Nestled in the vibrant green Nu`uanau Valley, just minutes from the busy streets of Honolulu, the home that was once the summer escape for Queen Emma and her husband, King Kamehameha IV, offers guests a glimpse into Hawaiian history and the lifestyle of the royals. Resting on just two acres which were part of the original 65 acres that belonged to the queen, Queen Emma's Summer Palace is open to visitors for a tour of the grounds. Guests can even play the original piano!
The site is maintained and managed by the Daughters of Hawaii, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving Hawaiian language, culture and historic sites around the island. During visits, a member of the organization leads guests through the palace, viewing and sharing information about the queen's belongings and exploring other artifacts and memorabilia.
Hula in the palace yard — Photo courtesy of Daughers of Hawaii
Upon entering, guests pass through the hallway which is decorated with portraits of the royals, and it's these that kick off an edifying historical recap from guides. Soon visitors pass through the center hall where many artifacts are on display, including a silver christening vessel given to the couple from Queen Victoria, who would become godmother to the couple's son.
Not far from the column-lined porch are many native trees believed to have been planted by the young prince before he passed away at just four-years old. Ferns, ohia trees (used for making lehue lei), a tamarind tree and other native plants add a lush element to the yard.
The home is so well-preserved that it's easy to imagine the queen relaxing on the lanai (porch) in the present day.
The palace can be rented for personal events.