Welcome to Pahala
Pahala's quiet streets are mostly lined with unrestored early-20th-century plantation houses occupied by unemployed early-20th-century plantation workers. While Hawaii's sugar boom was coming to an end, the lands around here still managed to produce record yields – but that only helped for so long. In the mid-1990s, forced to choose between pay cuts or the mill closing, the workers chose the latter. Many left, some stayed, and a few manage to eke out a living growing coffee and macadamia nuts.
Pahala dozes just inland from Hwy 11, south of Mile 51. The unhurried town center, with a gas station, a bank and a post office (but no dining options), is at the corner of Kamani and Pikake Sts.