covered hiking, shopping, snorkeling, surfing, and even shave ice but there are many of you who are excited about soaking up some culture while here on Oahu. Sure, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a must see for many, but it doesn’t get much further away from the airport. And while some hotels/resorts provide a glimpse into the traditions of Hawaii, there are some special places to visit near HNL that will better immerse you in the culture that people all over the world find so very endearing.
3 Top Hawaiian Culture Destinations That Are Conveniently Located Near Honolulu International Airport
Bishop Museum (4 Miles / 10-12 Minutes by Shuttle)
Within minutes of HNL you’ll find an amazing place to learn more about Hawaii’s past and present alike, while having the opportunity to snap photos of incredible artifacts that are included in both permanent and temporary traveling exhibitions. Established in 1889, the museum boasts an impressive collection of royal family heirlooms in addition to relics from the many Polynesian islands around the world. Even if you’ve been to Bishop Museum before, there’s a good chance that you didn’t catch it all, given that the facility hosts a whopping total of 24 million historical, cultural, and natural treasures. For all of the kitschy so-called cultural attractions on the island, Bishop Museum provides a remedy that will not disappoint beginner, intermediate, or advanced enthusiasts of all things Hawaii.
Iolani Palace (6 Miles / 15 Minutes by Shuttle)
In less that 20-minutes from HNL, you can find yourself in a special place that represents an era in Hawaiian history when King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, roamed the halls and ruled the Hawaiian Kingdom. Iolani Palace is adorned with a beautiful collection of wares and furnishings that incite visions of grand balls and hula performances, while at the same time recognizing the trials and tribulations experienced by our monarch as she was wrongly overthrown. It’s within the recognition of Queen Liliuokalani’s struggles here that make this destination so culturally significant and different from other attractions that often candy coat the complicated history of the Hawaiian Islands inception as a 50th U.S. state. Wherever you stand on the matter, you’ll stand in the presence of greatness when you visit Iolani Palace. In addition to viewing generations full of historical items at the Palace, you’ll have the opportunity to view (and photograph) one of the most recognized statues on Oahu, the King Kamehameha statue which stands proud in front of Aliiolani Hale (home to the Hawaii State Supreme Court and many episodes of the new Hawaii 5-0) across the street from Iolani.
Honolulu Museum of Art (6.5 Miles / 15-18 Minutes by Shuttle)
Also located within 20-minutes of HNL, is a place where you can enjoy both historical and contemporary Hawaiian culture. The Honolulu Museum of Art embraces the fact that the islands’ culture today is born not just from Hawaiians, but from the influence of Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Northern Europeans, and more. The exhibitions that rotate through HMA complement the museum’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 artisan pieces spanning 5,000 years. It’s one of the top galleries of its kind in the world, and a place where you’ll appreciate the melting pot that has made the island what it is today.
Honolulu Airport Transfer can take you to (and back from) any of the significant cultural destinations listed above (and more). Just give us 24-hours notice and we’ll take care of you and your party. View all flat rates and call us at 1.800.929.1219 or complete the form found here.