Wahiawa itself isn’t the sort of place that travelers seek out, unless you’re looking for a military buzz cut, a tattoo or a pawn shop. It's a tad dusty, and yes, maybe that was a tumbleweed you saw blowing down the street! Yet the land around town was considered sacred by ancient Hawaiians, who built temples, gave birth to royal chiefs and clashed in fierce battles here.
Five miles south down the Kam Hwy, Mililani town has a completely different feel. This designer-town was built on old plantation fields in the 1960s and is like modern suburbia, with many commuting into Honolulu each day. On the east side of the H-1 is Mililani Mauka, developed in the 1990s on fields that used to produce pineapples. Both areas have large shopping complexes that hide some surprisingly good eating options.