Waipahu, Hawaii Guide

Waipahu, Hawaii Guide
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Address , Waipahu, HI 96797
Complete guide to the city of Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii.

• General: Educational • General: Guide • General: History

Waipahu Location

Waipahu is a city located in the south-central area of O'ahu, just north of the Middle Loch and West Loch of Pearl Harbor area (and northwest of Pearl Harbor & USS Arizona Memorial). The area is easy to reach as the H1 Freeway and Farrington Highway both pass right through the town.

To the east is Pearl City and then Aiea and to the west is the Ewa Beach area and then Kapolei.

Waipahu History

The Waipahu area was home to a sugar mill and plantation that started back in 1897 as the Oahu Sugar Company. Nearly 1000 plantation workers grew and harvested sugar cane back when Sugar in Hawaii was a big deal. The Oahu Sugar Company imported laborers from the Philippines, Japan, China, Portugal, and even Norway though only a few were Hawaiian.

Back then, working the fields would earn you around $12.50 per month though Filipino immigrants made closer to $10.00 as they were cheaper to import. The Chinese often made the most at around $15.00 per month.

The Oahu Sugar Company was acquired by Amfac in 1961 and later shut down after the last harvest in 1995. In 1923 the company field began being used as the community center where they would feature concerts and sporting events. Later on the field would be renamed to Hans L'Orange Field and then to Hans L'Orange Neighborhood Park which it is today.

The City & County of Honolulu and State of Hawaii purchased around 40 acres of land near the sugar mill in 1973. The land was used to establish the Waipahu Cultural and Garden Park which became Hawaii's Plantation Village and is still open today.

Waipahu Attractions

Waipahu is more of a residential and commercial area used by local residents of O'ahu than it is a tourist destination but that doesn't mean you should skip this place. There are plenty of unique and interesting things to see here as well as a lot of culture and local establishments you just won't find elsewhere.

For example, while this isn't Fisherman's Wharf or Pike Place Fish Market where they throw fish at you, Waipahu Festival Marketplace is an interesting place to see in person. And when it comes to restaurants, there are tons of "hole in the wall" style establishments (and I say that in a very positive way) worth finding here.

Sure, you won't find any sandy beaches in this town but if you're here and want to hit the ocean you can drive to places like Ewa Beach Park which are just a few miles away.

You'll also find the very popular Waikele Premium Outlets just north of the main city area. While it's no Ala Moana Center, the Waikele Premium Outlets are a huge tourist attraction and a fun place to shop for a bit, if that's the type of thing you enjoy.

Of course, the big tourist attraction here is Hawaii's Plantation Village and worth checking out. This is the best way to take a trip back into the 1850s to 1950s era and experience what life was like in the area (without the less than ideal conditions and grueling work). This outdoor museum has authentic replica dwellings so you can see how the immigrants worked and lived back then.

View all that Waipahu has to offer here.

Waipahu Fun Facts

The name Waipahu comes from “wai” which means “water” and “pahu” which means “to burst or explode” so Waipahu literally means “water forced up” (out of spring, etc). This makes sense since the town is named after an artesian spring.