Hulihee Palace Tours

Though this stately two-story lava rock and stucco home in downtown Kailua-Kona is no castle, it did serve as a vacation home for royalty in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Built by Hawaii’s second governor John Adams Kuakini in 1838, the six-room estate was handed down to Princess Ruth Keelikolani after his death, and she opened its doors to many visiting members of the Hawaiian royal family including King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiolani. The palace today is run as a museum of Hawaiian artifacts downstairs—including kapa (bark) cloth, King Kamehameha’s own giant spears, royal busts—and a showcase of royal life with original Victorian furniture and details—koa wood furniture, original bed frames and quilts—upstairs. Docent-led tours give a brief overview of Hawaiian and palace history including the rapid adoption of European tastes evident in the home’s décor.

Set on prime ocean-front real estate in the heart of downtown Kailua-Kona off Alii Drive, the palace is close to other historic attractions including the islands' oldest Christian church (1820) across the street and the final residence of Island-uniting King Kamehameha I visible from the palace’s top floor lanai (porch). A small gift shop on the property outside the palace sells Hawaiian cultural books and souvenirs, and one Sunday a month, traditional music and hula performances take place on the palace lawn.

Practical Info

The palace is located at 75 -5718 Alii Drive and open from 9am to 4pm Monday through Saturday, except major holidays. Admission is $8 for adults and $1 for children 17 and under. Docent-led tours are on-demand (for a $2 additional charge for adults only) before 3 pm.
Location
Address: 75 - 5718 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740, USA
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Hours: Mon–Sat 9am–4pm
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Admission: Adults $8; Children 17 and under $1
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2 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Kona Tour: Coffee Plantation, Kealakekua Bay, Kaloko-Honokohau Park, and Bee Farm

There’s much more to the Big Island of Hawaii than volcanoes, waterfalls and luaus, and on this informative tour of the South Kona region, you’ll learn the sacred history of this shoreline and sample the local honey and famous Kona coffee. With the help of a knowledgeable guide, you’ll visit petroglyphs, look for green sea turtles and visit sacred Hawaiian temples. Even better: you'll hear the legends, mythology and lore of ancient Hawaii through today. This tour is capped at 15 people, so you’re ensured a personalized experience.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$123,96
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$123,96

Kailua-Kona Segway Historic Kona Town Tour - 120 Minutes - Rating: EASY to MODERATE (due to duration)

Cover more ground than possible on foot and go to places inaccessible to tour buses on this guided Segway tour of Kona. Learn about the history of Old Kona Town as you glide effortlessly through the streets. See such landmarks as Hulihe’e Palace, Moku’aikaua Church, Kamakahonu, White Sands Beach, and Ku’emanu Heiau, which was dedicated to the sport of surfing, as your guide provides historical context to each.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$167,00
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$167,00


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