Wahiawa is a historic, older community located on the plateau or central valley between the Wai'anae and Ko'olau mountain ranges. Wahiawa consists primarily of single-family homes with sprinklings of apartments and townhomes. Because of the close proximity to Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield, there is a large military population.
Wahiawa is home to some great eateries. Dot's in Wahiawa has been an icon of the community since 1935. Other notable establishments are Kilani Bakery, the recently closed down Sunnyside Inn, reopening soon as Terry's Pies and Grill, Maui Mikes, and Dong Yang Inn. Some of the newer restaurants include Taqueria El Ranchero, Kiani's Original Guava Chicken and Teddy's Bigger Burgers.
Lakes and reservoirs are rare in Hawaii, and one unique feature of Wahiawa is that it is surrounded on three sides by Lake Wilson (also known as Wahiawa Reservoir or Kaukonahua). Lake Wilson is the second-largest reservoir in Hawaii (302 acres (1.22 km2)). It is used to irrigate agricultural fields, including the Dole Pineapple Plantation fields located at the northern part of Wahiawa, all the way towards Oahu's North Shore where it empties.
Wahiawa town must be accessed by either of two bridges on Kamehameha Highway (State Rte. 80) across the narrow north and south arms of the reservoir. Outside of the reservoir, the town is surrounded by military bases and agricultural fields. U.S. Army facilities include Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and East Range, an Army training area extending into the hills south and east of town. Schofield Barracks alone is larger than Wahiawa. Wahiawa is also the home of the U.S. Navy's Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific.
If you are driving towards the North Shore from Wahiawa you will use Kamehameha Highway (State Rte. 80) to Haleiwa and Kaukonahua Road (State Rte. 801) to Waialua. Wheeler and Schofield are reached along Wilikina Drive, also known as the Wahiawa Bypass (State Rte. 99) which takes you from the south bridge, a road that eventually connects to both Kamehameha Highway and Kaukonahua Road northwest of town. Kamehameha Highway continues south (as State Rte. 99) past Wheeler to Mililani Town. However, the Interstate H-2 terminates at Wilikina Drive near the Kamehameha Highway intersection and is a less congested route southward to Mililani and beyond to Pearl City and Honolulu via Interstate H-1. Kunia Road (State Rte. 750) runs from Wilikina Drive, between Schofield and Wheeler (on the bypass), then southward along the mostly still agricultural western side of the plain to Kunia and Waipahu beyond.
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