Living our Dole Whip dreams!
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
In my pinterest haze while brainstorming ideas for our honeymoon, I came across a post detailing things to do in Oahu. One of which was visit the Dole Plantation and have a Dole Whip......... Well this stuck a cord in my Disney loving heart that's for sure! i googled the directions from Aulani, just because I was curious, and it was only 25 minutes away! To say that this was the deciding factor in our honeymoon choice being Hawaii may be overkill.... but it also may not be! We are MASSIVE Dole Whip fans in our household, so how incredible to visit the place where it all began.
The trip was actually quite easy! We had a rental car, so that made transportation a breeze. Only about a 25-30 minute drive and we were there!
I was honestly (just ask Robby) skipping with excitement when we arrived! Upon entry to the building, there is a giant indoor market. Being the shopper that I am, I was absolutely mesmerized. Bins, racks, and shelves full of all of the pineapple march you could dream of! Venture a bit further and you'll see unique goods from local vendors. From seasonings, to oils, to Christmas ornaments. It's all there! We nailed down most of our souvenir shopping here.
Once I was coerced out of the shops we headed towards the gardens. We made our way past the grill on the way there and it smelled AMAZING, but that was for later!
There are plenty of options for tours/activities on the grounds. We chose to take a walking tour through the Botanical gardens on site. The plant life was gorgeous. Colors were incredible. And we were greeted by plenty of local wildlife as well. It seems small, but is actually a quite detailed and enriching tour with plenty of educational plaques all about the species of plants and facts about the plantations and Dole's history.
We were both SO excited to try the food, so after we had a leisurely stroll through the gardens we headed to the grill! The options were great and SO affordable. We were coming from a Disney resort, so we were a bit shocked by the price to portion ratio... which was fantastic! We got so much food for what we paid. AND it was delicious. I opted for a local dish, the "Loco Moco" while Robby chose some delicious Barbecue. They were both fantastic! If we had been closer, we would have come for lunch or diner everyday! HIGHLY recommend.
Then the holy grail ..... the dole whip itself! It was refreshing and delicious. It surprises us every time with how good it truly is. ALWAYS. **We learned later that you could request to have your whip topped with some of the candied nuts that were for sale in the market. After tasting them ourselves, we new we missed out on an incredibly tasty combo! Rookie mistake! Keep that in mind.
On our way out, we ended up taking a wrong turn that led us down a one way highway with no turns for about 15 minutes. What seemed to be a stressful moment, turned into a STUNNING drive! We ended up near the ocean and saw such gorgeous scenery before we were able to turn around and get back on track. We then realized that the rode was bordered by fields and fields of cute little pineapples! It was a beautiful little blip in our tour. One that I am very happy we experienced.
It was a magical field trip and one we highly recommend! A little bit of Disney, a LOT of food, and a lot of local fun. We'll definitely head back next time we stay at Aulani ;)