Plantation Village

© Dlabajdesign/Shutterstock

Hawaii's Plantation Village

Top choice

Waipahu was one of Oʻahu’s last sugarcane plantation towns and this outdoor museum tells the story of life on the sugar plantations, especially the local O‘ahu Sugar Company. Though the village is definitely showing its age, you can still learn plenty about the lives of plantation workers on a visit. The setting is evocative: a fertile little valley surrounded by working-class neighborhoods.

The 90-minute tours start on the hour and take in buildings typical of an early 20th-century plantation: a Chinese cookhouse, a Japanese shrine and replicated homes of the seven ethnic groups – Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Puerto Rican and Filipino – that worked the fields. Many of these modest structures are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Central Oʻahu Regional Park

2.24 MILES

Operated by the City and County of Honolulu, the Patsy T Mink Central Oʻahu Regional Park is a 269-acre public space. The massive park houses a tennis and…

2. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

3.63 MILES

This military aircraft museum covers WWII and the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and beyond. The first aircraft hangar, number 37, features exhibits on the…

3. USS Oklahoma Memorial

3.95 MILES

After the USS Arizona, the second-largest number of lives lost on December 7, 1941 was aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma. Numerous Japanese torpedoes…

4. Battleship Missouri Memorial

4.05 MILES

The last battleship built by the US (it was launched in 1944), the USS Missouri provides a unique historical 'bookend' to the US campaign in the Pacific…

5. USS Arizona Memorial

4.18 MILES

This somber memorial is one of the USA's most significant WWII sites, commemorating the Pearl Harbor attack and its fallen service members with an iconic…

6. Hawaiian Railway


For half a century from 1890 to 1940, a railroad carried sugarcane and passengers from Honolulu all the way around the coast through to Kahuku. The…

7. USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

4.79 MILES

Adjacent to the visitor center for the Pearl Harbor historic sites, this park harbors the moored WWII-era submarine USS Bowfin, which you can explore on a…

8. Pearl Harbor National Memorial

4.82 MILES

One of the USA’s most significant WWII sites, this National Park Service (NPS) monument narrates the history of the Pearl Harbor attack and commemorates…