Hulihee Palace

The Huliheʻe Palace is located in historic Kailua-Kona, Hawaiʻi, on Aliʻi Drive. The former vacation home of Hawaiian royalty, it was converted to a museum run by the Daughters of Hawaiʻi, showcasing furniture and artifacts.


The palace was originally built by John Adams Kuakini, Governor of the island of Hawaiʻi during the Kingdom of Hawaii, out of lava rock. When he died in 1844 he left it to his hanai (adopted) son William Pitt Leleiohoku I, the son of Prime Minister William Pitt Kalanimoku. Leleiohoku died in the measles epidemic of 1848 and left it to his son John William Pitt Kinau, but he died young and the palace went to his mother Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani. Ruth made Huliheʻe her chief residence for most of her life, but she preferred to sleep in a grass hut on the palace grounds rather than in the palace. She invited all of the reigning monarchs to vacation at Huliheʻe, from Kamehameha III to Liliuokalani. Ruth died and left the palace to her cousin and sole heir Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It was later sold to King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiolani. Kalākaua renamed the palace Hikulani Hale, which means “House of the Seventh ruler,” referring to himself, the seventh monarch of the monarchy that began with King Kamehameha I. In 1885, King Kalākaua had the palace plastered over the outside to give the building a more refined appearance. After Kalākaua's death it passed to Kapiolani who left Huliheʻe Palace to her two nephews, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole Pi‘ikoi and Prince David Kawananakoa. In 1927 the Daughters of Hawaiʻi, a group dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of the Hawaiian Islands, restored Huliheʻe Palace and turned it into a museum. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii in 1973 as site 73000653.

The palace was slightly damaged in the 2006 Hawaii earthquake. Slight cracks in the walls and ceilings formed during the earthquake centered on the Kohala coast. It is located at 75-5718 Aliʻi Drive, Kailua-Kona, coordinates 19°38′22″N 155°59′40″W / 19.63944°N 155.99444°W / 19.63944; -155.99444Coordinates: 19°38′22″N 155°59′40″W / 19.63944°N 155.99444°W / 19.63944; -155.99444.

  • Huliheʻe Palace from Aliʻi Drive

  • Huliheʻe Palace after 2006 earthquake. (01/2007)

  • South wall after 2006 earthquake. (01/2007)

  • Earthquake damage, as of January 2007.

  • Princess Ruth's grass house that stood on the palace ground

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