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Dole Plantation - A Delightful Experience

The Dole Plantation is the first North Shore attraction that you will pass on your way to old-town Haleiwa. It's a great stop to not only get a taste of the popular Dole Pineapple Whip and explore the great Pineapple Maze, but also an opportunity to jump on the Pineapple Express Train and take a quick 2-mile tour around the property, learning how Dole and his pineapples played a big part of Oahu's history.

I used to think this was just a tourist trap, but have had a change of heart after some recent visits and appreciating all that this place has to offer.

The Dole Plantation Entrance welcomes visitors with a vibrant and tropical ambiance, featuring lush gardens, colorful flowers, and a cheerful pineapple-themed decor that sets the tone for a fun and educational experience in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

If you are looking for things to do in Oahu, then you must visit Dole Plantation on the way to the old town Haleiwa.

Starting from a humble beginnings of a small fruit stand back in 1950, the attraction now offers a full-on 'pineapple experience' that also boasts a train ride and the largest maze in the world.

Opening back in 1989, this historic site is part farm, part museum, and park theme park and receives thousands of visitors every year.  If you have spare time, it is well worth checking out before heading off to other North Shore attractions.

Exploring the North Shore Dole Plantation Video

Highlighting the best features of this North Shore attraction, including the Pineapple Express Train that travels through the fields, the beautiful botanical tropical gardens, a local Hawaiian shopping experience, and the famous Pineapple Dole Whip!

Dole Plantation History

The Dole Plantation's roots go back to 1899 when James Dole, a young man from Massachusetts, relocated to Honolulu with his life savings.

Soon after his arrival on Oahu, he bought a 64-acre homestead within its central plains area. After experimenting with various crops, he decided to focus on growing pineapples.

The Dole Plantation World Sign is a prominent landmark that greets visitors with a cheerful and iconic display of colorful flags representing countries from around the globe, symbolizing the international reach and influence of the Dole brand.

A savvy entrepreneur, his business soon became very successful due to attracting high financial backing, investing in state-of-the-art machinery to harvest his crops, and launching the first consumer magazine advertising campaign in America.

Crucially, he was also able to ship his pineapples all over the world, thanks to the introduction of the trans-Atlantic aviation industry.

In 1950, Dole set up a small fruit stand within the plantation to give everyone on the island the opportunity to enjoy the sweet, delicious fruit.

Dole died in 1958 at the age of 80. However, his legacy lived on, and the company went from strength to strength.

In 1989, a plantation-style home was constructed to be a living museum that celebrated pineapples and highlighted James Dole's work. It is now one of Oahu's leading tourist attractions.

Dole Plantation Activities

The plantation is open for visitors every day from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm with free admission.
Clearly, the main attraction at the Dole Plantation is pineapples.

The Dole Plantation Activity Sign provides a comprehensive list of engaging and family-friendly activities, including the Pineapple Garden Maze, the Pineapple Express Train Tour, and the Plantation Garden Tour, offering visitors a variety of fun options to explore and enjoy during their visit.

Visitors can take a tour of its enchanting gardens and fields while learning about its rich and successful history.

They can also take a fabulous train ride, have fun trying not to get lost, do a little shopping, enjoy a nice meal, and indulge in one of their famous Pineapple Whip ice cream treats.

Below is a brief overview of some of the Dole Plantation Tours that they offer, as well as other fun things to do.

Pineapple Express Train Tour

The Dole Plantation Train, also known as the Pineapple Express, takes visitors on a delightful and informative journey through the scenic pineapple fields, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the history and cultivation of pineapples in Hawaii.Dole Plantation Train - Ohana Express

One of the most popular activities at the Dole Plantation is the Pineapple Express Train Tour.
The train ride not only a beautiful ride around the property, but narrated along the way to what you are viewing, and the history of the property.

This 20 minute family-friendly ride is a great way to explore the property.  Taking you on a vintage-style train journey around the plantation, you will get to see how pineapples are grown, as well as a range of other crops like starfruit, bananas, and sugarcane are grown.

The Dole Plantation Ohana Express Train is a charming and scenic ride that takes visitors on a narrated tour through the pineapple fields and tropical gardens of the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

Your guide will also relay the plantation's fascinating history as you take in some of the North Shore's breathtaking scenery.  At the end of the journey, you will also get to enjoy a delicious slice of pineapple.

Tickets can be purchased when you arrive at the plantation at the ticket booth. At the time of writing, ticket prices are $13 for adults and $11 for children between the ages of 4 - 12. Children under the age of 4 can ride for free.

Overall there are four different vintage trains in operation - Lady Liberty, Pineapple Express, Aloha Express, and Ohana Express.

Dole Plantation Garden Tours

The Dole Plantation Gardens encompass a vibrant and lush landscape, showcasing a variety of tropical plants, vibrant flowers, and towering palm trees, offering visitors a serene and picturesque setting to explore and enjoy.

Overall there are eight different botanical gardens at the Dole Plantation, all of which are well worth viewing.

And there is a variety of plants with beautiful views in each garden. Many of these gardens feature fruits and vegetables that are used to make delicious meals and treats you can enjoy at the plantation. This includes tropical fruits, coffee, and cacao pods.

The Dole Plantation Pineapple is renowned for its sweet and juicy flavor, representing the iconic fruit that has become synonymous with Hawaii's agricultural heritage and the Dole brand.Dole Plantation Pineapple Fields

You can also revel in the beauty and scent of flower species like pikake, plumeria, and pua kenikeni, which are used to make colorful leis.

Like with the train ride, tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth on-site when you visit the Dole Plantation.  At the time of writing, ticket prices are $7.75 for adults and $7 for children between the age of 4 - 12. Again, children under the age of 4 do not need to pay.

Pineapple Garden Maze

Another popular North Shore activity on the grounds is the Pineapple Garden Maze.

Declared in 2008 as the world's largest maze, by The Guinness Book of World Records, this attraction is loved by adults and children alike.

The Dole Pineapple Garden Maze is a captivating and challenging labyrinth made of vibrant greenery, providing visitors with a fun and interactive experience as they navigate through the twists and turns in search of the central pineapple-shaped tower.

Stretching over three acres, it features over 14,000 brilliantly colored Hawaiian plants and includes almost 2.5 miles of paths.

As you make your way through the maze, be sure to look for directional clues, as well as eight secret stations.
If you feel up for a challenge, you could even download their free app for your Android or iPhone, which tracks your time and automatically registers when you have found a new maze station.

Should you happen to complete the maze in record time, you will even get the privilege of putting your name on a special sign located at the main entrance.

The cost of tickets for adults is $8.75, and $6.75 for children between the ages of 4 - 12. Children under the age of 4 can enter for free.

Sign up for daytrip tour to the North Shore that includes exploring the grounds of the Dole Plantation and getting a taste of the their home grown sweet pineapple.

The Dole Plantation Pineapples Picked in the Field are harvested at their peak of ripeness, ensuring a succulent and flavorful fruit that embodies the tropical essence of Hawaii.

This tour includes additional stops in old town Haleiwa, a coffee farm, popular beaches, food trucks, and more.  Checkout more details...

Plantation Grille

The Aloha Pineapple Sign is a cheerful and iconic symbol that welcomes visitors to the Dole Plantation with its vibrant colors and warm greeting, embodying the spirit of aloha and the tropical paradise of Hawaii.

If you get a little hungry while at the Dole Plantation, be sure to check out their on-site restaurant called the Plantation Grille.

Offering a tasty menu of island plate lunch favorites like teriyaki chicken plate, loco moco, and kalua pork plate, the restaurant is known for plating up excellent cheeseburgers and hot dogs too.

The Dole Plantation Pineapple Whip is a refreshing and creamy pineapple-flavored soft serve dessert that delights visitors with its tropical taste and smooth texture, making it a must-try treat at the plantation.Dole Plantation Pineapple Whip in Souvenir Container

Be sure to try their legendary Pineapple Whip, a mouthwatering soft-serve ice cream that is guaranteed to quench your thirst and cool you down from the hot tropical sun.

Shopping at the Plantation

The Dole Plantation Shop is a treasure trove of pineapple-themed merchandise, local souvenirs, and tasty treats, offering visitors a chance to take home a piece of the Dole Plantation experience.

At the Dole Plantation, you will also find a quaint country store that sells a wide range of clothing, food, and other pineapple or Hawaiian-themed products.

This includes Waialua's signature single-estate chocolate which is local and absolutely delicious.

Take time to check out the Dole merchandising, which features a wide range of personal care items, candles, bags, and lots more.  And of course, you can buy freshly grown pineapples too.

More Plantation Fun

The Dole Plantation Activities offer a wide range of engaging and educational experiences, including train tours, garden mazes, and pineapple picking, providing visitors with a fun and immersive exploration of Hawaii's pineapple heritage.

The Dole Plantation also offers some free activities like demonstrations for pineapple-cutting, chocolate-making, lots of cute selfie boards, and fun points of interest like a huge pineapple hut you can climb into.

The Dole Plantation Pineapple Hut is a charming and rustic structure where visitors can indulge in fresh and delicious pineapple treats, including the famous Dole Whip, while enjoying the scenic surroundings of the plantation.

If you're lucky, you might catch some local entertainment or other activates & promotions taking place on this special North Shore attraction.  There is also a fish-feeding pond too, as well as several scenic spots for great photo opportunities.

Getting There

Dole Plantation on the North Shore of Oahu. This is the entrance from the parking lot with a beautiful tropical garden that leads up to the gift shop.

The Dole Plantation is located at 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786.  It is about a 10 minute drive from Haleiwa Town.

From Waikiki:  it is a pretty easy 40 minute journey to get there. All you need to do is join H-1 West, before transferring to H-2 North.

When traveling on the H-2 you should then take Exit 8 to Wahiawa, which will lead you onto the Kamehameha Highway (99).  From there, just look out for the signs to the attraction.

If you don't have a car, there is a direct city bus service available from Waikiki to the Dole Plantation.

Oahu Bus

From Waikiki, take the Oahu Bus #20 to the Ala Moana Center and transfer to Bus #52 that travels to the North Shore.

The Bus stops right outside of the Dole Plantation.

In the Area

Old Town Haleiwa

Haleiwa Town is a quaint and picturesque coastal community on the North Shore of Oahu, known for its laid-back atmosphere, charming shops, and world-class surfing beaches.

A trip to the rustic North Shore isn't complete until you pay visit to Old Town Haleiwa.  It's just about 10 minutes away from the Dole Plantation.

There is lots to see and do, including visiting a good handful of Hawaiian art galleries, ono restaurants, shrimp trucks, surf shops, boutique shops, and of course getting a scoop of Hawaiian shave ice.

Aloha & Enjoy!

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