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Walk in the footsteps of Hawaii’s royalty

Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state and was founded in 1889
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You may be surprised to find that this island state was once a monarchy, home to kings and queens. On Oahu, there are three stops that allow you to walk in the footsteps of royalty and discover the historic stories of a sovereign nation.


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 installed shortly after its invention made the residence comfortable enough for King Kalakaua, Queen Kapiolani, and their many important guests. Tours take visitors through the Grand Hall, State Dining Room, and past the 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 pm on the palace grounds.

The palace is located in downtown Honolulu on the corner of King Street and Richards Street. Vehicular entry is via Likelike Mall between the palace and the Hawaii State Library. The bus stops within half a block of the palace grounds.

Kamehameha Statue - Across from the Iolani Palace, at the Aliiolani 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 Hawaii 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 AbigailKinoiki Kekaulike Kahili 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 Hawaii’s kings and queens, along with some of their personal effects.

The museum is located six miles from Waikiki on Bernice Street.