Elvis loved Hawaii. Walk a mile (or two) in his blue suede shoes to visit his favorite spots

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/(Arbresha12 / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 12:16 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 12:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the summer blockbuster “Elvis” smashing the box office in June, a new generation of fans is experiencing the legacy of the King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis Presley was, and remains, beloved worldwide. While the new biopic explores his impact on shaping the early days of Las Vegas’ nightlife, it skims over his affinity for the Hawaiian islands.

On one of his earlier trips to Hawaii, Presley sent a telegram to Honolulu Star-Bulletin expressing his excitement to experience “Hawaiian hospitality” on his visit. His relationship with Hawaii only strengthened after his first trip in 1957.

Presley went on to star in three films set on the islands and serenaded local fans at multiple live concerts.

Decades later, fans can trace Presley’s steps to see the Hawaii he fell in love with.

Tantalus Lookout, Oahu
(Hawaii News Now)

One of Presley’s most iconic photos from Hawaii is him on a ledge, ukulele-in-hand, with an aerial view of Diamond Head over his shoulder.

While the cityscape has since grown, a drive up to Tantalus lookout offers a surreal view over urban Honolulu, and a chance for a photo op with the majestic mountain in sight.

Hanauma Bay Beach Park, Oahu

Fans will remember Presley’s character embracing his fictional love interest, Maile Duval, on the shores of the bay wearing his military uniform in “Blue Hawaii.” It also featured in his flick, “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” in 1966.

Nowadays the bay’s reefs are a popular spot for snorkeling.

Blaisdell Center, Oahu

Once the Honolulu International Center, the complex housed Presley’s iconic “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii” TV special in 1973. It was a trailblazing event broadcasted via satellite and was seen by 1.5 billion people in over 40 countries, according to IMDb.

The show’s profits all purportedly went to the Kui Lee Cancer Foundation.

Visitors can spot the grand statue of Presley, immortalizing the performance, standing outside the arena today.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu
(Pearl Harbor National Memorial)

Many recognize the USS Arizona Memorial, but it was completed, in part, due to funds and attention from Presley’s benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena in 1961, this Honolulu Star-Advertiser article explores.

Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu

The King famously explored the attraction in both “Blue Hawaii” and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.”

Visitors today can still take boat tours around the various life-sized replicas of ancient Pacific Island communities.

The center also features interactive activities, such as hula lessons, that are unique to the numerous cultures on display.

Hilton Hawaiian Village, Oahu
(Image: Hilton Hawaiian Village)
(Image: Hilton Hawaiian Village)

Presley preferred to lodge at the hotel during his stays.

Visitors can get lost in the various shops and boutiques at this Waikiki hotspot.

Rock Island Cafe, Oahu

After tracing the King’s footsteps, you’ll likely be hungry. Rock Island Cafe preserves the era’s zeitgeist with memorabilia plastered along the walls and old-school tunes blaring through this 1950s-themed eatery.

Kuhio Highway, Kauai
(Hawaii Department of Transportation)

One of the main highways on the island of Kauai, Presley drove down the stretch in “Blue Hawaii.”

The highway covers around half of the island and offers breathtaking views of the sea and landscapes of the Garden Island.

Coco Palms Resort Hotel, Kauai
(Hawaii News Now)

The historic hotel was featured in “Blue Hawaii.” While it was destroyed by a hurricane in the 90s and remains closed, visitors can take a dip in nearby sapphire-hued waters.

Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, Maui
(Hawaii News Now/file)

Some scenes of “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” were set at this active luxury resort.

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