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Dole Pineapple Plantation: Things to do on Oahu, Hawaii

Updated on August 10, 2013

Visit the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Hawaii

Traveling to the island of Oahu in Hawaii? You should plan a trip to the Dole Pineapple Plantation!

We recently visited Oahu, Hawaii, spending time in both Honolulu and on the windward side of the island in Kailua. We toured a number of recommended places during our stay, including a stop at the pineapple plantation near the North Shore of Oahu.

My husband's grandmother actually grew up in Hawaii in a foreman's home on the Dole plantation! I had heard the stories, but had never been to Oahu until recently. It was very exciting to visit and learn about growing pineapples and other Hawaiian crops. The grounds are meticulously maintained and employees are quite knowledgeable about the history and current operations at this working pineapple plantation.

Be sure to schedule time for a tour of the Dole Pineapple Plantation when you visit Oahu!

See growing pineapples at the Dole Plantation
See growing pineapples at the Dole Plantation | Source

Why Visit the Dole Plantation?

Enjoy that pineapple in your Mai Tai on vacation? If you are like most people, you probably think of gentle tropical breezes and sunshine when you eat the tropical fruit!

Besides tourism, Hawaii's economy is based largely on its agricultural exports. In addition to coffee and sugar cane, the islands are well-known for its pineapple crops - even though the Hawaiian word for pineapple ("Hala kahiki") means foreign fruit! The plant is not native to the islands, but has been grown there since the Spanish introduced it more than 300 years ago. Today, 1/3 of the world's fresh pineapples are grown in Hawaii

Visiting the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Oahu in Hawaii is an educational, fun experience. There, you can learn how to select a pineapple, slice and prepare a fresh pineapple for eating or use in recipes, how to cultivate a pineapple plant, and what goes into the planting, harvesting and processing of pineapples from a farm. Of course, pineapple samples are offered - sweeter than anything you'll find at the local grocery store.

The other main attraction of the Dole Plantation is the world-famous "Dole Whip." You can only find this frozen, soft serve, non-dairy concoction at the Dole Plantation and at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. In a cup, cone or float, Dole Whip is a heavenly pineapple treat!

The Dole Pineapple Plantation is also a great stop on the way to other locations on the North Shore of Oahu. We visited the plantation the day we visited Waimea Falls, which is only about 20 minutes north from Dole.

Stop for 30 minutes or stay for 2 hours - the weather in Oahu is generally temperate and mild year-round. The day of our visit in January, it was about 75 degrees F, with a nice breeze. Rain showers are frequent, but often short-lived.

The Dole Pineapple Plantation is a "Sweet" Place to Visit

The entrance to the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Oahu, Hawaii
The entrance to the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Oahu, Hawaii | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Having fun at the Dole Pineapple PlantationEntrance to the Dole PlantationEnjoy sunshine and history at the Dole pineapple plantationBeautiful grounds at the Dole Plantation
Having fun at the Dole Pineapple Plantation
Having fun at the Dole Pineapple Plantation | Source
Entrance to the Dole Plantation
Entrance to the Dole Plantation | Source
Enjoy sunshine and history at the Dole pineapple plantation
Enjoy sunshine and history at the Dole pineapple plantation | Source
Beautiful grounds at the Dole Plantation
Beautiful grounds at the Dole Plantation | Source

Information for the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Oahu

Address: 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway, Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily; closed on Christmas day

Cost: Free admission. Some hotels and tour companies offer day-long excursions from Honolulu that include a visit to the North Shore of Oahu (prices vary). Group tours are also available at special rates for schools or other organizations, including one or all of the attractions listed below.

Attractions: Pineapple samples and demonstrations (free), world's largest maze, plantation garden tour, Pineapple Express (2-mile, 20 minute train tour) - note that each of these attractions requires separate admission which varies from $4.00 - $8.50, depending on child, adult or military families)

Amenities: Gift shop, restaurant, restrooms, souvenir stands, walking tours

Travel time from Honolulu: Approximately 30-40 minutes

Parking: Available and free

Background of the Dole Plantation on Oahu

Since 1900, the small, local company established by James Drummond Dole in Wahiawa, Hawaii has become a global success. James Dole established the very first pineapple plantation on Oahu, founded as the Hawaiian Pineapple Company.1

In 1950, Dole opened up a fruit stand to the public at the plantation. Eventually, in 1989, the company expanded its public amenities, opening as the "Pineapple Experience." Now, 25 years later, the plantation is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oahu. More than a million people make the trip north from Honolulu to see the Dole Pineapple Plantation.

Dole is practically synonymous with pineapple today, although the corporation distributes a number of food products in addition to the fruit with the prickly exterior and sweet, golden flesh. Since the 1930s, Hawaii has been considered the pineapple capital of the world. Pineapple is Hawaii’s second largest industry.

1Mr. Dole's cousin, Sanford Dole, is well-known in Hawaii as having been the first president of the Republic of Hawaii and the first governor of the United States Territory of Hawaii, following the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani in 1894.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Riding the train at the Dole PlantationPose for a photo in the giant pineapplePineapple harvesting equipmentMileage markers to other worldwide locations from the pineapple plantationLovely views of the surrounding countryside near the North Shore of OahuDole pineapple plantation - pineapple shaped foliage!
Riding the train at the Dole Plantation
Riding the train at the Dole Plantation | Source
Pose for a photo in the giant pineapple
Pose for a photo in the giant pineapple | Source
Pineapple harvesting equipment
Pineapple harvesting equipment | Source
Mileage markers to other worldwide locations from the pineapple plantation
Mileage markers to other worldwide locations from the pineapple plantation | Source
Lovely views of the surrounding countryside near the North Shore of Oahu
Lovely views of the surrounding countryside near the North Shore of Oahu | Source
Dole pineapple plantation - pineapple shaped foliage!
Dole pineapple plantation - pineapple shaped foliage! | Source

The Dole Plantation Maze

The Pineapple Garden Maze

One of the biggest attractions at the Dole Plantation is the Pineapple Garden Maze! Kids and parents of all ages will love the challenge to successfully navigate the world's largest maze - as confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Be sure to bring your walking shoes because the paths extend about 2.5 miles over 3 acres of land.

But don't worry about getting lost. You get a "cheat" map card, and the added challenge of trying to locate eight separate stations within the maze. When you reach each spot, there is stamp for your "passport," to show at the end.

During your tour, enjoy the thousands of plants native to Hawaii. Don't forget your camera and a water bottle!

Where is the Dole Pineapple Plantation Located?

A markerDole Pineapple Plantation -
64-1550 Kamehameha Highway, Wahiawa, HI 96786, USA
get directions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Botanical Garden Tour at the Dole PlantationTropical plants at the pineapple plantationPineapple growing at the Dole plantation
Botanical Garden Tour at the Dole Plantation
Botanical Garden Tour at the Dole Plantation | Source
Tropical plants at the pineapple plantation
Tropical plants at the pineapple plantation | Source
Pineapple growing at the Dole plantation
Pineapple growing at the Dole plantation | Source

© 2013 Stephanie Hicks

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    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

      WOW great hub, what a lucky family to get to check out the Dole pineapple plantation.

      I lived close to the peruvian jungle where pineapples grew and we never got tired of seeing them. but to visit a processing plant, what a treat. Sharing & Voted up

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you lemonkerdz! The kids and I had a great time at the pineapple plantation and learned a lot.

      Have a great day, Steph

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's not bad enough that I had to get daily updates about your trip on Facebook; now I have to read hubs about it. Have you no sense of decency for us poor slobs who can't afford a vacation. LOL

      Great hub, love the pictures. Now I'm going to go gaze out at my backyard and daydream awhile. :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      LOL - sorry Bill! I have 2 more hubs underway too.

      Now that I'm back in the Pacific Northwest, at least we can take solace in the fact that the days are somewhat noticeably longer again.

      Is the liquid sunshine holding off up in Olympia? Thank you for the read/comment, as always!

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was lucky enough to visit the Dole plantation years ago. This brings back good memories. The amazing thing that left an impression on me was that it takes 18 months to grow a pineapple. I never complained of the price again!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      That's right! 18 months - amazing, isn't it? Those leaves surrounding the fruit are really sharp too. The workers harvesting pineapples have to wear heavy clothing and gloves no matter how hot it is outside.

      Cheers, Steph

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I love gardening and pineapple as well. I often make pineapple juice. I'll show this hub to my father. I hope I can visit Dole Plantation one day. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Prasetio! I love pineapple juice too. Hope your father enjoys the hub. All the best, Steph

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      Very informative! If I ever go to Hawaii I shall have to stop by this place!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks! It is a great place to visit in Hawaii. Cheers, Steph

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow amazingly sweet! I always wanted to visit plantations. so far I only visited strawberry field in baguio.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Interesting history of the pineapple from Hawaii especially for the fact it's not a native plant! Cute picture of you and yours on the pineapple train! :O)

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Fossillady - I always enjoy learning about the local economy and culture when I travel. The Dole Pineapple Plantation did not disappoint. Glad you liked the photos too. :-) Steph

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This is a very comprehensive hub...you covered so much 'ground' from getting to the plantation to the plantation history....And your pictures are the perfect compliment and so beautiful...now I want to go to Hawaii!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you so much! I so enjoy traveling and taking photos. Its always a treat when I can write about my adventures - especially in Hawaii - and share the experiences.

      Best to you, Steph

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This looks like a wonderful place to visit. I do love pineapple and it would be really nice to have some fresh off the farm. Looks like everyone had a great time.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Teaches - we did have a great time. I am all about learning new things on vacation. The Dole Pineapple Plantation does a nice job presenting information and giving a historical background. Cheers, Steph

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Great job, Stephhicks68! Your article is very informative and entertaining! I voted up, useful and interesting!

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Mike - all the best, Stephanie

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      Great hub..I got to visit the pineapple plantation in Maui and loved it..hope to visit Oahu one day..well a girl can dream..right?

    • profile image

      Joanne M Olivieri 4 years ago

      Fantastic hub and this type of attraction sounds like something I would love to do and free admission which is great. I can taste the mai tai now :) Thank you and voted up.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Very thorough and informative! I totally loved your images. I have been to Oahu, Hawaii a few times and have stayed in Waikiki, Kaneohe Bay, Kailua/Lanikai. It is a beautiful island with a great deal of beauty and attractions. You're right about the Dole Pineapple Plantation being one of the best attractions. One of my favourite attractions besides the people and the beaches is the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is definitely touristy but it offers visitors some insight into various Polynesian Islands such as Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa, Fiji, Tahiti and Tonga. Also, you can end off the day with a Luau. Great article! Thank you for sharing. (Voted up)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great info, Steph--and I love the photos! Sounds like a neat visit. Cognrats on HOTD, too! Much deserving!

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Love pineapple and this seems like it would be so much fun! Interesting to learn a little history about pineapple and Hawaii. Thanks for sharing and congrats on Hub of the Day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A three month old Hub of the Day??? That's a first for me. :) Congratulations, Stephanie! At least this one is quality writing as opposed to, oh, I don't know, nine out of every other ten that get HOTD.

    • W1totalk profile image

      W1totalk 4 years ago

      I remember someone telling me about this plant. He was telling me about the huge pineapple and how sweet they are there in comparison to here. Great article.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks so much everyone! I was so pleased to see that this hub was selected for HOTD. We had a lot of fun at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. If you are in Oahu, Hawaii, it is a super place to visit. Aloha! :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      LOL!! Well, thank you Bill! ;-)

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      Awesome hub! Was fun to read through about the Pineapples on Oahu grown at the Dole plantation.

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I love the smell when you pass by a pineapple plantation. Nice hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome hub of the day, this is such an informative and well presented hub so interesting with lovely photos.

    • stephhicks68 profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks! We had a terrific time at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Anyone who visits Hawaii should consider this excursion. Cheers, Steph

    • soulfully profile image

      soulfully 3 years ago

      This hub was an enjoyable read. Dole pineapple plantation looks like an attractive place to visit. Amazing weather and location, what's not to like.

      Fantastic hub!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      We visited Hawaii one time many years ago and I still remember the delicious fresh pineapple. Yummy.

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