America's only royal residence was built in 1882 on the site of an earlier palace. It contains the thrones of King Kalakaua and his successor (and sister) Queen Liliuokalani, who was imprisoned in her home after the 1893 overthrow. Bucking the stereotype of simple island life, the palace had electricity and telephone lines installed even before the White House. Downstairs galleries showcase the royal jewelry and a kitchen and offices restored to the glory of the monarchy.
The palace is open for guided tours or self-guided audio tours, and reservations are recommended. If you're set on taking a guided tour, call for reservations a few days in advance. The main gift shop was formerly the Iolani Barracks, built to house the Royal Guard.
King and Richards sts., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96804, United States
Jun 13, 2003
This is a very important stop for anyone interested in understanding something of Hawaiian/U.S.A history. The guides give a powerful account of Hawaii’s last queen and the last days of a sovereign nation. Absolutely, don’t miss this tour. Go on Friday and picnic to the sounds of the Royal Hawaiian Band on the lawn.
Apr 13, 2003
The Palace is quiet and interesting but the real treat is the integration of the Tour with the History and Culture of the Hawaiian Islands. The Docents were excellent and extremely well informed. The presentation was artful and interesting. Take a bit of time out and visit, it's worth it. By the way, for Halekulani guests admission is free. Have the Hotel call ahead.