Friday, November 23, 2012

Dole Plantation Pineapple Garden Maze

 A few weekends ago, the Joneses visited the Dole Plantation with the goal of attempting to successfully navigate the Pineapple Garden Maze, the world's largest permanent outdoor maze. Mission Accomplished.

 To be straightforward, Dole Plantation is a tourist trap. But it is a fun tourist trap, which are the best kind of tourist traps. It stands as a historical testament to the beginnings of the Dole Pineapple Company, which started in Oahu in 1950. The company revolutionize the availability of the pineapple to the rest of the world by growing it in abundance on the Hawaiian islands and canning it at a factory, the remnants of which I have already visited and reviewed.

 Now all of the Hawaiian pineapples are grown on the island of Lanai, not Oahu. This "plantation" close to the North Shore's Haleiwa is actually just a series of fun, gimmicky things to do. The pineapples that are grown at this farm are for educational purposes only.

 We visited Dole Plantation because we wanted to check out their Pineapple Garden Maze, which was declared the world's largest maze in 2008. (It has since been beaten by some guy in Italy, but no one is paying attention to him in Hawaii.)

 The maze is on over three acres of land and includes over two and a half miles of pathways! The way to "complete" the maze is to find all of the hidden stencils and mark them on your card. If you do not use a map, you can compete to beat the fastest completion time.

We obviously didn't do that.
I suck at mazes.
 After we completed the maze, we walked around the grounds to check out what else was available. There was a garden tour, grille restaurant, and express train. There was also a pond, where you could view enormous fish. For free.

 We decided to ride the Pineapple Express train, because we were hot and thought it might provide a bit of a breeze. There is also "free" pineapple at the end.

 Our expectations were simple: Be cooler at the end of the trip. And our expectations were met and that was it. The narrator of the train was informative about the history of Dole, but boringggggg. We didn't care. The view was nice at times, though.

  Would I recommend you visit Dole Plantation? Not unless you live here. Don't use your valuable vacation time at Dole Plantation, unless you have an unusual love of pineapple and/or garden mazes.