While you might not think of a tsunami museum as being a real tourist attraction, the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo on the Big Island is an interesting museum which showcases the two tsunamis that so heavily damaged the Big Island in 1946 and 1960. The museum’s mission is also to educate people about tsunamis all over the world – the website includes information about the most recent recorded tsunami, regardless of where it happened.
There are both regular exhibits and special exhibits on display. For information about what is available at the Pacific Tsunami Museum when you’re visiting, see the exhibits page. For stories told by tsunami survivors, see this page, and this basic tsunami terminology is helpful. Many of the features of the museum are geared toward educating children, although everyone can benefit from the knowledge gained here. Certainly, if you live in an area that has the potential to be affected by tsunamis, the information provided at the museum could very well save your life.
In addition to the museum’s exhibits, the Pacific Tsunami Museum also has put together maps for self-guided walking/driving tours of historic tsunami sites in Hilo, which was damaged significantly in both the 1946 and 1960 tsunamis. Maps for this self-guided tour are free and you can find them at the Pacific Tsunami Museum, Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Port of Hilo and Wailoa Center among other places.
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Location: 130 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, HI 96720
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 09:00-16:00
Admission: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $2 students (aged 6-17; children under 5 free)
More Information: Official museum website