This city on O’ahu’s southern side is rich in history, featuring a preserved sugar cane plantation and closeness to the sites of the Pearl Harbor bombing.
Journey back in time in Waipahu at Hawaii’s Plantation Village. This outdoor museum has more than 25 buildings fitted with typical furnishings of multicultural plantation homes from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s. Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Okinawan, Korean and Filipino workers labored over the years when “sugar was king” in O’ahu and Hawaii. Residents lived simply and self-sufficiently. Explore areas occupied by the doctor, dentist, barber, general store, communal bath and seamstresses.
Note the variety of local trees and fruits including taro, plumeria, pigeon peas, sugar cane and bilimbi. Sample and purchase products at the end of the 1.5-hour guided tour, available Mondays through Saturdays. Be prepared for heat, insects, possible wet pathways and lots of standing. Take an early morning tour for best conditions. On October weekends, enjoy the special haunted plantation tour, rated one of the top Halloween hauntings in the U.S.
Visit the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Aiea on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays to browse 400 shops of local merchants. Buy as many souvenirs as you want and mail them home from the on-site post office. At other times, the stadium is home to the University of Hawaii Warriors football team, the NFL Pro Bowl, concerts, car shows and soccer matches.
Some couples will enjoy spending part of their day in Waipahu apart but close together. Shop at Waikele Premium Outlets, which is open Monday through Saturday, with offerings from more than 50 big-name manufacturers. Watch your partner play golf just across the street at Waikele Country Club, a popular public course. Then reunite to share stories of the day’s activities while dining at the country club restaurant for a Pacific-Asian meal and island cocktails.
Located just north of Pearl Harbor, Waipahu is a short drive to access the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument memorializing the tragic 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Staying in Waipahu allows visitors the convenience of being close to Honolulu and Waikiki and the comfort of a more laid-back atmosphere.