Top 8 Observatories & Planetariums in Hawaii, United States

May 16, 2022 Timmy Ribble

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Restaurants in Hawaii

1. Onizuka Astronomy Complex

Mauna Kea Access Rd, Island of Hawaii, HI 96737 +1 808-961-2180 http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis
Excellent
73%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
9%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Onizuka Astronomy Complex

At 9,000 feet, this observatory offers magnificent views.

2. Mauna Kea

Island of Hawaii, HI http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/visiting-the-summit.html
Excellent
72%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 311 reviews

Mauna Kea

Reviewed By Laura_Pandora - Minato, Japan

We almost didn't get to visit because of the protests but thankfully the access road reopened a couple of days before our arrival. The drive up to the visitor center poses no challenge. The road to the summit was closed that day because of (apparently) inclement weather conditions but we didn't have a 4WD anyway so it wasn't a big loss. Once you're at visitor center level, you absolutely need to climb the rocky outcrop across it or you'll be missing all the sights. It's a relatively easy hike and the (daytime) views from up there are magical.

3. Subaru Telescope

650 N Aohoku Pl, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2700 +1 808-934-7788 http://subarutelescope.org/
Excellent
73%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 40 reviews

Subaru Telescope

4. W.M. Keck Observatory

65-1120 Mamalahoa Hwy opened from 10AM to 2PM, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-8431 +1 808-885-7887 http://www.keckobservatory.org
Excellent
80%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 45 reviews

W.M. Keck Observatory

Reviewed By 415GeorgeH - San Jose, United States

We enjoyed the docent interaction at the Keck headquarters in Waimea, where it was possible to get insight into today's astronomy activities and the amazing work being performed with the optical systems on top of Mauna Kea. This trip we drove up to the mountain top (yes, you really do have to have 4WD), stopping the recommended 30 minutes at the 9,000 foot visitors center, and then proceeding to the 14,000 foot top where we were able to enter the Keck observatory visitor space and get a view of one of the two large telescopes. There are commercially available tours if you prefer to let someone else drive and have a guide along.

5. Mauna Loa Observatory

1437 Kilauea Ave Suite 102, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4200 +1 808-933-6965 http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/mlo/
Excellent
63%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 128 reviews

Mauna Loa Observatory

We are an atmospheric monitoring station that was established in 1956. Please visit our website to learn more about the atmospheric constituents that we monitor that can cause a forcing effect on our climate. We are a secure working facility with no unauthorized entry and we do not provide tours to the public. All Astronomy takes place on Mauna Kea and not on Mauna Loa so please make sure that your reviews are located under the correct attraction.

Reviewed By astromandsn

Being this high on an island in the middle of the ocean is really fun. I felt like I was back on peaks in Colorado. Don't drive it if you don't have a four-wheel drive---mostly that is to protect the road. If you are into astronomy, this is THE place to see. Also, stop in Waimea and go to the visitors center.

6. Mauna Kea Observatories

Mauna Kea Access Rd Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720 +1 808-961-2180 http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/mko/
Excellent
78%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 116 reviews

Mauna Kea Observatories

Reviewed By Geoff_Hughes_100 - Cumberland, United States

Suggest planning the date and time of your trip (if you have the luxury). Do a Google search to see if the road isn’t blocked by the protestors (there is no single website that tells you day to day - you just have to keep googling or checking recent reviews on TA) or because of weather conditions (yes it snows and winds can reach 130mph!!!). AND yes you need a 4x4 (or risk the rangers rounding you up and turning you back)..... With all that said - the view from the top is spectacular and very rarely can you find a spot in the US that you can drive to +13,000’!

7. Haleakala Observatories

Haleakaka, Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/haleakalanew/observatories.shtml
Excellent
64%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 14 reviews

Haleakala Observatories

Reviewed By SerenityNow2 - Pennsylvania, United States

Loved seeing this at the top of Haleakala. I wish we could go in there but I guess it’s not allowed.

8. Imiloa Astronomy Center

600 Imiloa Pl, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4072 +1 808-969-9700 [email protected] http://www.imiloahawaii.org/
Excellent
52%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.0 based on 342 reviews

Imiloa Astronomy Center

Reviewed By pocketneuroscientist

Very detailed exhibits are both kid-friendly and extremely detailed for all ranges of intellectual curiosity. I don't care much about astronomy and physics, and yet I found myself here for over 2.5 hours absorbing all of it. We went to the Skies Above Hawaii and Mauna Kea planetarium shows, and they were both different and fascinating. The Mauna Kea show was especially nice given that our Mauna Kea stargazing tour had gotten cancelled due to wind. The Skies Above Hawaii program is new, a live narration program given by a docent who is clearly loves her job.

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