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Starting in the 1800s, immigrants seeking work on the sugar plantations came to these islands like so many waves against the shore. At this living museum 30 minutes from downtown Honolulu, visit authentically furnished buildings, original and replicated, that re-create and pay tribute to the plantation era. See a Chinese social hall; a Japanese shrine, sumo ring, and saimin stand; a dental office; and historic homes. The village is open for guided tours only. www.hawaiiplantationvillage.org. COST: $13. OPEN: Tours on the hr, Mon.--Sat. 10--2.
Opened in 1922, this theater earned rave reviews for its neoclassical design, with Corinthian columns, marble statues, and plush carpeting and drapery. Nicknamed the "Pride of the Pacific," the facility was rescued from demolition in the early 1980s and underwent a $30 million renovation. Listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places, it has become the centerpiece of revitalization efforts of Honolulu's downtown area. The 1,200-seat venue hosts concerts, theatrical productions, dance performances, and film screenings. www.hawaiitheatre.com. COST: $10. OPEN: 1-hr guided tours Tues. 11 am (when there's no performance).
Hawaii was one of the first states in the nation to legislate that a portion of the taxes paid on commercial building projects be set aside for the purchase of artwork. A few years ago, the state purchased an ornate period-style building (built to house the headquarters of a prominent developer) and dedicated 12,000 square feet on the second floor to the art of Hawaii in all its ethnic diversity. The Diamond Head Gallery features new acquisitions and thematic shows from the State Art Collection and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The Ewa Gallery houses more than 150 works documenting Hawaii's visual-arts history since becoming a state in 1959. Also included are a sculpture gallery, a gift shop, and educational meeting rooms. Check for occasional evening events. www.hawaii.gov/sfca. COST: Free. OPEN: Tues.--Sat. 10--4.
Founded in 1889 by Charles R. Bishop as a memorial to his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the museum began as a repository for the royal possessions of this last direct descendant of King Kamehameha the Great. Today it's the Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Its five exhibit halls house almost 25 million items that tell the history of the Hawaiian Islands and their Pacific neighbors. The latest addition to the complex is a 16,500 square-foot natural-science wing with a three-story simulated volcano at its center.
A smaller version of the stores located in Ward Center and Ward Warehouse carries koa bowls and boxes, ceramics, and art glass. www.noheagallery.com.
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