How Elvis Presley Spent His Summer Vacation

“Dreams come true in blue Hawaii…”

Elvis Presley’s favorite vacation spot was actually a place where he did a lot of work, too: Hawaii.

Elvis performed and filmed a few movies in the Aloha State, and it’s also where he spent a few much-needed vacations. Because, after all, even entertainers need a break between tours, recording sessions and movie-making.

If you’re taking an Elvis-inspired summer vacation to “Blue Hawaii” any time soon, you may want to check out a few places where Elvis entertained, relaxed and made history.

Three of Elvis’ 31 feature films were made in Hawaii: “Blue Hawaii,” “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” and “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Elvis in Hawaii, around the time he filmed "Blue Hawaii."

Elvis in Hawaii, around the time he filmed “Blue Hawaii.”

A few of the locations used for these movies on the island of Oahu include Punchbowl Cemetery, Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, the road leading to Mount Tantalus, Ala Moana Park, Hanauma Bay, Waiola Tea Room, the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, the pineapple fields along the Kamehameha Highway near Haleiwa, Bumble Bee Tuna Company and the exteriors of the Honolulu Police Department (the “Blue Hawaii” jail scene was filmed on a set in Hollywood).

A few scenes of “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” were shot at the Maui Sheraton Hotel in Lahaina, as well as the private airstrip near the Royal Lahina Resort on the island of Maui. The movie also featured footage from the Kona Coast near Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Elvis' first visit to Hawaii took place in 1957.

Elvis’ first visit to Hawaii took place in 1957.

“Paradise, Hawaiian Style” also featured the Hanalei Plantation Resort on the island of Kauai, but the resort is no longer there.

The waterfalls at Wailua River State Park were used in “Blue Hawaii,” as well as Lydgate Park, both located on Kauai. The famous wedding scene was filmed at the Coco Palms Resort Hotel, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992. The resort was then damaged by a fire in 2014. It has since been demolished and owners hope to re-open a new hotel on the site in 2018.

Elvis fell in love with Hawaii - and that's what inspired him to decorate the Jungle Room in a Polynesian theme.

Elvis fell in love with Hawaii – and that’s what inspired him to decorate the Jungle Room in a Polynesian theme.

Elvis’ first visit to Hawaii happened in November 1957. Elvis held a concert at Honolulu Stadium on November 11, followed by a performance at the Schofield Army Barracks on November 11

One of Elvis’ most famous performances took place at the Bloch Arena on the Pearl Harbor naval base on March 25, 1961. The performance was part of a benefit concert to raise money to create a USS Arizona memorial in honor of those who died in the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After its construction, Elvis often visited the memorial.

Elvis and his family and friends often vacationed in Hawaii. Elvis, Priscilla and their friends visited Hawaii in 1969.

Elvis and his family and friends often vacationed in Hawaii. Elvis, Priscilla and their friends visited Hawaii in 1969.

Elvis’ record-breaking “Aloha From Hawaii” performances took place at the Honolulu International Center (now the Neal S. Blaisdell Center) in 1973. Rehearsals also took place at that venue.

Elvis, his family and friends vacationed in Hawaii several times, in 1968, 1969 and 1977. When Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa Marie flew to Hawaii for a vacation in May 1969, they used a different last name: Carpenter. Elvis starred as Dr. John Carpenter in his final feature film role, “Change of Habit.”

Elvis made time to greet fans while in Hawaii.

Elvis made time to greet fans while in Hawaii.

Elvis loved the beauty of Hawaii and the state’s laid-back atmosphere so much that he brought it home to Graceland. The lush greenery, peaceful waters and island feel fueled Elvis to redecorate the den at Graceland – a room we know today as The Jungle Room. Not only did it become a favorite place to hang out, but Elvis also recorded music in that room, too.

Have you visited any of these Presley-related locations in Hawaii?

Take your own ultimate rock ‘n’ roll vacation when you visit Graceland! Experience the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it Jungle Room for yourself, and learn even more about Elvis’ movies at the Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum. Start making your plans now, and we’ll see you soon in Memphis.


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