The Dole Plantation is THE pineapple experience to have when you’re in Hawaii! 😉
And yes, it’s a complete tourist attraction, but, you’re in Hawaii as a tourist, right? 😉
If you’re looking for a low-key day on Oahu, the Dole Plantation can provide some low-key activities for you. It’s located in central Oahu a bit of a distance from Waikiki, so this means you’ll either need a rental car to drive there, or extra time and patience taking the Oahu bus. 😉
Access to the plantation grounds are free. Once you’re on the grounds, there are several things to do at the Dole Plantation that you can do for free too, and then there are a few extra paid things that you might want to do as well.
Here are some things to do at the Dole pineapple plantation!
- Pineapple variety garden
- Pineapple + dole whip statue
- How to cut a pineapple demonstration
- Dole plantation maze
- Pineapple express train tour
- Dole plantation garden tour
- Plantation Grille restaurant
- Dole plantation gift shop
Prices for these plantation activities are listed, but keep in mind that prices can always change. These prices are as of summer 2017. For the 3 main attractions, it’s possible to buy tickets individually, or to buy them as a package. You can find the Dole plantation tour package prices here. There are discount rates for kamaaina and military locals, as well as children.
You can also have a look there at the most updated Dole plantation hours too, but you can generally plan for the activities to be available from 9:30am to 5:00pm.
So, about those Dole plantation activities!
Pineapple variety garden
There is something special about Hawaiian pineapples because they actually are different! In Hawaii, they plant a different variety of pineapples compared to those grown commercially at other pineapple plantations around the world.
You can have a walk through the pineapple variety garden where you can see baby pineapples grow!
For more learning about growing pineapples commercially, right by the garden are several informational signs where you can read through to learn about how pineapple production works, from planting to processing.
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Picture at pineapple + dole whip statue
There’s a big pineapple with the classic dole whip so you can take a picture with you standing inside. In this picture above it’s on the right side.
Demonstration of how to cut a pineapple
A pineapple expert from the Dole Plantation will show you how you can cut a pineapple with a display that will impress others! (And yourself! ;))
Watching this demo might make you want to buy a pineapple knife. 😉 The pineapple expert will show you how to cut a pineapple at home so that you can show off your massive pineapple skills at social gatherings you host at home. 😉
At the end of the demo, you’ll get to try a piece of true Hawaiian pineapple too. There will also be pineapple for tasting with li hing powder like this. Li hing mui is dried plum, and the powder has a sweet and sour taste that Hawaiians will put on a variety of fruits and snacks to give it an extra taste. So try out the pineapple with the li hing powder to get an extra Hawaiian taste!
If you enter from the front, the demo is at the back of the building. These demonstrations happen on a somewhat hourly basis, so check the hours that are posted at the demo table so you can make it to one.
Dole plantation maze
Pineapple express train tour
A ride on board the pineapple express will get you a train tour through the pineapple plantation. It comes with an audio narration, so as you’re riding along, you’ll learn about the different plants, other than pineapple, that are grown on the plantation too. Think of it as a train ride through the country-side of Hawaii!
Plantation garden tour
On the grounds of the Dole Plantation, there are a number of different mini-gardens that you can wander through. These showcase tropical plants and you’ll get a glimpse into some Hawaiian specialty plants too!
There are 8 different garden themes that you can read about here: North Shore, hibiscus, native species, lei, irrigation, bromeliads, ti leaf, and life on the plantation.
Plantation Grille restaurant
Price: Depends on what you eat! 😉 The famous Dole whip starts at $5.50.
The Plantation Grille restaurant is where you can order and try the classic Dole whip. You can add toppings to it too. For a sampling of what you can find at the Plantation Grille besides the Dole whip, have a look at the pdf of the Dole plantation food menu that you can find here.
There are 2 sides of the Plantation Grille that you can order your food. If one side has a super long line, check the other side! People don’t always know about both sides so it’s possible that you’ll find one side really busy, while the other side has a much shorter line.
For where to eat, you have lots of places to choose that provide a nice setting outdoors.
Dole plantation gift shop
Price: Depends on how much pineapple you want in your life, and how much pineapple you want to give other people in their lives! 😉
You will see more pineapple products at once than you’ve ever seen before! 😉 Here in the picture above you can see a display of handmade products with that pineapple twist like candles, soaps, and lotions!
What to do near Dole Plantation: Kukaniloko Birthstones
If you’re interested in getting a glimpse of ancient Hawaiian culture, have a stop at the Kukaniloko Birthstones! It’s a Hawaii state monument and is considered a cultural site with great significance. It is also registered under the National Register of Historic Places. The site marks the birthplace of an important chief in Hawaiian history.
The site has also been studied as a possibility of the stones being used as the Hawaiian version of Stonehenge.
With a mountain range as a backdrop, it also makes for a scenic view.
There is no proper parking here, so you’ll have to park on the side of the main road. (While there’s a low risk of anything happening to your car, still, park at your own risk…)
The path that’ll take you to the birthstones is right along the highway, so this really does make for an easy stop going to the Dole Plantation from Waikiki! It can be a short stop, and you can consider it similar to a stop you’d make at a scenic overlook.
The Dole Plantation is located in Central Oahu. Have a look at the Oahu map here to the central part of the island, and you’ll see both the Dole Plantation and the Kukaniloko Birthstones marked.
HAPPY DOLE PLANTATION PLANNING!
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