Why live in Wahiawa, Hawaii?

In the center of Oahu, four miles north of Mililani and about twenty miles north of Honolulu, lies the peaceful, historically agricultural community of Wahiawa. Situated on the Leilehua Plain between the Wai‘anae and Ko‘olau mountain ranges and surrounded on three sides by freshwater Lake Wilson, the natural beauty of the peninsula community provides an ideal location to relax. And with shopping, eateries, recreation options, and the storied surf of the North Shore a short drive away, Wahiawa is a comfortable suburban community to call home.

The U.S. Army has a large presence in the Wahiawa neighborhood with Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and the East Range. Wahiawa is also home to the U.S. Navy’s Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific.

Revitalization of the plantation era community is underway. The Whitmore Project, spurred by Senator Donovan Dela Cruz’s plan to make Central Oʻahu an agricultural hub, has acquired uncultivated lands surrounding Wahiawa and has begun to lease the lands to local farmers. The Whitmore Project also includes a long-term vision to construct high-tech food processing facilities, redesign downtown Wahiawa, build affordable housing, and partner with schools and industries to create a thriving “live, work, and play” community.

Birthing Stones, Dole Plantation, and Bridge: Wahiawa is an interesting place!

  • As many as 800 years ago royal chiefs and chiefesses arrived in the royal center of Oahu, Wahiawa, to birth their children at the Kukaniloko Birthing Stones, a site that can be explored today. 

  • The world’s largest plant maze is found at Dole Plantation. The Guinness record holder had to expand in 2007 to win back the title and now features more than 14,000 plants over two and a half miles of paths.
  • The only way to access Wahiawa is by crossing two bridges on Kamehameha Highway (State Route 80).

How far is Wahiawa from Honolulu? What is the public transportation like in in Wahiawa?

Commute Time. The average travel time to work is 32 minutes, according to the U.S. Census from 2012-2016. With minimal traffic, it takes 36 minutes to go to Honolulu and 29 minutes to arrive in Kapolei. 

Buses. TheBUS serves Wahiawa with routes 51, 52, and 72. 

Wahiawa is one of the oldest neighborhoods on Oahu

Wahiawa means “place of noise” or “rumbling” in Hawaiian, perhaps signifying the sounds of the gigantic waves breaking on the nearby North Shore or the thundering voices of ancestral gods as they welcomed royal offspring born at the Kukaniloko Birthing Stones.

Wahiawa is one of the oldest communities on Oahu. On the lands of the current Schofield Barracks, the Oahu chiefs would train their armies, and royal family members would meet in this central community to celebrate royal births, relax, or fight battles. The royal families enjoyed the lush mountain landscape, the cool climate, and the abundance of wild birds, from which they would pluck feathers to make capes.

After the Land Act of 1895, California families acquired lands and settled on the Wahiawa peninsula at the turn of the twentieth century. The settlers planted crops, constructed homes, built roads, and created a post office, schools, and more. These settlers also started the thriving pineapple industry, creating plantation villages around the central town for workers from around the world.

In July of 1900, James “Pineapple King” Dole won a government auction to gain 61 acres of land, planting pineapples and building a prosperous cannery. By 1904, Wahiawa became known as the “Land of Million Pines” and the pineapple capital of the world. In 1906, Dole convinced Walter Dillingham to extend the Oahu Railway to Wahiawa and a dam was built to supply more water to the fields, creating Lake Wilson and growing the pineapple economy even further. 

In 1939, Schofield Barracks became the largest base in the United States and other military bases were further established around this era, establishing the military presence of today in Wahiawa. However, the pineapple presence began to dwindle. After the peak of the pineapple industry in the 1950s, its steady decline ended with the last Oahu plantation community in Kunia Camp closing in 2007. Yet the revitalization of this historical Hawaiian and agricultural neighborhood has begun, with public plans for a prosperous community underway. 

What is the weather like in Wahiawa?

Wahiawa weather is warm year-round with a muggy summer and comfortable winter. The warm season is from July to October, with high temperatures averaging about 82 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter months of December to April, the average high temperature is around 76 degrees, showing the year-round warm weather of Wahiawa.

Wahiawa skies are mostly clear for almost 80 percent of the days out of the year, and it sporadically rains in Wahiawa – with the chance of having a wet, rainy day peaking in mid-January at 26 percent chance of a wet day. Most of the year is muggy and humid in Wahiawa with more comfortable months coming around from December to April. 

Overall, Wahiawa, Hawaii, weather is warm and humid with few cloudy or rainy days. Enjoy the beautiful sunshine in Wahiawa while basking on the lawn of a newly constructed home or a historic, restored plantation home.

Wahiawa Real Estate

While Wahiawa is an old plantation town and many of its homes reflect its history, new developments and proximity to the North Shore and military installations make Wahiawa’s real estate market appealing.

Wahiawa Housing

Mom-and-pop restaurants cater to all types of eaters

Maui Mike’s Fire-Roasted Chicken. 96 South Kamehameha Highway. Enjoy moist meat topped with a plethora of sauce options and grind on a variety of sides. Take-out only.

Barrio Cafe. 672 Kilani Avenue. The vibrant Latino atmosphere with bright colors and energizing music compliments the delicious Mexican dishes. 

Shige’s Saimin Stand. 70 Kukui Street, Ste 108. A mom-and-pop shop serving handmade noodles, burgers, and fries.

Maharaja’s Foods. 410 California Avenue. A vegetarian-friendly, affordable Indian buffet that features naan, curries, lentils, and more.

Pho King. 823 California Avenue. A popular Vietnamese place serving supersized pho and a variety of other Vietnamese dishes.

Dong Yang Inn. 546 Olive Avenue. A longtime Korean restaurant serving a meat jun that will surely satisfy your appetite.

Aloha Sub. 55 South Kamehameha Highway. A local sub shop serving huge sandwiches with friendly service.

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade. 43 South Kamehameha Highway. Sip on mouthwatering lemonade or indulge in a fresh acai bowl while sitting in their fresh, clean space. 

Dot’s Wahiawa. 130 Mango Street. A long-time local Japanese and Hawaiian restaurant located in the heart of Wahiawa. Favorite dishes include the sizzling hamburger steak, loco moco, shrimp tempura, and Japanese breakfast. 

Thelma’s Restaurant. 94-366 Pupupani Street. Filipino food, like sari sari, pork adobo, pinakbet, and lechon kawali, served in a clean restaurant with excellent customer service.

Wahiawa’s shopping and entertainment options offer enough for a comfortable lifestyle.

Wahiawa Shopping Center & Wahiawa Town Center. 823 California Avenue. A shopping center with a Foodland, Longs Drugs, hair salon, dentistry, bakery, eateries and more to conveniently fulfill all your needs.

Surfers Coffee. 63 South Kamehameha Highway. Sip on coffee or tea while enjoying free Wi-Fi, surf films, and live entertainment. 

Dole Plantation. 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway. Stop by for the famous pineapple ice cream or take a train ride, explore the maze, or pick-up pineapple-related souvenirs while exploring the plantation history of Wahiawa.

Enjoy a nearby golf course

Leilehua Golf Course. 199 Leilehua Road. A reasonably priced 18-hole military golf course open to civilians with superb grounds and towering trees. There is a pro shop and driving range too.

Wahiawa has a beautiful botanical garden and park with a swimming pool and sports fields

Wahiawa Botanical Garden. 1396 California Avenue. View the variety of plants, stroll the many paths, or relax on one of the benches – all while enjoying the beautiful, free garden.

Wahiawa District Park. 1129 Kilani Avenue. This park has a baseball field, tennis courts, volleyball courts, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a skate park, playground, and restroom facilities. Enjoy recreational activities and the weekly-held community open markets.

Wahiawa Freshwater State Recreation Area. 380 Walker Avenue. Fish in the freshwater, have a picnic, ride on the bike path, or launch a boat at this lush park.

Hikes that transgress rivers and plantation fields

Schofield Waikane Trail. Starts at the end of California Avenue. An intermediate to advanced trail with lush landscapes and views. There are rivers and a waterfall, so be prepared for bugs and wet conditions.

Kolekole Hike. Starts off Kolekole Road. A well-maintained trail that transgresses hills and central Oahu vegetation. Enjoy the views and possible peacock sightings. 

Poamoho Trail. Starts off Plantation Road. Located in the ‘Ewa Forest Reserve explore a variety of long trails winding through old plantation lands and ending with incredible views. Access by truck is by permit only.


Hawaii Department of Transportation Bike Map Oahu
Oahu Bicycling League Bike Map


Wahiawa People

Wahiawa schools offer educational options for keiki

Leilehua High (Public)
1515 California Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“Leilehua High is focused on strengthening the rigor and consistency of its academic programs. All core classes use common course assessments not only to measure student progress but also to ensure uniformity across the curriculum. A math lab course for targeted 9th graders and the language arts lab course for targeted 10th graders provide valuable enrichment experiences. The school regularly monitors student data to ensure students receive appropriate interventions. Leilehua High has a schoolwide system to use student performance data and assessment strategies to measure the effectiveness of programs and services, guide staff development, and modify curriculum and instruction in order to improve student achievement,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Wahiawa Middle (Public)
275 Rose Street
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“Wahiawa Middle relies on two key programs to support student achievement, Step Up to Writing and Advancement Via Individualized Determination (AVID). The writing program focuses on writing to learn and preparing students for Common Core State Standards requirements. The AVID program, which promotes a college-going culture, is offered to students in grades 6 through 8. Students are placed in the most rigorous classes, take an AVID elective and are supported in their core classes by AVID trained teachers. A variety of extracurricular student programs are offered after school, including tutoring and credit recovery. Examples of enrichment programs include robotics, intramural sports, jazz band and art. Wahiawa Middle is committed to increasing parent involvement and improving communication between home and school by building relationships through family activities, technology and the School Community Council. The School Community Council offers parents an opportunity to participate in the school improvement process,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Major Sheldon Wheeler Middle (Public)
2 Wheeler Army Airfield
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786  

“Wheeler Middle's faculty and staff are dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of adolescent students through the implementation of standards-based lessons. The school provides comprehensive student supports, professional development for teachers, and enjoys partnerships with the military and community. Wheeler Middle strives to seek ways to address the intellectual, social, physical, emotional, moral and ethical needs of students by providing a safe and nurturing environment, parent and community involvement, a variety of instructional strategies and interdisciplinary teaming. Students have advisory periods, exploratory programs and co-curricular programs,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Daniel K. Inouye Elementary (Public)
Waianae Ave & Ayers Ave
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“Daniel K. Inouye Elementary, formerly known as Hale Kula Elementary, has an active Transition Center that provides daily tours for new students and parents as well as periodic checks for new students. The school has support from partnerships with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion 25th ID, Joint Ventures Education Forum, and Tripler AMC School Mental Health Team. Many opportunities are available for parents and the community to become involved in school activities. The Parent Community Networking Center coordinator regularly recruits volunteers for classroom and school activities. Parent education workshops are planned regularly, and the school Parent Teacher Organization supports the school through its many family-based activities. Daniel K. Inouye El has an active School Community Council that collaborates to develop and approve the Academic Plan and Financial Plan,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Helemano Elementary (Public)
1001 Ihi Ihi Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“As a Title I and military impacted school, Helemano Elementary receives additional funding from the federal government and the Joint Venture Education Forum. The school offers supplemental programs that support the achievement of English language learners and special education students and subsidizes a summer preschool program for incoming kindergarteners. Helemano Elementary sponsors a wide range of extracurricular activities such as student council, Junior Police Officers, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, track, robotics, ukulele and choir. The school provides a variety of parent involvement activities and has a transition center that provides information and a tour for new students and families. The School Community Council and Parent Teacher Organization actively support educational programs and activities. Helemano Elementary has two military partners, the 2nd battalion 35th infantry (Army) and NCTAMS (Navy), who are active participants in the school,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Iliahi Elementary (Public)
2035 California Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“Ililahi Elementary has established strong community engagement through the Parent Community Networking Center, Parent Teacher Association and School Community Council. A school-wide effort to educate students is strengthened by partnerships with the U.S. Army 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery of Schofield Barracks and businesses. The school offers a range of extracurricular activities, including volleyball, basketball, track and a visual arts program. Iliahi Elementary utilizes a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to offer summer reading tutoring,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Kaala Elementary (Public)
130 California Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“Teachers instruct using standards-based-lessons, collect learning evidence and help students reflect on their progress. Grade level collaboration and K-5 articulation between teachers is ongoing. Staff continuously reflect on and adjust instruction, with a focus on the betterment of student achievement and student efficacy. The school's improvement plan is based on a review of annual testing data, regular weekly and monthly assessments, with input from the community and parents through the School Community Council and the accreditation process. Afterschool and summer activities include tutoring, ukulele and robotics. The school's priorities are student achievement, civic responsibility and student safety and well-being,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Sergeant Samuel K. Solomon Elementary (Public)
2875 Waianae Uka Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786

“Solomon Elementary provides rigorous and engaging instruction. The school has parent-child literacy activities to assist in the development of literacy skills at home. Parent workshops are also conducted throughout the school year to support math learning at home. As part of the Solomon Wellness Education Program, the school has a partnership with Tripler Army Medical Center to provide school-based mental health services to students and their families. Solomon Elementary has participated in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program, and students have started a school garden,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Wahiawa Elementary (Public)
1402 Glen Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786  

“Wahiawa Elementary School is committed to setting the foundation for all students in their educational journey. Students are taught to be responsible, respectful and safe as part of a comprehensive character education program that includes an anti-bullying curriculum. Wahiawa Elementary encourages parent involvement throughout the school year with numerous activities. The School Community Council strongly supports educational programs and activities. The school enjoys an active Parent Teacher Association, Parent Community Network Center and a partnership with the 325 BSB “Mustang Six” Unit at Schofield,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Major Sheldon Wheeler Elementary (Public)
1 Wheeler Army Airfield
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

“The centerpiece of Wheeler Elementary’s success are Professional Learning Communities in which teachers collaborate regularly to inform their standards-based instruction and ensure success for all. The school offers art, music, physical education and Hawaiian classes. At Wheeler Elementary, open communication with parents and community continue to guide school success,” according to hawaiipublicschools.org.

Hospitals and Health Centers

Wahiawā General Hospital
128 Lehua St, Wahiawa, HI 96786
Open 24 hours

Kaiser Permanente Waipio Medical Office
94-1480 Moaniani St, Waipahu, HI 96797
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday

925 California Ave, Wahiawa, HI 96786, Located in Longs Drugs
Open 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Emergency hurricane shelters and tsunami evacuation zones prepare the community for a natural disaster

The following hurricane evacuation shelters are provided by the City and County of Honolulu Department of Emergency Management to offer some protection from high winds, flying debris, storm surges, and flooding. If possible, the Department of Emergency Management recommends the public to “Shelter-in-Place.” Note that more information about shelters will be broadcast over local media and official social media sites during an emergency. Also, you should bring a three-day supply of food, water, clothing, medication, personal hygiene items, and a mat or cot for sleeping, since the shelters are not stocked with supplies. 

Leilehua High 
1515 California Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

Wahiawa Middle 
275 Rose Street
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

Helemano Elementary 
1001 Ihi Ihi Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

Iliahi Elementary 
2035 California Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

Kaala Elementary 
130 California Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786 

Wahiawa Elementary 
1402 Glen Avenue
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786