Hulihee Palace

At this former royal vacation home and museum, view original handmade koa furnishings and watch free folk concerts.

Take a step back in royal Hawai’ian history at the Hulihe’e Palace, a museum and heritage vacation mansion for the Hawai’ian monarchy. Discover relics from Hawai’i’s 19th-century royal past and learn about the kings and queens who resided here. Enjoy traditional music and free performances at the Hulihe’e Palace Concert and join an informative guided tour of the palace.

Hawai’i’s governor built Hulihe’e Palace out of coral mortar and lava rock in 1838. The building features New England-style architecture. Admire the stylish mansion’s simple design and immaculate tropical garden. Enter the palace to find an intriguing museum, filled with historic artifacts from the reign of King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiʻolani.

Explore the palace to learn about how the royals lived in the 19th century. Find beautifully carved koa furnishings, handcrafted from local acacia koa trees. The mansion is filled with fascinating stories, such as the tale of the intricate cabinets, built by a Chinese prisoner who was serving a life sentence for smuggling opium. The fine craftsmanship of the cabinets inspired King Kalākaua to pardon the man’s crime.

Visit Hulihe’e Palace during the palace’s Sunday concert sessions, held monthly. Enjoy performances of folk music and hula concerts with the Hulihe’e Palace Band and the Merrie Monarchs Chorale. These concerts honor each of the Hawai’ian monarchs and are free.

Stop by the palace’s gift shop to browse items such as koa sculptures, traditional weaving and Hawai’iana postcards and books. Across the road from the palace, find Moku’alkaua Church, the oldest Christian church in Hawai’i.

Hulihe’e Palace can be found in downtown Kailua-Kona, a 10-minute walk along the waterfront from the historic Kailua Pier. The museum is open every day except Mondays and the gift shop is closed on Sundays. Join the guided tours held throughout the day or take a self-guided tour with a brochure. A small admission fee applies to the museum but the gift shop and concerts are free to enjoy.