Walk in the footsteps of Hawaii’s royalty

by Kris Bordessa on February 22, 2010


Statue of King Kamehameha in Oahu, Hawaii

If you’re visiting Hawaii, take the time to learn a little bit about its history prior to becoming one of the United States. You may be surprised to find that this island state was once a monarchy, home to kings and queens. On Oahu, these three stops will enlighten you – and allow you to walk in the footsteps of royalty.

‘Iolani Palace – The only official royal residence in the United States, ‘Iolani Palace – built in the late 1800s – was a modern marvel of its time. Indoor plumbing, electrical lighting, and even a telephone (shortly after its invention) made the residence comfortable enough for King Kalakaua, Queen Kapi`olani, and their many important guests. Tours take visitors through the Grand Hall, State Dining Room, and past the regal royal thrones. You’ll also see the imprisonment room, where Queen Lili`uokalani was kept during the United States overthrow of the Hawaiian government. On most Fridays, you can catch the Royal Hawaiian Band from noon to 1 p.m. on the palace grounds in a free concert. 364 South King Street, Corner Of King St. & Richard St.; (808) 522-0822

While you might dream of spending the night in such a royal setting, you’ll have to settle for nearby accommodations like the Ala Moana Hotel or the Equus, both only a couple miles from the palace.

Kamehameha Statue – Across from the ‘Iolani Palace, at the Ali‘iolani Hale (the judiciary building) you’ll stand in awe of King Kamehameha, the leader who united the Hawaiian Islands under one rule. This is one of four statues honoring the king. There are two on the Big Island of Hawai‘i and a fourth stands in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, DC. If you happen to be visiting on June 11, King Kamehameha Day in the islands, you’ll see the statues draped with flower lei.

Bishop Museum – In the museum’s Hawaiian Hall, the Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kāhili Room is home to a precious collection of kahili, or feather standards, once belonging to Hawaiian royalty. The family tree detailing the lineage of the Hawaiian monarchy is fascinating and you’ll see photos of many of Hawai‘i’s kings and queens, along with some of their personal effects. 1525 Bernice Street; (808) 847-3511

~Kris Bordessa of Honolulu On The Cheap and Big Island On The Cheap


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Frugal Kiwi February 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Ooh, I’d really love to see the kahili. Feather artifacts are so rare.

Christine February 23, 2010 at 5:35 am

oh – my children would love to see the Kamekameha statue. The Bishop Museum looks interesting too.

MarthaAndMe February 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

When we were in Hawaii, the Iolani Palace was closed due to that takeover attempt by those who want to secede! We were so disappointed! We did get to the Bishop Museum and saw the kahili which are impressive (although somehow a bit dusty looking!). I would love to go back and see the palace.

Susan February 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

I’ve been to the Iolani Palace, but I haven’t been to the other places. Great photo!

Almost Slowfood February 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Wow, I know very little about hawaii or its history. Now, I’m intrigued. I wonder what’s happened to the royal descendants??

Sheryl February 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Love the photo of the statue of the king. I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful blue skies and palm tree either. (Can you tell I’m getting really sick of winter??)

MyKidsEatSquid February 25, 2010 at 12:43 am

Great shots and it sounds like interesting sites. Like Almost Slowfood, I’d love to hear more about the history.

Lisa February 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm

It’s fun to learn about thehistory of Hawaii…the beaches are great, of course, but the history is fascinating.

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