An old, country town initially established for Dole Plantation workers in the early 1900’s is now one of the more affordable areas on Oahu. It’s located just north of Mililani and borders Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Air Field, and East Range. The Military’s strong presence in Wahiawa has spurred a number of small businesses and restaurants which add another dimension to an area rich in history.
- Wahiawa’s single-family homes are free of associations and only follow City & County regulations. They also don’t have sidewalks and rely on overhead electrical lines.
- Traffic in and out of Wahiawa can be hectic in the mornings and afternoons…especially during the winter months when there’s an influx of surfers and tourists traveling through Wahiawa on their way to and from the North Shore.
- Like a lot of Oahu, Wahiawa town has a homeless population that has gotten worst over the years. They are mostly confined to two areas in Wahiawa town and keep to themselves for the most part.
- Wahiawa tends to have more rainfall and be slightly cooler because of its elevation when compared to other parts of Central Oahu.
Around the Neighborhood
Life in Wahiawa isn’t flashy, refined, or exciting. It’s life at a slightly slower pace and requires some patience. It’s country.
Wahiawa town is essentially built around Kamehameha Highway and is the last stop before heading to the North Shore. The town area has seen a revitalization of sorts with older buildings being renovated and some torn down to make way for newer stores and fast food restaurants. Town is pretty busy throughout the day but things definitely slow down in the residential areas of Wahiawa.
The most popular sections are Wahiawa Heights and the streets that feature perimeter lots fronting Lake Wilson. The majority of construction are older, small plantation style homes with single walls and post and pier construction. Many of the homes have been either partially renovated or have been completely overhauled. And a select few have been torn down and replaced with new construction.
Forget it. Outside a few grocery stores and an Ace Hardware there isn’t much of a shopping scene. Most Wahiawa residents shop in surrounding areas like Mililani & Costco in Waipio.
To me, this is where Wahiawa shines. There aren’t any fancy restaurants that you’ll want to get dressed up for, but there are a number of small hole in the wall eateries that are sure to delight. Everything from local comfort food to Texas style barbecue, authentic Mexican to good ole fashion burgers. Wahiawa town is one of the best stops to make if you’re hungry.
Overall, the public schools in Wahiawa are okay. Wheeler Elementary and middle schools consistently score well but Leilehua High School is below average. The rankings below are done by Honolulu Magazine and are for 2019 statewide. For a more detailed breakdown and explanation of the rankings, please visit HonoluluMagazine.com
- Iliahi Elementary #34 of 170
- Wahiawa Elementary #82 of 170
- Kamalani Academy NR
- Kaala Elementary #95 of 170
- Weeler Elementary #42 of 170
- Solomon Elementary #96 of 170
- Hale Kula Elementary NR
- Wahiawa Middle School #37 of 51
- Wheeler Middle School #3 of 51
- Leilehua High School #28 of 49
Due to a lack of inventory, low interest rates, and a high demand for affordable housing, Wahiawa is currently a hot market.
Date of Builds
Build dates vary pretty dramatically in Wahiawa. It’s common to see 1930’s to 1970’s construction and have a few brand new builds here and there.
Days on the Market
Most residents of Wahiawa make a commute to Honolulu or a surrounding area for work. If you’re commuting to Honolulu, you’re looking at one of the longest commutes for all of Central Oahu. Commute times can vary dramatically depending on the times you plan to be on the road…especially in the winter months when traffic through Wahiawa town is at its peak because of surfers and tourists heading to and from the North Shore. And Wahiawa really isn’t walkable/rollable, especially if you live in Wahiawa Heights. Primarily because of the lack of sidewalks and distance to Wahiawa town.
YesCar Dependent ➔
NoBicycle Friendly ➔
1 to 2 drivers in the areaUber ➔
YesCity Bus ➔
Common Commutes by Car:
- Downtown Honolulu – 48 minutes without traffic; 75-90 minutes with traffic
- Schofield Barracks – 5 minutes without traffic; 10-15 minutes with traffic
- Honolulu International Airport – 32 minutes without traffic; 45 minutes with traffic
- Grocery Store – 5 minutes
- Costco – 20 minutes