Having lived in Oahu my entire life, it's amazing that I've never visited the iconic Dole Plantation on the North Shore. I always figured there must not be much to see...
64-1550 Kamehameha Highway Wahiawa, HI 96786
The Dole Plantation is hands-down, a tourist attraction in Hawaii.
That is why all of my life, I have never bothered to check it out. Gift shops, penny stampers, pamphlets, photobooths with a live pineapple never really suited my fancy.
But one day, I was feeling adventurous, and my love wanted to check out the plantation for one reason: the maze.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Dole Plantation has the largest maze. Visitors can romp around throughout this winding maze of high bushes, plants, flowers, and arches. There are little posts where you can stamp your card to show you found the little landmarks around the maze.
Sorry to say, but my love and I only found one post. How sad, right? It was not a fun experience – we were nauseous, dizzy, tired from the hot sun, lost, and sweaty. Talk about a fun date, right?
Anyway, Dole Plantation has a pretty quaint little building with little memorials telling the visitors about the history of Hawaii’s pineapple plantation.
The other rooms are also air conditioned, which was a nice change after the horrendous maze incident.
So there’s a bird’s eye view of the maze, and anyone can tell, it’s quite large and spiraling. I heard that the plantation offers the option for visitors to be given a map to the maze in advance, but they can’t try to stamp their cards, since the locations are provided on the map.
The Dole Plantation is close to the town of historic Haleiwa, which is an extremely eclectic, fun, visitor-friendly town to visit. There are plenty of food options, from good ol McDonald’s, to vegetarian, smoothies, Thai, and fancy burgers.
There are also little stands and shacks that sell trinkets for tourists and locals alike.
And of course, there’s the surf culture in the area. Since Dole Plantation is so close to the beach (many beaches, actually), there is a strong community of local surfers living in the area. So, it’s pretty common to spot surfboards or paintings of local surf heroes around the town.
After avoiding the Dole Plantation my entire life, visiting the area was definitely a good experience. The plantation offered many more things than just the horrible maze, so I was able to enjoy my summer visit to the North Shore in ease.