Iolani Palace & Queen Emma's Summer Palace
HNL-305 | Honolulu, Hawaii |
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Tour at a Glance
You will visit:
- Pali Lookout
- Iolani Palace
- Queen Emma Summer Palace
You will see:
Approx. 4 hours
Max. Group Size: 24
Hawaii's monarchy was established after the first Polynesian settlers arrived in 1100 A.D. but it wasn't until the 18th century that the Hawaiian kingdom was united under the rule of King Kamehameha I. His descendents would go on to create impressive residences that would rival the palaces of European superpowers. During this four-hour excursion you'll tour the grand Iolani Palace and the charming Queen Emma Summer Palace. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and don't forget to bring a camera to capture the unbelievable sights.
After you board your air-conditioned motorcoach, you'll make your way to downtown Honolulu. Here, you'll find the magnificent Iolani Palace, the only royal residence in the United States and a National Historic Landmark. Completed in 1875, the palace was very modern at the time and boasted indoor plumbing, gas chandeliers (which were replaced with electric lights five years later) and telephones. By 1893, this lovely palace became a prison for Queen Lili'ukalani when her government was overthrown. Once you disembark you'll be led to the palace's State Apartments and Private Quarters, which are found on the second floor. As you walk through the stunning hallways, you'll be mesmerized by the stunning furnishings and library inside the royal suites.
Then, you'll reboard the motorcoach and travel to your next destination. En route, you'll pass the King Kamehameha Monument, which stands in front of the Hawaiian Supreme Court building. Nearby is the acclaimed Kawaiahao Church, which is known as the "Westminster Abbey of the Pacific." Distinguished as the first Christian church in Oahu, the building was created in 1842 with 14,000 slabs of coral from ocean reefs.
Next, you'll make a photo stop at the Royal Mausoleum, also known as Mauna Ala, the final resting place of Hawaii's past monarchs and their families. Back on the road, you'll make your way out of the city and into the lush Nu'uanu Valley, where it rains nearly 300 inches a year. Another photo stop awaits you at Pali Lookout, renowned not only for its breathtaking views but it's also one of the most important places in Hawaiian history. In 1795, when Kamehameha I was battling Kalanikupule for island rule, their armies fought atop these mountains. During one intense battle, Kalanikupule's forces were forced off the 1,000-foot high Koolau cliff. As you gaze out, you have the perfect vantage point of the steep precipice.
Continuing on, you'll make your way to the enchanting hilltop residence known as Queen Emma Summer Palace. This captivating structure was built in 1847 and is one of the few remaining Georgian-inspired residences on the island. Placed on the National Historic Registry, the interior looks much like it did in Queen Emma's day. The home features a collection of artifacts, furniture and personal items like a tiger-claw necklace from the Maharaja of India and a set of China from Queen Victoria.
At the conclusion of the tour, you'll reboard the motorcoach for the scenic ride to the pier.
Bring cash or credit cards for additional purchases. Wear comfortable walking shoes and warm-weather clothing suitable for the day's conditions. Bring a hat and bottled water.
This tour is not available on Sundays or holidays when the Iolani Palace is closed.
Wheelchairs and walkers cannot be accommodated at Queen Emma's Summer Palace.
12 years and under only