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Lyman Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 276 Haili St, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2927
Phone Number:
+1 808-935-5021
10:00 - 16:30
Closed now
See all hours
Mon - Sat 10:00 - 16:30

The Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum tells the story of Hawaii’s islands...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 178 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 90
  • 65
    Very good
  • 15
  • 4
  • 0

The museum is great with a variety of thing of display. Great place for kids to learn about the land, the animals and plants that inhabit the big island. There is also a very... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Frank P
Eugene, Oregon
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178 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 174: English reviews
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
606 reviews
202 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The museum is great with a variety of thing of display. Great place for kids to learn about the land, the animals and plants that inhabit the big island. There is also a very large collection of minerals and rocks that I not being a rock guy found interesting. BUT the real treasure of the visit is to schedule a... More 

Thank Frank P
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We arrived a bit too late to go on the tour of the Mission House - this was a disappointment, and there was no deduction in price for viewing only the rest of the museum. The portions of the museum that explain volcanic activity from the beginnings of the Hawaiian Islands to the present were very good. In the cultural... More 

Thank Brenda B
Derby Line, Vermont
Level Contributor
61 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Excellent from start to finish. Folks are extremely helpful making you feel right at home. Our guide to the old Lyman house (part of the museum) informed with incredible knowledge. The museum proper is a treasure trove of old Hawaii. Don't miss it.

Thank 421Chaz
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The natural history display provided information we didn't know about the various climates on the island. The Lyman House tour was very good. The interpreter, Bruce, was very knowledgeable and injected humor into the commentary. Good way to spend 2-3 hours in the afternoon.

Thank Marlene S
Buckeye, Arizona
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

With only a few hours to visit Hilo, it was important for me to see the Lyman Museum. All of the exhibits are excellent. I lingered in the mineral collection, the Korean house replica, and the Hawaiian history section. Unfortunately, we couldn't take the mission house tour due to our timing; they offered us a rain check, which wasn't necessary.... More 

Thank BethCato
Branson West, Missouri
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We arrived in time to take the first morning tour of the Missionary Lyman's house. Bruce, our tour guide, was full of information!! And funny too! He answered every question we had as well as asked some of his own. (Pay attention! haha) The house was the first wood structure in Hilo and they still have some furniture, Sarah's rocking... More 

Thank PamCJ2480
Northern California
Level Contributor
228 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a very interesting museum with exhibits about the Big Island as well as the rest of Hawaii. We also attended a geology lecture by two experts on the volcanoes and the land between the volcanoes (packed house--impressive). We did not have the opportunity to tour the mission house. For a small town Hilo has an interesting array of... More 

Thank nurealam
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
97 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2016

The Lyman is a terrific smaller museum of natural history, cultural history and the Lyman family and mission history. We had a fabulous tour guide for the mission house, Bruce. We were told not only the story of the mission movement and Lyman family, but Hawaiian history was also reviewed to place everything in context. Reading some of the previous... More 

Thank Europelover2014
Missoula, Montana
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2016

The museum was very well done, especially the natural history part. We had a limited amount of time so wish we wouldn't have spent 45 minutes going to the mission tour. We would rather have spent two hours in the museum. The mission tour is a history of the Lyman family who were the first Christian missionaries on the island.... More 

Thank Chris R
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
199 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2016

I had an extremely knowledgeable docent give me a personal tour in and lecture about the original homestead. Fascinating history about how the Congregationalist missionaries brought Christianity and schools to the islands in the early 1800's. One of the original schools founded on Oahu morphed into a prestigious prep school where President Obama graduated.

Thank 505badgolfer

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