What You Need To Know About The Dole Plantation
O’ahu’s Dole Plantation is one of Hawaii’s most popular attractions, receiving over one million visitors per year. Tourists and locals alike visit the plantations for its historic importance, educational tours, activities and, of course, fresh pineapples.
What You Need To Know Before Visiting The Dole Plantation
Before you make your way over to the Dole Plantation, you’ll want to read up on some essential information such as hours, costs, parking, directions, etc. Conveniently, we’ve pulled all of that information for you right here!
Dole Plantation Hours
The Dole Plantation is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Christmas Day. Dole Plantation tours and activities close thirty minutes earlier at 5:00.
Fees and costs
Entrance into the Dole Plantation visitor’s center is free. However, there are several paid tours and activities you’ll probably want to take advantage of. You can book tours online here until 7:00 a.m. the day of or buy tickets at the plantation kiosk when you arrive.
Here’s the low down on fees:
All Activities Combo: $23 for adults, $21 for residents, $19 for children
Pineapple Maze: $8 for adults, $7 for residents, $6 for children
Plantation Garden Tour: $7 for adults, $6.50 for residents, $6.25 for children
Plantation Train Tour: $11 for adults, $10.24 for residents, $9 for children
Directions and Parking
The Dole Plantation is accessed via HI-99. Coming from Honolulu, you’ll probably want to take the H2 north to HI-80 and then get on HI-99 from there.
If you are coming from the north, take HI-83 out of Haleiwa. HI-83 becomes HI-99. You’ll arrive in roughly ten minutes--maybe longer depending on exactly how slow island time is moving that day.
Parking is free and there is usually no trouble finding a spot.
To make things easier on you…
You may want to consider Shaka Guide’s Circle Island Tour, which will help you navigate right to the Dole Plantation. Plus, provide useful facts and tips about the Dole Plantation and surrounding area!
What to Bring
Although there are concessions, you’ll probably still want to bring everything you need to be comfortable on your visit to Oahu’s Dole Plantation.
Don’t forget water and sunscreen!
You should also bring shoes you’re comfortable walking in since most of the attractions are seen on foot.
There are concession stands, gifts for sale, and fresh pineapple--bring some extra cash if those sound like something you are interested in. You have to try Dole Whip at least once!
What to Expect: Dole Plantation Tours
There are two ways to see the Dole Plantation--three if you include breaking in after midnight to roll around in the freshly sliced pineapple.
For those of us willing to wait our turn during normal business hours, there are two tours. You can walk the Dole Plantation’s Hawaiian Garden on the foot tour or take the train tour for a quicker experience.
There are eight themed stops along the foot tour. Each mini-garden is a uniquely coordinated experience such as the “Life on the Plantation” garden, the “Native Species Garden”, and “North Shore Agriculture” garden.
What else does the tour offer?
This tour allows each participant to plant a pineapple for the plantation, so after you take the tour you can officially put pineapple farmer on your resume. 🍍💪🏼
If you’re able to take a tour during the spring blooming months, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful and fragrant lei flower blooms.
The walking tour takes about an hour to complete.
The Pineapple Express is the Dole Plantation’s specially constructed train tour. It takes about twenty minutes to complete, so if you are short on time this might be your best bet.
In addition to learning about the plantation and its founder, this tour offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and scenery.
You can get a Garden Tour and Train Tour combination here for $15.75 for adults or $12.25 for children.
Everything You Need to Know about the Dole Plantation Maze
Stretching over three miles of paths, two acres of land and taking an average of 40 minutes to complete, the Dole Plantation Maze is the worlds largest maze--unless you count the maze that is Honolulu city planning, which is several times larger and more difficult to navigate.
You can take as long as you want on the maze, as long as you don’t start just before activities close.
There are no accessibility concerns other than the obvious of needing to walk several miles. The maze is not paved, but it is considered accessible by scooter or powered wheelchair.
The maze costs between six and eight dollars depending on your age and residency.
FAQs and Tips
What is the best time of year to visit the Dole Plantation?
The plantation is lovely all year long, but we would highly recommend visiting during the spring blooming months.
Do you have any money saving tips?
Of course! Local Penny Savers and coupon books often have deals for various tour combinations so be sure to grab any of those you see lying around informational pamphlet kiosks. Residents of Hawaii and active duty military members can also get several dollars off.
The adjacent Helemano Plantation has cheaper food than Dole and can be walked to without having to move your car.
What the heck is Dole Whip?!
Delicious, that’s what. It’s also a dairy-free frozen pineapple dessert with a consistency much like frozen yogurt.
Recapping the Dole Plantation Highlights
Now that the seed is planted, the Dole Plantation tours are probably starting to sound pretty cool, right? Before you leave, lets review.
You’ll want to take plenty of water and sunscreen-up. If you’re going to the plantation, you’ll be spending the entire day outside, and no one wants to be dehydrated and sunburned on vacation.
The plantation has three main attractions: the walking Garden Tour, the Train Tour, and the Pineapple Maze. You can get access to all three for about twenty bucks per person. Each takes between 20 minutes and an hour to complete.
And don’t forget:
Shaka Guide’s Circle Island Tour is an awesome way to get to know the island of Oahu and area surrounding the Dole Plantation.
Also, remember to share all this information on social media with anyone you are taking along to the Dole Plantation.