By the end of the week in Hawaii, we were too sunburned for another beach day but didn’t want to waste our last day in paradise in our hotel room. In a desperate Google search to find the best indoor places to visit on Oahu, we learned about Iolani Palace. It was built in 1882 as the royal residence of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii and is the only royal palace on US soil.
I won’t recap the full history of Iolani Palace or its rulers as I’d probably accidentally mangle it, but one of the things I found most interesting about Iolani Palace was that when the Kingdon of Hawaii was overthrown, Queen Lili’uokalani was imprisoned in one of the upstairs bedrooms. I spent a lot of time looking out of the windows in her “jail cell,” imagining what it was like to be trapped in a singular room of what was previously her royal palace.
(I was so shocked by how big my belly looked on this particular day that I stopped and stared at it every time we walked past a mirror!)
Iolani Palace is located in downtown Honolulu, so much of the nearby parking has a 2-hour limit. Rather than park farther away (remember, I was over halfway through my pregnancy!) we parked in one of the time-limited spots; this meant Andy had to run out towards the end of our palace tour to move the car. Thankfully, he found a spot that was even closer (at the state Capitol building) where someone had left 12 minutes on the parking meter — just enough time to take photos outside of the Capitol!
We were both surprised at how much we enjoyed our visit to Iolani Palace— it was the perfect way to end our trip to Hawaii!