Free Stuff to Do: Dole Pineapple Plantation

They advertise themselves as “Hawaii's Complete Pineapple Experience” which leaves open questions about what an incomplete pineapple experience might be, or why one must experience pineapples, but regardless this is a fun stop with the kids and can actually be somewhat educational. They also have pineapple ice cream and chocolate-covered pineapple chunks and that counts too.

Though they try and dress this up in a theme-park style, the real attraction is pineapples, acres of orange red soil with pineapples in various stages of growth. A selection of ripe fruits are growing right at the visitor's area and you can get as close as you like, touch and smell them. It is surprisingly cool, as pineapples growing just seem odd, like some weird Australian animal. I don't know what I expected, but seeing them just sticking up from the plant stalk seemed worth looking at for awhile.

Depending on your family, the available train ride and separate walk-through maze can be fun or a parenting hassle. The train ride is kind of brief and the maze has nothing to do with Hawaii, pineapples and can take forever. If you like mazes, enjoy. If not, decide in advance what you will or won't do (both things cost money; looking at the pineapples is free) and maybe avoid a fuss on the ground.

Lastly but so obviously is massive gift shop with All Things Pineapple to eat, wear and buy. A few things like magnets are kid-priced but most stuff is expensive in a gifty sort of way. The big exception is the pineapple ice cream, which is about $3 for a big cone and it is very tasty and very recommended. They'll also sell it to you in a cup for those not cone-enabled.

Driving from Waikiki takes about an hour (don't believe them when they say 40 minutes), but the plantation's location fits in with a round-Oahu island day drive trip. See a map and directions. The Bus will eventually get you there but it would take at least two hours or more and you'd be ever so cranky.

For more information, hours, prices and the rest, visit www.dole-plantation.com.

User Feedback

This place is not free. But, it’s worth the visit!

Melissa Davis

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