For anyone visiting Oahu, the Dole Plantation is a must-see spot. Not only is it a gorgeous site, replete with the lush greenery that the Hawaiian Islands are known for, but it provides a useful and scintillating history lesson at the same time.
Even folks who have little interest in pineapples or agriculture, in general, are bound to be fascinated by the Dole Plantation. Highlights include a train ride through the North Shore, garden tours, and the world’s largest maze.
A tour we think you'll love
Our guide will take you on a virtual journey through the Dole Plantation to help you better manage your time once you finally arrive. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime pineapple experience!
How To Get To The Dole Plantation
“Where is the Dole Plantation?” “How far is the Dole Plantation from Waikiki?” These are common questions, as many visitors use Waikiki Beach as their base when visiting Oahu.
The Dole Plantation can be found at 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa. That’s in Central Oahu, about a 40-minute ride from Waikiki. To get here by car, take H-1 West, then take Exit 8A to H-2 North. Once you switch to Kamehameha Highway (99), you’re on the right track.
You can also reach the Dole Plantation by bus. To get the full experience, though, we would recommend making a stop there on one of our guided tours. On the Premium Oahu Circle Island Tour, for example, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the plantation, as well as numerous other can’t-miss spots on Oahu.
When Is The Best Time To Go To Dole Plantation?
Spring is far and away the best time to tour the Dole Plantation. While the attractions can be enjoyed all year round, the spring blooming months offer visitors the most immersive experience. The fruits and flowers will be on full display, appealing to every one of your senses.
As far as the best time of the day to visit, we would recommend that you tour as early in the day as possible. At midday, the place will be teeming with fellow guests, particularly on the weekends. Go on a weekday if possible – you might be able to finish your tour by the time the maze and other attractions get too crowded.
All Aboard The Pineapple Express Train Tour
To get the full Dole Plantation experience, be sure to take a ride on the Pineapple Express Train Tour.
On this 20-minute ride aboard one of the plantation’s vintage trains, you’ll learn all about the history of the pineapple and how it relates to Hawaiian culture. The two-mile journey would be scenic enough without the narration, but the story of how James Drummond Dole founded his agricultural dynasty on this very spot makes the trip something truly special.
You’ll need to purchase a separate ticket to take the train ride. The current prices are $13.75 for adults and $11.75 for children aged 4 to 12. If there are 25 or more adults in your group, the price drops to $12 per person.
Get The Full Agricultural Experience On The Plantation Garden Tour
Did you know that the Dole Plantation is home to no fewer than eight different gardens? Each one harbors plants that provide numerous exotic delicacies, from coffee to mangoes to chocolate – and, of course, pineapple.
During the garden tour, you’ll have the opportunity to view these plants up close. If you visit during the right time of year, you can smell the perfume of native flowers such as pikake, plumeria, and pua kenikeni.
Be sure to download the Dole Plantation app on your Android or iPhone before you arrive. This perk allows guests to hear intriguing tales of old Hawaii that will surely enhance the experience. You’re bound to view the food on your plate a bit differently for the remainder of your trip.
In addition to the pineapple fields, here are some of the crops that visitors can expect to encounter:
There’s a fee to access the garden tour as well, but at just $8 per person, it’s more affordable than the ride on the train and well worth it. Children under the age of 4 can enter for free as long as they’re accompanied by at least one adult.
Get Lost In History In The Pineapple Garden Maze
Declared the world’s largest maze in 2008, this stunning attraction comprises nearly 2,5 miles of paths created from thousands of Hawaiian plants. In addition to the size distinction, it’s one of just a few permanent botanical mazes in the United States.
The vibrant colors of the island’s flora will delight you as you wander along the trails. Your goal is to find eight secret stations that will help to unlock the mystery at the center of the labyrinth. Even if you don’t succeed in this mission, however, the pineapple garden maze is an experience to treasure.
Although you’ll have to pay $9.25 per adult to enter the maze, it’s one of the most memorable attractions that Oahu has to offer.
One final tip: the Dole Plantation app will come in handy here as well.
Refresh Your Senses At The Plantation Grille
No trip to the Dole Plantation would be complete without a serving of Dole Whip, the pineapple soft-serve that’s gained a cult following thanks to its ubiquitous presence at Disney theme parks. The best place to get your Dole Whip fix is at the Plantation Grille, which offers a full dining experience in addition to the frosty treat.
As you might expect, many of the dishes are designed to showcase the fresh pineapple that the Dole Food Company is known for. The primary offerings are the Pineapple Chili Dog and Pineapple Chili Bowl, both of which can be enhanced by a serving of crisp golden fries. If you’d rather eat your pineapples for dessert only, go for the mouthwatering fish and chips.
While we’re on the subject of dessert, the Dole Whip isn’t the only option. Savor the taste and aroma of fresh pineapple served from a shell bowl, or be adventurous and sample the chocolate-covered pineapple with shaved coconut.
Spend Your Souvenir Money In The Gift Shop
After you’ve finished the train ride and taken a leisurely tour of the maze and gardens, be sure to spend some time in the onsite gift shop. Most of the edible products make use of the fruits that are grown on the farms. When you buy a bag of banana chips or freeze-dried Kona coffee, you can take a little piece of Hawaiian agriculture back to the mainland with you without breaking any rules.
There are plenty of non-edible souvenirs available as well. The Cooper Bear Plush makes the ideal gift for your young nieces and nephews back home. If you have pet-sitters or other caretakers looking after your house during your vacation, a pineapple-scented candle or Dole Plantation tea towel might be the perfect thank-you gift.
Get Ready To Tour The Dole Plantation On Your Trip To Oahu!
The Dole Plantation makes for an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure, especially if you’re visiting Oahu in the spring.
Since our flagship tour has limited space, we would urge you to book as soon as possible if you want to get the full cultural experience. In addition to the Dole Plantation, you’ll enjoy stops at Byodo-In Temple, Diamond Head Lookout, snorkeling on the North Shore, and much more. Aloha!