Hear the history of James Dole and learn how the fruit is grown on the Pineapple Express Train Tour. Then, lose yourself on the grounds, intriguing with gardens, the world’s largest maze and that DoleWhip ice cream you keep hearing about.
In 1899, James Dole, just 22 years old, moved to Honolulu from Massachusetts and purchased 64 acres of land in the central plains of Oahu. After trying several experimental crops, he settled on pineapple. This was the beginning of the pineapple empire. Dole created two canneries in Wahiawa and Honolulu Harbor and started advertising, resulting in nationwide consumer popularity. After bringing in automatic pineapple peelers, business boomed even greater. In 1950, a small fruit stand was created in Dole’s fields. A plantation-style home was erected in 1989 and turned into an archive and living museum, honoring the work and life of James Dole.
This 20-minute train tour aboard the Pineapple Express covers two miles. You’ll travel through the greenery of the North Shore on a custom-made, vintage-style train while listening to narration on James Dole, the agricultural history of the island and the Dole story. You’ll see a working plantation showcasing stages of pineapple and other tropical fruits from planting to harvest. For a sweet ending, take a sample slice of pineapple.
Guinness World Records named Dole’s Pineapple Garden Maze the world’s largest maze in 2008. Tropical plants – 14,000 of them – sprawl meticulously over three acres and two-and-a-half miles. Secure navigational clues from eight hidden stations – complete the maze in record time to win a prize and have your name inscribed at the maze entrance. The self-guided Plantation Garden Tour illuminates more than eight gardens diverse with coffee plants to cocoa pods. Make a day of it by stopping for lunch or DoleWhip ice cream at the Plantation Grille. (The gift shop sells fresh pineapple and aptly-themed souvenirs.)
“ If you are visiting between November and February, don’t miss Waimea Bay on the North Shore where the island’s top surfers take on 30-foot waves ”
Address: 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa, HI 96786
Phone: (808) 621-8408
Web Address: www.dole-plantation.com
Distance/Drive: 25 miles – a 40-minute drive from THE MODERN HONOLULU.
Brief directions from THE MODERN HONOLULU: H-1 West, then transfer to H-2 North (Exit 8A). From H-2 take Exit 8 to Wahiawa. Continue to Kamehameha Highway (99). Dole Plantation is located at 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy., about a 40-minute drive from Waikiki.