Oahu has many notable features, not the least of which being the site-seeing. It’s true that Hawaii has impeccable weather and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy year-round, but Hawaii’s diverse and lengthy history is an often overlooked aspect of many visits to Hawaii, though it shouldn’t be.
Oahu’s Iolani Palace is a prime example of good site-seeing often passed-up. This restored royal palace is the only palace to ever stand on American ground and is beautiful Hawaiian history and all its grandeur rolled into one magnificent package.
Built in 1882 for King Kalakaua and his sister, Queen Lili‘uokalani who would later succeed him, the palace was built with all the modern amenities of the time including indoor plumbing and gas fixtures. To tour the grand hall is to walk among impeccably molded wedding-cake plaster and trim made of rich Hawaiian woods buffed to a high polish. The throne room is all crimson and gold and it was here where King Kalakaua made his royal decisions, held audiences and state balls, and entertained visitors from all walks of life.
Also on the self or guided tour, are the State Dining Room, the Private Suites, and the Blue Room where prized portraits of the King and Queen as well as gifts from various dignitaries from around the globe reside.
Built on sacred ground, the Iolani Palace consist of beautiful landscapes with rolling lawns, sprawling gardens, and stunning vistas. It’s crowning achievement was, perhaps, the eight-foot tall coral fence that once encompassed the grounds. Sadly, it was lowered to 3’6” after the Wilcox rebellion in 1882, but the beauty of its construction remains intact today. So If you find yourself in Honolulu and desire to see some history as well the beautiful outdoors, consider the historic downtown area and Iolani Palace, where you’ll find enlightening peaks into Hawaii’s past.
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