Even though Ewa Plain is considered to be the newest area of Oahu for homes to be developed, that does not mean there is a lack of attractions. While it is true that this area of the most populous of the Hawaiian Islands is, for the most part, less than 25 years old, there is a rich history to be explored along with some of the most spectacular sights on the island.
Waipahu Sugar Mill
It just wouldn’t be right talking about Ewa Plain without making note of the land upon which it has been built. In the latter part of the 1800’s two men brought about changes to the southwestern part of Oahu, Benjamin Dillingham with his dream of a railway and James Campbell who was largely responsible for the onetime thriving sugar industry in what is now Ewa Plain. Campbell purchased 40,000 acres of land with hopes of turning it into a massive cattle ranch only to find that the soil was not conducive to livestock but found that it was an ideal location for sugar fields.
With Dillingham’s railway and Campbell’s sugar, the area was soon a booming economy. Today, although the sugar fields are long gone and Ewa Plain has become a bedroom neighborhood to nearby Honolulu, there still stands the historic Waipahu Sugar Mill and the Plantation Manager’s Mansion which was has been listed on the National Register of Historic places.
Oahu Railway and Land Company
One of the more interesting tourist attractions which appeals to young and old alike is the historic train ride aboard the Oahu Railway which played such an integral part in the development of Oahu, and Ewa Plain in particular. At one point the rail served an area 160 miles in length and was primarily used to haul sugar from the mill to the docks and pineapples to factories where they were canned.
While the rail was also used to haul construction materials during the primary expansion in the early 1900’s it was also an important mode of military and civilian transportation, especially during World War II. The Hawaiian Railway Society now hosts guided train rides on Sundays, year round, except if a Sunday falls on Christmas Eve Day or Christmas Day. The ‘tour’ is guided which will provide an interesting perspective on the development of Ewa Plain.
Beaches, Golf Courses and Amazing Views
Amazingly, although Ewa Plain is but one area on the island of Oahu, most of the ‘boundary’ is water. A bit of it borders on the Leeward Coast area to the northwest and to the north there is a stretch that borders Makakilo. As a result there are some breathtaking views of the cool, clear Pacific waters to the west but to the east you can spot planes taking off and landing from Honolulu International Airport, the night lights of the city itself and of course Pearl Harbor.
Ewa Plain also boasts several golf courses, two of which are particularly noteworthy. The West Loch Golf Course is a Robert Trent Jones championship style course and of course there is the New Ewa Beach Golf Club. Then, for those of you who are history buffs - don’t stop with Pearl Harbor and WWII. It is has long been held that Ewa Plain is where the ancients settled and this is evidenced by the burial sites and religious artifacts which have been uncovered. There is currently a proposal in the state legislature which will establish the West Oahu Historic District that will add a new dimension to the already multi-faceted Ewa Plain.
Whether you are looking for panoramic ocean views, a day in the park or shopping in some of Oahu’s newest boutiques and shops, Ewa Plain has a bit of something for everyone.