Hulihee Palace announces limited reopening

  • Hulihee Palace and its grounds in Kailua-Kona. (CHELSEA JENSEN/West Hawaii Today file photo)

  • Hulihee Palace recently announced the limited re-opening of the historic site starting Aug. 1. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today file photo)

Hulihee Palace recently announced the limited reopening of the historic site starting Aug. 1.

During the month of August, Hulihee will be open on Saturdays with guided tours at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. Reservations are required and tours are limited to nine people. Reservations close at 4 p.m. on Fridays.

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After safely touring the museum, visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the grounds while relaxing in the sunshine, all while observing physical distancing.

Hulihee Palace was built in 1838 by Gov. John Adams Kuakini and became the Kona residence of Princess Ruth before King David Kalakaua revamped it for use as his summer palace. Until 1914, when it was sold, the palace was used as a royal home.

Efforts by the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Co., which went on to build Kona Inn, to purchase the property in the 1920s were blocked the Daughters of Hawaii, which lobbied the Territory of Hawaii to purchase the palace. In 1925, the purchase was executed and the palace was leased to its caretakers, Daughters of Hawaii.

Restoration of the palace was finished in 1927 and several subsequent restorations, including in 1976 and 2007 following the October 2006 earthquakes, have maintained Hulihee.

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The Daughters of Hawaii and the Calabash Cousins are the caretakers for Hulihee Palace, which is administered by the Division of State Parks. Hulihee Palace was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

For more information, visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

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