There’s nothing more iconic of Hawaii than the pineapple, and no trip to Oahu is complete without a Dole Plantation tour. Dole, located in Wahiawa near the island’s North Shore, is quite a ways away from the touristy hustle and bustle of Waikiki — but despite that, it’s one of the most popular spots for visitors on the island, welcoming more than a million guests per year. Aside from simply enjoying the scenic views of the pineapples growing in the vibrant red soil, here are the things you can do there:
- Take the Pineapple Express
This part of the Dole Plantation tour is both fun and educational. This train will take you through the pineapple fields, telling you more about the history of Hawaii in general and Dole’s hand in it. The tracks used for the train ride are the same ones that used to carry pineapples through the fields.
- Learn in the Garden
If you’d like a closer-up look at how different varieties of pineapple are grown, as well as numerous other tropical plants, than the Plantation Garden tour offers more in-depth agricultural information. You’ll also learn more about both Native Hawaiian farming and plantation life in old Hawaii.
- Explore the Maze
The Dole Plantation is famous for its pineapple-shaped hedge maze, so you won’t want to miss out. In 2008, it was even declared the world’s largest maze, comprised of nearly two and a half miles of pathway. There are prizes for those who finish the fastest, as well as a bit of fame — in the form of having one’s name recorded on a sign near the entrance of the maze.
- Eat Pineapple Ice Cream
The Dole Plantation offers a casual dining spot, called the Plantation Grille, where you can try all sorts of local favorites. The most popular menu item is an ice cream-like pineapple treat called Dole Whip, which is also served with fresh pineapple.
- Browse the Gift Shop
While you’re on site, you can take advantage of one of the largest and best-stocked gift shops on the island. Some of what you can pick out is specifically related to pineapples (such as the numerous kitchen gadgets and specialty knives that can make cutting up pineapple at home much easier), but there’s also a broader selection of Hawaii-themed objects that work well as souvenirs or small gifts.
What other Oahu tours are you considering, in addition to a Dole Plantation tour? Share what types of guided tours or unguided tours you’re interested in in the comments.