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.


11 Comments

  1. yoan Manuel Hernández

    I like a jungle room here was recorded melody unchained

  2. yoan Manuel Hernández

    Hawaii was the favorite place of elvis lactation in 1961 when I heard it I really liked it

  3. Samuel G Kelly

    Oh Yeah From Down Under In Australia Life Time Dream One Day I will Visit Graceland’s and Get To View Elvis’s Home and world In Person But Wow How Grand is your New Hotel Look! It would be my Ultimate Holliday One Day I Shall See You Graceland’s Thankyou EPE For Giving us This Display Of The Greatest Rockstar and Man the world ever has seen Privileged God Bless

  4. r goody

    IN HIS EARLY DAYS SOME FELLAS WISHED HIM” BLACK & BLUE”.

    SOMEHOW IT ENDED AND ALL “YOU IN THE KNOW” SAID THE WORK STILL
    MAY HURT SO AN UNLIKELY TITLE — “BLUE ” HAWAII. LESS THE BLACK.

  5. agnes rodger

    I visited Diamond head, lived in Foster towers on waikiki beach, ala moana park and the polynesian centre, the dole pineapple plantation off the highway, loved it all!

  6. Bob Davis

    I have been to most of the places in Hawaii that Elvis has and been to the jungle room at Graceland

  7. j.howden

    Hi we stayed at Hilton Hawaiian village where Elvis filmed scenes from Blue Hawaii .. We were informed that Elvis stayed in Rainbow Tower when he visited the island .To holiday in the same area where Elvis stayed was a precious time for myself . There will never be a more talented entertainer than Elvis Presley he was the best ever I can’t wait to be be in Memphis on August 16 th 2017 to celebrate Elvis legacy. As a teenager growing up in 70’s UK this would have seemed out of reach but Elvis’ and his music has kept this dream alive. Elvis will always be the King xx

  8. Kauai has been our family’s home away from home for the last two decades. It is easy to see why Elvis would have felt so comfortable and relaxed there. Hanalei Bay is truly one of the world’s most beautiful places. The islanders are warm, kind and very family-oriented. “”Ohana” is very important to the people on Kauai and I believe that feeling had to have resonated with Elvis. The heart of Kauai still keeps the memory of Elvis alive. Last month our condo was in the “Blue Hawaii” building of the Kauai Coast Resort, we had Elvis waffles (yes..peanut butter and bananas atop a giant waffle) at the Kountry Kitchen in Kapa’a and we played a giant Elvis video game at the Fun Factory located less than a mile from what remains of Coco Palms. Our tradition is to watch Blue Hawaii each time we’re on the island. Listening to “Chad” sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” never gets old! We have been to Graceland and felt the spirit of Elvis profoundly lingering in the air of Memphis. It may be my imagination, but I swear I feel the same loving, kind and generous spirit of Elvis gently blowing in the breezes of Kauai.

  9. Joanne Lortie

    We were in Kawai a few years ago and took the tour that takes you to Coco Palm, although it had been destroyed by the hurricane We got to stand where Elvis stood for the famous Blue Hawaii wedding scene. What a gorgeous site!

  10. Mary Alice Lopez

    My husband and I were married across Graceland in 1993, and our theme in the style of “Blue Hawaii”, so we became known as the Blue Hawaii Wedding Couple” Linda Thompson’s brother Judge
    Thompson married us, and Dick Grob (Elvis Security Man) was our Best man. Our song is The
    Hawaiian Wedding Song, of course! See you soon
    for Elvis Week 2017! Love you Fans!

  11. Grace(land) C

    I am a massive Elvis fan, my son is even born on the same day as Elvis! I have been to Hawaii 7 times now and can’t wait to go again after reading this article. Elvis is the best, long live the King!

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