The Dole Plantation on Oahu, Hawaii – Our Amazing Pineapple Experience

Dole Plantation-BldgWhile we were on Oahu in December of 2016 we decided to do another local tourist thing (we had already done Pearl Harbor, and the State Capitol) and we visited the Dole Plantation. It was a lot different than what I was expecting. Then again, I guess I really didn’t know what to expect. What I was expecting was the beautiful scenery around the plantation. I wasn’t disappointed.

Dole Plantation - Hibiscus1I had done a little research before we left and I learned that it originally operated as a fruit stand beginning in 1950, Dole Plantation opened to the public as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience” in 1989. Today, they state that the Dole Plantation is one of Oahu’s most popular visitor attractions and welcomes more than one million visitors a year.

Dole Plantation - 1How could it not be, when they have activities for the entire family, including the Pineapple Express Train Tour, the Plantation Garden Tour, and the Pineapple Garden Maze?  There is something for everyone in the family no matter what age. Until I looked into going, I had no idea it was such a big attraction. I thought “Wow we are going to do something so different!” Guess not, lol. But it was a great experience.

Dole Plantation - PlantThe Dole Plantation is about 45 minutes from Waikiki and it was a pleasant drive. We got there and had ample places to park. It was pretty full, but they have a huge lot. We made our way into the building and bypassed the store for the time being to make sure we had time to see everything we wanted to see and do. We got our tickets and decided to do the Plantation Garden Tour first.

Dole Plantation - Garden-Tour-1There are eight different gardens where we got an up-close view of the plants that are the source of tropical delights from coffee to exotic fruit to colorful cacao pods, used to make Waialua’s signature single-estate chocolate. As we walked around there were signboards where they teach us which plants were sacred, how plants were cooked and how native Hawaiians used these plants for everything they needed, from medicine to canoes to chewing gum! They were very interesting. I liked seeing some of the old equipment they used. The view was amazing.

Dole Plantation - Garden-Tour-2We didn’t do the Garden maze but the kids seemed to love it. In 2008 it was named the world’s largest maze. It stretches over three acres and includes nearly two and one-half miles of paths crafted from 14,000 colorful Hawaiian plants. As an incentive to get through the maze quickly, the fastest finishers win a prize and enter into the history of Dole Plantation, with their names recorded on a sign at the maze’s entrance. That’s pretty cool huh?

Dole Plantation - TrainBesides the Garden Tour, the most popular activity is the Pineapple Express Train Tour. It is so cute and was quite an interesting tour. We learned the story of pineapple in Hawai‘i, hear how James Drummond Dole founded his world-famous agricultural empire where Dole Plantation stands today, and we traveled through the stunning scenery of the island’s famous North Shore. There are some incredible views.

Dole Plantation - UsWhile we were walking about the Garden Tour we saw many people walking around with drinks in what looked like huge pineapple-shaped cups. We headed inside and ended up having a couple of bowls of pineapple ice cream. When in Rome right? It was delicious and we realized that neither of us had had pineapple ice cream before. How can this be possible? I love pineapple and I had never tried this. Well, it won’t be the last time, lol.

Dole Plantation - DemonstrationWe had a great time visiting the Dole Plantation and trying some of my favorite fruit during a cutting demonstration. It was interesting and we got to try some fresh pineapple!!! It was so amazing, and I wish we could have had more. We were tempted to buy one but we knew our bags would be full and we wouldn’t have room. Oh well, we will have to remember this for next time and leave a little extra space, lol. One side note, if you do bring pineapples to the airport you will have to go through an agricultural inspection before going through regular security. It didn’t seem to take TOO long but just wanted to give a heads up. Hope you enjoyed our visit to the Dole Plantation on Oahu. Here is a link to their website with hours and prices.

Dole Plantation Visitor Information

Address:

64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786

Phone:

808-621-8408

Hours:

Daily: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Tours:

The Plantation Garden Tour takes about an hour. The Pineapple Garden Maze usually takes 40 minutes to solve. The Pineapple Express Train ride lasts 20 minutes. However, a minimum of one hour is suggested for the Pineapple Express Train ride and pineapple-cutting demonstration combination. I have to say the pineapple demonstration is fun and we actually got to try the freshly cut pineapple. So yummy. Make sure to see one of the shows.

Plantation Garden Tour
Adults $7.25
Children (4-12) $6.50
Kama‘aina/Military $6.75
Group Tours (25 or more) $6.7
Pineapple Garden Maze
Adults $8.25
Children (4-12) $6.25
Kama‘aina/Military $7.25
Group Tours (25 or more) $7.25
Pineapple Express Train Tour
Adults $12.00
Children (4-12) $10.00
Kama‘aina/Military $11.25
Group Tours (25 or more) $10.5

Combos:

Maze & Garden
Adults $13.00
Child $10.00
Kama‘aina/Military $12.00
Train & Garden
Adults $17.25
Child $13.75
Kama‘aina/Military $16.2
Train & Maze
Adults $18.25
Child $13.75
Kama‘aina/Military $16.75
Train, Maze & Garden
Adults $25.00
Child $21.00
Kama‘aina/Military $23.00

Transportation

Car

From Waikiki, hop on H-1 West, then transfer to H-2 North (Exit 8A). From H-2 take Exit 8 to Wahiawa. Continue to Kamehameha Highway (99). Dole Plantation is located at 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway, about a 40-minute drive from Waikiki.

Bus

From Waikiki (corner of Kapahulu Ave. and Kuhio Ave.), take bus 13 (“Liliha-Puunui” route) northbound. Disembark at Kapiolani Blvd. and Piikoi St. (Stop ID #19). Board bus 52 (“Wahiawa-Haleiwa” route) to Dole Plantation. The trip should take just under 2 hours.

From the North Shore (Haleiwa Town Center), take bus 52 (the “Wahiawa-Haleiwa” route) and get off at Dole Plantation. The trip should take roughly 30 minutes. One-Day Pass: $5.50

Accessibility:

Dole Plantation has two wheelchairs available for guests on a first-come, first-served basis. To borrow a wheelchair, go to the cashier station at the front of the store. You must leave a photo ID with the cashier when borrowing a wheelchair. Guests are also welcome to bring their own wheelchair / mobile chair. Please note that our Train and Garden attractions are wheelchair accessible, however, the Maze attraction consists of gravel pathways which may be difficult to maneuver with a wheelchair.

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10 thoughts on “The Dole Plantation on Oahu, Hawaii – Our Amazing Pineapple Experience”

    1. Hi there Caitlin, thanks for the comment. Yeah the train is really cute and we loved the garden tour. They have so much wonderful stuff (including Dole Whips) at the Plantation Grille. Trying to attach a link. If it doesn’t work, sorry.
      Either way, I hope you guys get to make it someday, maybe an anniversary? lol Happy travels.

  1. Hello! It is nice to meet some other “mature” adult bloggers. There are not many of us! I have been to the Hawaiian Islands but not to the Dole Plantation. It certainly looks like fun.
    The Cruisin’Lady from The Silver Voyager.

    1. HI there Sandra, nice to meet you too. Thank you for the comment. We had a great time and the area is so beautiful (as you know). Hope you get to visit the next time you are in the area. Happy travels. See you online, as I am planning on following you!

    1. Aloha Jessica, so glad you liked my post. We had a blast. My husband was actually born there but had never been back until he was in his 30’s (thanks to me, lol). The islands are such wonderful places and he still has some Ohana on Oahu. Hope you get to make it back there soon. Mahalo again for your message.

  2. My husband and I visited Oahu last February and drove by the Dole plantation, but did not visit. After reading your post we will definitely have to make this one of our stops next time we visit. Thanks for the great information.

    1. Hi Mandy, isn’t the North Shore beautiful? Hope you can make it tot he Dole Plantation next time, and that you enjoyed the information. We had a fun time exploring. Happy travels.

  3. Would love to do this! Our trip to Hawaii last year had to be cancelled, but when we rebook, I will definitely look into this! Thank you!

    1. Awe Marianne, I am so sorry your trip was cancelled 🙁 We had a TON of trips cancelled and changed as well. Luckily we were able to do alternate adventures, but it wasn’t the same. Hopefully this Wuhan virus nightmare will be behind us soon and we can travel freely again. Looking for to that day! Hope you get to go soon. Come back and tell me how you enjoyed it. Happy travels!

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