- 1) U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii
For history buffs looking to take a step back in time, march on over to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii housed on the grounds of Fort DeRussy in Waikiki to experience stories from early Hawaiian warfare through the Vietnam War. Today the museum salutes visitors with a piece of Hawaii history without ever having to leave Waikiki.
Constructed in 1911 as a coastal artillery battery known as Battery Randolph, part of the experience of paying a visit to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii is simply seeing the museum itself -- a massive concrete building with a 12-foot thick roof. Built as part of a coastal defense system with 14-inch guns it was transformed into a museum in 1976.
If you've got a free afternoon carve an hour out of your day to check out the museum's exhibits including the Gallery of Heroes -- which honors local soldiers who have been recognized with the nation's most prestigious military awards - or the popular General Eric K. Shinseki exhibit which features information on General Shinseki's bright military career. For those looking to turn the volume up on their visit, the museum now offers audio tours (available in Japanese and English) for rent for $5 each.