The Dole Plantation is a fun place to visit if you have children with you (or for the child in you!). There’s a gigantic gift shop and cafe, a botanical garden, a train ride through the pineapple fields, and the World’s Largest Maze.
Where: 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786.
Hours: Visitor’s Center/Gift Shop: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm daily
Plantation Grille: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
Maze, Gardens, Train: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm daily (weather permitting)
Cost: The Visitor’s Center/Gift Shop is free, though they of course assume you’ll buy some food and souvenirs while you are there.
Pineapple Express Train (yes, really that’s what it’s called): $8.50 per adult, $6.50 per child 4-12
Pineapple Garden Maze: $6.00 per adult, $4.00 per child 4-12
Plantation Garden Tour: $5.00 per adult, $4.25 per child 4-12
Combo ticket for all 3: $17.00 per adult, $13.00 per child 4-12
Other Things You Should Know:
The maze is made mostly of hibiscus plants. In the winter months, they are not as full of foliage, and it makes the maze less…mazey. You can easily see through the walls.
The Dole Whip at the Pineapple Grille is delicious. It’s basically pineapple soft serve. You can get it in a silly pineapple shaped souvenir cup. Because who doesn’t need a pineapple shaped souvenir cup?
Ignore the Maui Divers pearl people by the front entrance. They’ll have you pick an oyster to crack open to see what kind of pearl is in it. They’ll make a big to-do about it, drill a hole in the pearl, and then try to sell you a ring or pendant setting for it that costs several hundred dollars. Or they’ll try to sell you just the pearl for about $8.00. Unless you want to spend money on overpriced jewelry, just keep going in to the gift shop.
Pineapple Maze: The goal in the maze is to find 8 hidden stations within it and collect the symbols at each station. Supposedly the fastest finishers win a prize and get their names recorded on a sign at the maze entrance. I don’t know if this is per day, or per week, or what the deal is with that. I’ve gone through the maze twice, and no one has ever mentioned anything to me about my time inside.
Pineapple Express: This is a nice train ride that goes back through the pineapple fields and other fruit groves that are growing there. They give a history of Dole and pineapples in general in Hawaii.
Plantation Garden Tour: A nice stroll through some lush tropical gardens. Best when the hibiscus are in bloom. The last time I was there, I discovered a very tiny Jackson Chameleon wandering around on the ground.
Plantation Grille: A good place grab some lunch, they offer wide assortment of island favorite foods, many of which they have of course incorporated pineapple into. The hot dog with pineapple salsa is quite tasty. And of course you’ll need a Dole Whip for dessert.