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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
In the exclusive Makiki Heights neighborhood, just minutes from downtown Honolulu, the Spalding House features collections of modern art dating from 1940. Situated in the 3.5-acre Alice Cooke Spalding home and estate (built in 1925), the museum boasts ever-changing exhibitions as well as a peaceful sculpture garden with breathtaking views of Diamond Head and Waikiki. A fun gift shop features jewelry and other art by local artists. Previously known as the Contemporary Museum, Spalding House became part of the Honolulu Museum of Art organization, so a single admission gets you into both museums. www.honolulumuseum.org. COST: $10. OPEN: Tues.--Sat. 10--4, Sun. noon--4.
The determined Hawaii missionaries arrived in 1820, gaining royal favor and influencing every aspect of island life. Their descendants became leaders in government and business. You can walk through their original dwellings, including Hawaii's oldest wooden structure, a white-frame house that was prefabricated in New England and shipped around the Horn. Certain areas of the museum may be seen only on a one-hour guided tour. Costumed docents give an excellent picture of what mission life was like. Rotating displays showcase such arts as Hawaiian quilting, portraits, even toys. www.missionhouses.org. COST: $10. OPEN: Tues.--Sat. 10--4; guided tours hourly 11--3.
Victorian-style Kapiolani Bandstand, which was originally built in the late 1890s, is Kapiolani Park's stage for community entertainment and concerts. The nation's only city-sponsored band, the Royal Hawaiian Band, performs free concerts on Sunday afternoon. Local newspapers list event information.
Paying tribute to the Big Island chieftain who united all the warring Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom at the turn of the 18th century, this statue, which stands with one arm outstretched in welcome, is one of three originally cast in Paris, France, by American sculptor T. R. Gould. The original statue, lost at sea and replaced by this one, was eventually salvaged and is now in Kapaau, on the Big Island, near the king's birthplace. Each year on the king's birthday, June 11, the more famous copy is draped in fresh lei that reach lengths of 18 feet and longer. A parade proceeds past the statue, and Hawaiian civic clubs, the women in hats and impressive long holoku dresses and the men in sashes and cummerbunds, pay honor to the leader whose name means "The Lonely One."
Originally built around the collection of a Honolulu matron who donated much of her estate to the museum, the academy is housed in a maze of courtyards, cloistered walkways, and quiet, low-ceilinged spaces. There's an impressive permanent collection that includes Hiroshige's ukiyo-e Japanese prints, donated by James Michener; Italian Renaissance paintings; and American and European art. The newer Luce Pavilion complex, nicely incorporated into the more traditional architecture of the place, has a traveling-exhibit gallery, a Hawaiian gallery, an excellent café, and a gift shop. The Doris Duke Theatre screens art films. This is also the jumping-off place for tours of Doris Duke's estate, Shangri-La (these tours are very much in demand and should be reserved far in advance). Call or check the website for special exhibits, concerts, and films. www.honolulumuseum.org. COST: $10; free 1st Wed. and 3rd Sun. of month; tours of Shangri-La $25 (includes transportation). OPEN: Tues.--Sat. 10--4:30, Sun. 1--5; Shangri-La tours Wed.--Sat. 8:30--1:30 by reservation only.
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