The Island’s Governor, Kuakini, built the large salmon colored Hulihee Palace in 1837. It would later become King David Kalakaua’s Summer Palace in the 1880’s and is filled with interesting artifacts. The palace isn’t open on Sunday’s, so sadly, we only got to see the outside of the palace.
On the up side….. being in port on a Sunday allowed for me to peek in on the service being held in the first western church in islands. The church is called Mokuaikuau, and was built between 1823 and 1827 in the New England Congregational style with a white steeple towering over thick stone walls mortared with coral. The interior posts and beams are hand-hewn ohia wood brought down from the slopes of Mauna Loa and are fitted together with ohia pins.
We finally ended up deciding upon the Zagat rated Kona Inn for Lunch where we had huge shrimp cocktails and salad with giant sweet Maui onions on the shady veranda. Again…….the view of the sparkling sea and rocky lava coast where waves lapped and crashed trapped in the lava fissures our ship a distant white whale on the waiting on the horizon.
Kailua-Kona (the local name) is a fun place to visit even if you don’t take one of the many amazing excursions the ship offers at this port, so if you are looking forward to just wandering around shopping, eating and having a drink or two. We can highly recommend that approach!