Dole Plantation on Oahu is the second most popular visitor attraction in Hawaii with over 1.2 million visitors annually. Dole Plantation is second only to the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Arizona Memorial.
Located in Central Oahu outside Wahiawa town along the way to Oahu's North Shore, Dole Plantation offers a number of fun activities for visitors and locals alike, including their world famous Pineapple Garden Maze, the Pineapple Express Train, the Plantation Garden Tour and their extensive Plantation Center and Country Store.
Hawaii is known as the Aloha State and the symbol of welcome throughout the world is the pineapple. At the Dole Plantation visitors will have the chance to learn all about the history of the pineapple industry in Hawaii and the man who made Hawaii the pineapple capital of the world for much of the 20th century, James Drummond Dole, founder of The Hawaiian Pineapple Company, now known throughout the world as the Dole Food Company.
Plantation Center and Country Store
The plantation center and country store of the Dole Plantation is the first place visitors will see when entering from the parking lot.
It is reminiscent of a store that you would have found on a pineapple plantation of olden days with antique tables, baskets and traditional wooden bins. There are also special wall-mounted displays chronicling the history of pineapple.
There is also a large assortment of made-in-Hawaii gifts and food items including coffee and chocolate from nearby Waialua, island spices, hard candy, and fresh Dole pineapple.
You can have your pineapple shipped back home for you or take it along with you when you leave. You'll also find t-shirts and other clothing, Hawaiian music CDs, and many other great souvenirs.
The Plantation Grille offers a very reasonably priced menu that includes sandwiches, salads as well as hot entrees each of which come with rice and locally grown greens.
Of course, the most popular item remains their DoleWhip®, their own soft-serve pineapple frozen dessert.
There is no admission charge to the Visitor Center. There are charges for various tours and for the Pineapple Garden Maze which we will discuss next.
The Plantation Garden Tour gives visitors the chance to look into the past and present of Hawaii's agriculture. The tour takes visitors through eight "mini-gardens": Life on the Plantation, Native Species Garden, Irrigation, North Shore Agriculture, Bromeliad Garden, Ti Leaf Garden, Lei Garden and Hibiscus Garden.
In addition to an up-close look at a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, native Hawaiian plants and tropical flora, tour-goers can experience planting their own pineapple, weather permitting.
The Pineapple Express is a 20-minute, two-mile excursion in a custom-constructed vintage train around the Dole Plantation which takes guests past several acres of diversified agriculture and actively worked pineapple fields with wonderful views of the two mountain ranges on either side of Oahu's central valley.
Along the way, you'll hear about the life of James Drummond Dole and the history of the company he founded and the history of the pineapple industry in Hawaii.
Dole Plantation is also the home to the Pineapple Garden Maze, named as the World's Largest Maze by the Guinness Book of World Records. Following its expansion in 2007, it now has 3.11 miles of paths, and is more than two acres or 138,350 square feet in size!
When viewed from the air, you can see that it is designed in the shape of a large aloha shirt with a pineapple motif in the center. The maze actually consists of over 14,000 plants including croton, heliconia, panax and pineapple.
With the expansion, adventurers can now search for eight secret stations on their way to solving the mystery of the maze. The fastest maze wanderers to find all eight stations, stencil in each station's different symbol on their maze cards, and return to the entrance, win a prize and have their names recorded on a sign at the maze entrance.
The fastest times have been clocked at about seven minutes, while the average is about 45 minutes to one hour.
Driving Directions and Contact Information
From Waikiki, take H-1 West to H-2 North (Exit 8A). From H-2 take Exit 8 to Wahiawa. Continue to H-99 North, Kamehameha Highway. Dole Plantation is located on your right at 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway, about a 26 mile and 40-minute drive from Waikiki.
From the North Shore, take H-930 Kamehameha Highway towards Haleiwa and continue south at the traffic circle where Kamehameha Highway becomes H-99 South. Dole Plantation will be located about 6 miles south and on the left after the Haleiwa traffic circle.
There are also numerous routes of TheBus which you can take to Dole Plantation.
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.
Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786