Time of year
scottofhawaii wrote a review Mar 2020
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania6,160 contributions486 helpful votes
I'm thinking about what exactly is this place. For the most part, it's just like any other national park or monument's visitor center - it welcomes people and explains the establishment (entity?) to them: one can talk to a ranger, look at displays, watch a video, get a drink, go to the bathroom, etc. What makes this center different is the actual place it represents itself is distances away, and I do mean distances as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is over a half a million square miles of mostly ocean with some small reefs and a few islands. It's a natural part of Hawaiian Island Chain too. Nobody is allowed to visit this national monument; it is a highly protected sensitive environmental area. So aside from being a mini museum, I believe this center kind of serves as a headquarters or gathering spot for various different US government agencies that takes care of the monument and are allowed to go there. I'm talking like oceanic, weather, state, federal, whatever government agencies with lots of these people themselves visiting the center or working out of there. I found all this stuff really fascinating. One of the guys sitting at a desk was telling me that when they do go out there to do whatever they do, the clothes they wear has to be frozen for at least three day to kill nasty bacteria and whatnot. They want to keep that place pristine and not introduce anything alien and harmful to the area. I talked with a lot of people here mostly about what kind of physical remains from human activity are still out there. Midway Island is perhaps the most famous spot in the monument with its WWII history and having it's only permanent human presence. French Frigate Shoals aside from having a great name has an old building or two on it. Nihoa and another small island I guess not too far from Kauai has some archaeological areas with evidence of an early Hawaiian presence - this would be awesome to visit and see if you could. Overall, this center is a great place to be educated about a very special area on Earth that sadly we all will never be able to see. Oh yea, they had this pretty cool art display thing going on I think done by kids.…
Date of experience: March 2020
reilly86 wrote a review Feb 2020
St. Paul, MN35 contributions7 helpful votes
This was a well-done discovery center, with knowledgeable staff. We learned a lot on some topics we don't usually see covered. Plus it's in a cool historic department store building.
Date of experience: February 2020
SeniorTravelerTF wrote a review Dec 2019
Fort Atkinson708 contributions194 helpful votes
What you didn't know about the state of Hawai'i. Some geography, some biology, some ecology, some environmental science, some history. An interesting mix not found anywhere else that I know of. On a street corner in Hilo so easy to find and easy to find parking. One block from the Pacific Tsunami Museum. Free admission, but free will is welcomed. Clean environment. Just one complaint. Many exhibits had audio that was too soft to be heard when there were other visitors nearby or walking on the hard floors. Very knowledgeable, pleasant docent.…
Date of experience: October 2019
keithdN3651CB wrote a review Dec 2019
10 contributions2 helpful votes
The fish tank has all the fish you can see snorkeling at the local beaches, different exhibits with info on protecting the ocean and its creatures.
Date of experience: November 2019
tammyBaltimore_Md wrote a review Nov 2019
Baltimore, Maryland1,981 contributions453 helpful votes
Really nice and small visitor center free of charge, compatied with nice murals and a beautiful aquarium with tropical fish behind the main mural, definitely worth a quick look inside, down the street from the farmers market.
Date of experience: November 2019