This is a train we’ve done over and over again, just like we’ve heard a zillion versions of Ka’a Ahi Kahului (Hawaiian Train Song) since we first rode the Dole Pineapple Express. (PS. THAT song is about another ride-able Hawaiian train, the Sugar Cane Train on Maui, and our family’s favorite version of the song is by Manoa DNA.) Anyways, we can’t go to Oahu without stopping at the Dole Plantation. There is a lot to see there but we just go for a couple things like the train and the koi fish pond. The train is a little pricier now that the guys are over 4 years old-when they were toddlers we just had to pay for the adults, so this trip it went from a 17 dollar ride to a 30 dollar ride. It’s still worth it to go to the train on a sleepy afternoon because the kids love it and the hubby and I can just sit and relax for 20 minutes while they take it all in.
We especially find the Dole Plantation entertaining because of their koi fish pond. We buy a handful of food and throw it in the pond and out of nowhere fish appear, even swimming over each other to try and eat it. It’s vicious and a little disconcerting but I don’t think you’ll see anything like it anywhere else.
We also buy pineapple here to eat back at our hotel because it’s sweet and it’s already cut up for you. We’ve tried buying whole pineapples but they are just a pain sometimes to cut up in a hotel kitchen. There’s lots of mess and it’s sticky and then you have to clean up. The cut up pineapple at the plantation is maybe 4-5 dollars for almost a whole pineapple but it’s always delicious and it’s a great treat.
The hubby always gets Dole Whip and he and the guys devour it. For some reason, I’m just take-it-or-leave-it with Dole Whip.
We don’t do the maze because we tried it once on a hot day when the guys were about 2 years old and melting down and we couldn’t figure out how to get out quickly enough. I’m sure it’s a fun place but for us it’s a mildly traumatic memory we don’t want to revisit.
We do like the fact that there is now a coffee company a short drive from the Dole Plantation called Green World Farms. They make a pretty good cup of coffee and there are lots of samples to taste. We spent a little while just roaming their coffee trees and sitting in the shade. Their little shop is worth a visit even just to read all the cool coffee-themed paraphernalia on the walls.
I wonder what new things we’ll be in store for on our next trip to Oahu? It’s amazing how much a place can change, even in just a few short years, but I know when we go back, it’s almost a given that we’ll definitely be back at the Dole Plantation to ride the train.
(PS. there is a often a 10% off coupon for the train in one of the free Hawaii promo books you find in hotels-it’s the really tiny rectangle book and we totally forgot to bring ours but it could save you $3 for a family of 4.)