Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, Hawaii
I was stuffed full from shrimp, ice cream and shave ice when we stopped by the Dole Plantation on the way back from the North Shore but I still managed to cram down some fresh pineapple slices and a bowl of Dole whip. We decided just to swing by the Dole Plantation as opposed to spending a day there as originally planned. We met a couple on the Lost tour who told us that the Dole Plantation is a bust with not much to do.
We arrived just an hour before closing, and the plantation really closes right at 5 pm on the dot, even if there are still guests in the pineapple garden outside; the doors to the gift shop lock and you have to walk around the building to get back out to the parking lot.
There are a few fun activities at the plantation though: a train takes you around the whole plantation, there’s a huge maze shaped like a giant pineapple and there’s lots to eat. We don’t have Dole whip in Canada so I had to try that. It’s pineapple soft serve and it’s served with bits of fresh pineapple. The pineapple adds the perfect tropical tang to the soft serve, it’s super refreshing in the tropical weather and really cools you down. The cafeteria style restaurant at the plantation also serves burgers and fries as well as loco moco and other entrees, they even have a kalua pork quesadilla.
Every hour there’s a pineapple demonstration, one of the Dole staff members demos how to properly cut open a pineapple, slice it up and clean and serve the fruit. Since watching the demo, my boyfriend has been slicing up the fruit like a pro.
The biggest shocker for me was that I finally found out that pineapples grow on the ground. It sounds naive but I have always envisioned pineapples growing on trees, I thought the spiky stem was the part that attached it to the tree. How silly of me. The pineapple garden behind the Dole plantation gift shop featured different pineapples from all over the world, brilliantly red pineapples, teeny tiny little pineapples and giant, spiky ones.
And just like everywhere else on the island, wild chickens are just running all about the gardens and the plantation grounds.
We also picked up some goodies to snack on later, some ham jerky flavoured with pineapple as well as some pineapple crunch white chocolates. The pineapple crunch was my favourite, sweet, crunchy and tangy. I’m not sure if you can buy them outside of Hawaii, but there happens to be a special on the Dole plantation website right now. If you buy 3 boxes, you get one free box. The chocolates also come in milk chocolate. Just in time for Christmas.
I wouldn’t spend an entire day at the Dole plantation but it’s definitely worth a stop, if only just for that scrumptious Dole whip alone.