Dole Plantation.  in Oahu, Hawaii

Dole Plantation

in Oahu, Hawaii

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Dole Plantation

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Pineapples, originally from South America, were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus. Pineapple or ‘Halakahiki’ as Hawaiians call it, which means ‘foreign fruit’, was most probably brought by the Spanish adventurer, Francisco de Paula Marin (Wikipedia Article), in the 1800s. He used to be a counselor to King Kamehameha and grew pineapples.

Captain John Kidwell was believed to be the founder of the pineapple industry. James Drummond Dole later came to the island on 1899 and revolutionized the use of pineapples from a luxurious snack to a staple food for every American home. Dole had a degree in Business and Agriculture at Harvard University.

In 1900, the year after he came to Oahu, he purchased a 61-acre land in Wahiawa and begun building his pineapple kingdom. Through a hard traveling can, he was able to supply pineapples in places outside Oahu Island. He moved his cannery to Honolulu in order to be closer to the ports several years after he established his pineapple kingdom in the North Shore.

Many Americans however were barely aware of the pineapple’s taste and its possible uses. And so James Drummond Dole and other pineapple suppliers created ads and other measures to demonstrate to people what they can do with a pineapple. Dole hosted a pineapple recipe contest which resulted in thousands of dishes and desserts that involved pineapple. One of them is the very popular pineapple upside-down cake. With the demand for pineapples growing bigger and bigger, Dole purchased Hawaii’s Lanai (Wikipedia Article) Island and produced over 70% of the world’s pineapples. James Drummond Dole was dubbed the ‘Pineapple King’ and Hawaii, the Pineapple ‘Capital of the World’.

World’s Largest Maze

Today, many tourists and locals visit James Dole’s original pineapple plantation. People come here to know more about pineapples, see how it is grown, how it is processed, and how it tastes in different recipes. There are pineapple ice creams available at the plantation.

Among the biggest reasons people come to Dole Plantation, is its very large pineapple-shaped maze. The maze is three acres wide and thus gained the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008 as the largest maze to have ever existed. There are 8 secret stations that one has to find. There are about 14,000 vibrant plant that one would go through in the labyrinth. The gigantic maze is not only mentally stimulating but visually pleasing as well. The person who finishes the challenge the quickest gets a prize and a wall of fame. His name gets recorded on a sign at the maze’s opening.

Besides the maze, there are a lot of other activities one can do at Dole Plantation. One of them is the Pineapple Express. The Pineapple Express is a 20-minute train ride to the scenic North Shore region. One can also learn the history of the Dole Plantation during the fun ride. It is also a tour around the plantation. It is very education, relaxing, and exciting for many families and couples alike.


With all the amazing activities one can do at the Dole Plantation, it would be nice to sit back and relax for a while with a delectable meal. The Plantation Grille offers a wide variety of scrumptious island cuisines like teriyaki chicken, kalua pork, loco moco, and also some all time American food like hot dogs, burgers, and salads. Their pineapple ice cream called the Dole Whip is a must-try.

How to Get Here

From Ala Moana Mall, come aboard bus 52. It would be about a 40 minute drive from Honolulu to Wahiawa. If you are from Waikiki, take bus 8, 19, 20, 23 and 42 to head to Ala Moana.

Similar Attractions

Other famous enormous and scenic labyrinths in the world are The Hampton Court in London, Teichland Amusement Park’s maze in Germany, Ice Maze of Xining, China; Corn Maze in Colorado, cornfield maze in La Union, New Mexico; the natural formation of corn maze in Kunar, Afghanistan, Cool Patch Pumpkin’s Corn Maze in California which was world’s largest maze in 2007; a bizarre Mirror Maze in Kassel, Germany; and Andrassy Castle’s maze in Hungary.

Other popular pineapple names are del Monte, and Chiquita.

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Author: kimn. Last updated: Feb 10, 2015


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