Uluniu Avenue was named after King Kalakaua’s Waikiki estate

Aloha Authentic

HONOLULU (KHON2) – In Hawaii, names are very important as they tell a story, including the one about our roadways.  

Do you know the meaning behind the roadway you live on?  

Our weekly “Aloha Authentic” segment highlights various roadways across the islands.  

This month, our theme is Hawaiian monarchs.  

This week, we honor a King who just celebrated his heavenly birthday.

In the ahupuaa of Manoa, which lies in the moku of Kona here on Oahu, stands a roadway that is named after a royal estate fit for a King.  

We are talking about Uluniu Avenue.

King David Kalakaua was the last male monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Because he had such a jolly personality and liked to party and entertain guests, he earned himself the nickname “the Merry Monarch.” 

On the shores of Waikiki, the King had an estate with a wooden two-story structure named Uluniu, where many of his gatherings took place. Uluniu once stood in the area of the old King’s Village which was located behind the Hyatt Regency hotel.

King Kalakaua made international history more than once.  

In 1874, not even a year after taking the throne, the King was the first leader to visit the United States and then President Ulysses S. Grant.  

It resulted in the United States’ first state dinner with a foreign head of state.

Just a few years later in January of 1881, King Kalakaua departed the islands once again. This time the departure would be to tour the world. He also became the first national leader to do so.

Just nine months later, the King returned home, bringing back inspirations from his travels, including the Victorian fashion seen within Iolani Palace. 

Did you know?  Now you do!

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