What started out as a Wahiawa fruit stand in the middle of the pineapple fields in 1950 is now an extremely popular Hawaiian attraction. The sprawling Dole Plantation in central Oahu is a rural throwback to a time when the pineapple helped rule Oahu’s economy. Visitors can sample the sweet yellow fruit, ride on the famous Pineapple Express train and motor out through the fields, take a walk through a huge garden maze, learn how to find fresh pineapple when grocery shopping, and hear how pineapples are grown on plants—and not underground or on trees.
Allowing travelers to learn how agriculture helped influence the rise of modern Oahu, the plantation is a popular stop on small-group and private circle island tours departing from Waikiki. The site is often paired with other Oahu sightseeing activities including snorkeling and sites such as Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor or Hanauma Bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Dole Plantation is a must-see for families with kids and Hawaiian history buffs.
- Expect to spend one to two hours at the plantation, depending on which activities you’d like to take part in. (Each activity requires a separate fee.)
- The plantation is a common stop on North Shore tours.
- The Dole Plantation is wheelchair accessible.
- There is both a gift shop and an on-site restaurant, the Plantation Grille.
How To Get There
The Dole Pineapple Plantation is located outside of Wahiawa on the road to the island of Oahu’s North Shore, about 30 minutes from Honolulu International Airport and 45 minutes from Waikiki by road. Buses run from Waikiki to the Ala Moana shopping center to connect with the Circle Island service; it’s a 1-hour and 45-minute trip.
When To Get There
The Dole Plantation is open 9:30am to 5:30pm daily. The site is busiest in summer and around the winter holidays, and crowds are smallest from September to December. To beat the late afternoon crowds, consider planning a mid-morning visit.
Get Lost in the World’s Largest Maze
When Pineapple King James Dole first moved to Hawaii in 1899, he probably never thought his plantation would house the world’s largest maze. Constructed from over 14,000 plants, the site’s garden maze covers three acres (1.2 hectares) and has navigational plaques that help you eventually find your way to the exit.