On the main beachfront avenue in Kailua-Kona, this two-story house stands as a reminder of Hawaii's royal past. It was constructed as a royal residence in the 1830s, and was used as such for most of the remainder of the 19th century. It's now an interesting museum which features both European and Hawaiian furniture and memorabilia.
The guided tour is really excellent, and if you don't know much about Hawaii's history, I highly recommended. The guide for my tour was partially Native Hawaiian, was an United State veteran - and also an advocate of restoring partial Hawaiian sovereignty. The story of how Hawaii became an American territory is not one of the more admirable parts of US history, IMHO.
As my wife walked along Ali'i Drive, we came upon the Hulihe'e Palace. This was the former vacation home of Hawaiian Royalty and is now a museum open to the public.
Inside the house is furniture, dishes, paintings, rugs and clothing used and worn by the family of the Hawaiian Monarchs who used this house. The house is situated on a beautiful parcel of land with a sea view. The grounds are very lush and green with many palm trees, fruit trees and flowers.
A fine historical building right in the middle of touristy Kona. Hulihe'e palace was built in the 19th century of lava rock, and plastered by King Kalakaua in a more refined style. The building was severely damaged by the October 2006 earthquake, but you can still go in and learn about its history. The setting is great.