Hawaii’s Royal Legacy: Exploring Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona

Hulihe'e Palace in Kona

Learn about Hawaii’s royal past with a visit to the enchanting Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona! Situated along the picturesque Ali’i Drive, this hidden gem offers a delightful journey through Hawaiian history and culture. Originally constructed in 1838 by John Adams Kuakini, governor of the Island of Hawaii, Hulihe’e Palace served as a beloved retreat for Hawaiian royalty, welcoming esteemed members such as King Kamehameha III and Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Exploring the Palace: Rooms and Exhibits

Despite its modest size, Hulihe’e Palace boasts six graciously appointed rooms, including a charming parlor, dining room, and two oceanfront lanais offering breathtaking views of the Pacific. Inside, Victorian furniture, exquisite koa wood furnishings, and a treasure trove of artifacts from Hawaii’s royal past transport visitors to a bygone era.

The Role of the Daughters of Hawaii

Managed by the dedicated Daughters of Hawaii, Hulihe’e Palace was rescued from ruin in the 1920s and transformed into a museum, preserving its rich heritage for future generations. From ancient tools to royal garments, the museum showcases a fascinating collection that tells the story of Hawaii’s royal legacy.

Hulihe'e Palace Entrance

History of Hulihe’e Palace

Built during the Kingdom of Hawaii on land known as Kalāke’e, the palace served as a vacation home for High Chief John Adams Kuakini, brother of Ka‘ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha I. Over the years, Hulihe’e Palace witnessed numerous pivotal moments in Hawaiian history, providing a sanctuary where royalty could escape the pressures of governance.

Queen Emma’s Music Room: A Royal Retreat

One of the highlights of any visit is Queen Emma’s Music Room, where the queen entertained guests with her musical talents. Adorned with period furnishings and portraits of Hawaiian royalty, the room exudes refinement and sophistication, transporting visitors back in time.

Preservation and Cultural Significance

Beyond its role as a museum, Hulihe’e Palace is vital in preserving traditional Hawaiian arts and crafts. Visitors can admire exquisite examples of featherwork, kapa, and Hawaiian quilts, each showcasing the skill and artistry of the island’s indigenous people.

A Journey into Hawaiian Culture

A visit to Hulihe’e Palace is more than just a trip through history – it’s a journey into the heart and soul of Hawaii itself. From its humble beginnings as a royal retreat to its present-day role as a cultural treasure, the palace embodies the spirit of aloha, welcoming visitors to experience the beauty and majesty of the Hawaiian Islands. So come, step back in time, and discover the magic of Hulihe’e Palace – you won’t be disappointed!

Plan Your Visit

Self-guided tours and docent-led tours are available Wed-Sat. For ticket information click here.


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