The historic sugar plantation town of Waialua is a sleepy community on the North Shore, just a few miles from Haleiwa. The “main street” of town takes up about half a block and although quaint, it doesn’t have much to offer. But the old Waialua Sugar Mill, located just around the corner, brings in crowds of visitors from open to close, every day of the year. Featuring local crafts, products, and services in a unique, old-Hawaii setting, the sugar mill is a must-see on Oahu’s North Shore.
The Waialua sugar plantation was started in 1865, and although it failed initially, it went on to to be very successful and had the largest capacity for water storage in the state. At its highest point, it was producing 20,000 tons of sugar.
The old sugar mill complex was abandoned when operations stopped in 1996, and it is now home to an eclectic mix of local craftspeople, including the North Shore Soap Factory, Charley Walker’s All Surf Glassing, Haleiwa Surfboard Company, Old Sugar Mill Brand Coffee & Chocolate, Waialua Coffee and Chocolate, Waialua Community Kitchen, the weekly Saturday morning Farmers’ Market, and many more.
Visitors can stop in for a gelato, sample fresh local coffee, pick coffee and cocoa beans, learn about and observe the cocoa bean drying process, purchase local honey, jams, and papaya salad dressing, discover local artists, and get a surfboard repaired— all within the old sugar mill complex.
The sugar mill houses more than 30 companies. For a complete list, visit www.sugarmillhawaii.com
Visit the Old Waialua Sugar Mill
Hours: Most of the shops are open daily from 9am – 5pm
Address: 67-106 Kealohanui St, Waialua, HI 96791
Directions: From Honolulu, take the H2-North toward Mililani/Wahiawa. H2-N will become Wilikina Dr, which will then become Kaukonahua Rd/HI-803. Stay straight to go onto Farrington Hwy/HI-930. Follow it for just over a mile. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Goodale Ave. Turn left onto Kealohanui St.