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IST 605: Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

An in-depth guide to where to stay, eat, and visit in Honolulu, (and to a lesser extent Oahu moreover) Hawaii.

Wish You Were Here!

Welcome to the Iolani palace and the Hawaiian monarchy!

Iolani Palace and the Monarchy

Directly adjacent to the state capital is the Iolani Palace, the former residence of the Hawaiian monarchs beginning with King Kalākaua in 1879. A previous, smaller palace had sat on the sight which had served previous monarchs, but when Kalākaua, befittingly named the “merry monarch” traveled the world in 1881, he was inspired by Europe’s great palaces, and had a new one constructed to fit his ambitions personality. Grandiose indeed, this 7,000 sq ft. building consist of ten rooms spread across four floors, including a throne room, music room, and personal library. The palace was also ahead of its time thanks to Kalākaua, going fully electric in 1888, three years before the White House!

          Visiting hours for the Palace are Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. The grounds themselves are free and no reservations are required to walk them. The Palace itself however does require tickets and offers numerous tour options, from self-guided audio tours starting at $26.95 per person, to the “white gloves tour” led by the palace historian where guests “slip on a keepsake pair of white gloves for the unique chance to view original items in the Palace collection not on display to the general public” starting at $125.00 per person. For a full list of closures and rules of conduct, please visit the Palace’s website.


Can’t get enough royalty? Across from the Palace grounds sits Aliʻiolani Hale, the former seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaii and current supreme court building. It is also the sight of the infamous overthrow of the Kingdom in 1893. Directly in front of the building is the ever-popular statue of King Kamehameha I, the founder of Hawaiian Kingdom.


Special note: The history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, it’s overthrow, and annexation by the United States, is a massive topic, and to try to sum up any of these parts (let alone all of them) in a few sentences here would be doing it and the people of Hawaii an injustice. So, with that said, in addition to the main video, I will incorporate not one, not two, but THREE extra videos focusing on each of these topics (though some overlap exits) into this page, so grab a snack (as long as it’s not a Dole pineapple)!

Check It Out - Iolani Palace!

Check It Out - Hawaiian History

More Photos!