When was the last time you took a day trip? Whether you're visiting Maui or are a longtime resident, it's refreshing to take time to enjoy what Maui has to offer. With all the fun activities to do it can be hard to enjoy it all unless you make a point of it. Before making plans, it's helpful to figure out what you'd like to experience. If you're looking to experience laid back island style, Upcountry may be the place to go.
This includes the towns of Makawao and Kula. These areas are mostly pastoral land of orchid, protea and lavender farms, wineries, charming shops, artist studios, galleries, cafes and restaurants with majestic Haleakala Crater in the backdrop.
Here are a few popular places to consider while visiting the Upcountry area:
Ali'i Kula Lavender- this 13.5 acre lavender farm with over 55,000 lavender plants is a great place to spend the morning or afternoon with the whole family. They offer walking tours, seasonal workshops and an array of botanicals made from the lavender grown on site. Try the tea and scones and pick out a gift of high quality bath and body or culinary seasoning. You'll want to call in advance to reserve your spot 808-878-3004.
Kula Lodge & Restaurant- If you're planning an early morning to see the sunrise at Haleakala Crater, this is a must for breakfast on the way back. The expansive views and delicious food is a great way to relax and warm up after a cool visit at the summit. The rich pastures, eucalyptus, jacaranda and stunning views of the ocean make this an enchanting stop. There's a marketplace which offers over 150 local vendors from Hawaii. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Maui Wine- The incomparable beauty of 'Ulupalakua surrounds this vineyard situated on the 150-year-old, 23,000 acre 'Ulupalakua Ranch. Not only are you able to sip on delicious wine, but also learn a bit of history. There is a guided tour of the grounds and winery and a history room with information about the long tradition of cattle ranching. Across the road you may run into a paniolo (cowboy) while savoring on a homegrown elk burger.
Komoda Bakery- No trip to Upcountry is complete without a stop at this world famous bakery. They open early with a line out the door so be sure to get there early enough before they sell out. The stick donuts, long johns and cream puffs are probably the most popular. The butter rolls also are a local favorite. It's a family run business that's been around for a hundred years.
Boutique shops- Makawao town is known for the quaint boutique shopping. You can find everything from women's unique clothing, maui made gifts, custom jewelry, local art galleries and much more.
You can spend a few hours just browsing the shops in town then stop for a bite to eat at one of many eateries such as Polli's Mexican Restaurant or Casanova Italian Restaurant & Deli. If you're there in the evening stop by Makawao Steak House for appetizers and drinks.
Upcountry Maui encompasses the laid back island lifestyle of Maui. The cooler weather allows for a pleasant change from the shorelines of South and West Maui. Even if for just a day trip, these areas are well worth the trip!