Dole Plantation (Koi Pond, Northshore)
Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits and I buy dole products all the time so I decided to stop by the plantation when heading to the northshore. We visited the close-by Wahiawa Botanical Garden on the way before they opened (at 930) and were very active already when we got there about 10:30am. The fun started in the parking lot (64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy Wahiawa, HI 96786, just keep driving on the highway and you can’t miss it) there were beautiful plants, chickens, and rainbow eucalyptus trees. We got inside and the place bight, pretty crowded, and full of expensive quirky pineapple related merchandise. We weren’t looking to spend a fortune on dole products; there are a lot of ways to have a good time here on a budget. There are free demonstrations on alternating half hours. When we first got there the pineapple cutting demonstration was about to start so we went and watched that. Pretty informative, and I never knew you are supposed to wash pineapple before eating it! You get a free fresh sample; some have tangy li-hing powder on it. We went outside to explore the garden full of beautiful pineapple plants, like a mini-botanical garden. Then we made our way to the koi pond, I had quarters ready for the feed dispensary. For a mere 50 cents you can get a handful of feed, and a whole lot of kicks. These whoppers love the food and start thrashing at first throw. We read a bit about the history and took some goofy pictures, then we headed back inside because poof! A half an hour goes like that. The chocolate process demonstration was about to start. I didn’t even know dole had a hand in chocolate, very interesting. They explained the process from bean to chocolate bar, and give you a little sample. While you are here you must try the dole whip! It’s tangy and delicious, and comes in a huge portion. You could definitely share it if you’re not starving. We had fun on the cheap, but there are lots of tours you can pay to go on. There is the largest hedge maze in America here, train rides, garden tours etc, you could probably spend a whole day here if you really love dole, but this is a great jump off to seeing the rest of the northshore.