Kula, Makawao, Upcountry, Haiku, and Paia
Are you planning a trip to the Valley Isle of Maui, Hawaii, soon? If you’re the adventurous type who enjoys discovering off-the-beaten-path destinations, then Upcountry Maui should definitely be on your to-do list. Nestled in Maui’s scenic countryside on the slopes of Haleakala, Upcountry Maui is a must-visit destination that’s teeming with popular as well as hidden gems. From charming towns with epic eateries to stunning views of the Central Valley and both South Maui and the North Shore, this part of Maui offers something for everyone.
So, get ready to embark on a journey through some of the best spots in Upcountry Maui as we gear up a journey filled with lush greenery, unique Paniolo culture, and incredible food!
Located along the Upper Highway, the Kula Botanical Gardens are a haven of serenity and beauty. You can feast your eyes on a wide variety of tropical flowers, plants, and trees, including orchids, cacti, and succulents. The garden highlights include waterfalls, a koi pond, an aviary, and a carved tiki exhibit. 638 Kekaulike Avenue, Kula, HI 96790
Our idyllic Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) town in Upcountry Maui, Makawao, is home to art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants. One of the must-see spots while in Makawao is watching glass blowers at Hot Island Glass (3620 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768), where you can pick up some of Hawaii’s best crafts and souvenirs. Food trucks and restaurants dot Baldwin Avenue.
A must-visit destination, the Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm boasts acres of beautifully landscaped lavender fields. You can take a guided walking tour or enjoy a cup of lavender-infused tea from their charming outdoor café. The Lavender Café is a great spot to indulge in their signature Lavender Cream Tea, lavender-infused ice cream, lavender scones, and other delicacies. They grow far more than just lavender these days, so plan on walking for a while to explore and take in views. 1100 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI 96790
The Surfing Goat Dairy farm is a working dairy farm that specializes in artisanal goat milk, cheese, and even truffles. Visitors can take farm tours and learn about the cheese-making process. You can even taste their award-winning cheeses without the tour. Feed goats and snap fun photos of goats standing on surfboards. Not to mention the incredible Upcountry views. 3651 Omaopio Rd, Kula, HI 96790
Visiting Maui Wine just for the property is reason enough to go Upcountry. You can sample their wines, explore the picturesque property, and even try some of the famous pineapple wines. Located across the street from Ulupalakua Ranch Store. 14815 Piilani Hwy, Kula, HI 96790
In Pukalani and right next door to each other, two of the best spots to open up since COVID are worth the journey Upcountry. Mahalo AleWorks has delicious craft beers, amazing views, and hearty food at the Upcountry Sausage Co (ran from a food cart on their lanai.) Restaurant Marlow has the best pizza on Maui, hands down. Sourdough Neapolitan creations with local ingredients are to die for. If you get the beef gnocchi, you’ll likely visit twice during your trip to Maui. SO GOOD! Mahalo Aleworks: 30 Kupaoa St #101, Makawao, HI 96768 | Restaurant Marlow: 30 Kupaoa St A104, Makawao, HI 96768
Every weekend in Pukalani, the Saturday Upcountry Farmers Market brings together local farmers, artisans, and vendors. You can stock up on your fresh produce, artisanal crepes, baked goods, and even handmade jewelry and crafts. 55 Kiopaa St, Makawao, HI 96768
Artist and glass-blower Doug Jung has turned his passion for glass-blowing into a leading art studio that features unique creations. You can watch live glass-blowing demonstrations and even purchase some of his glass creations. Makai Glass Maui is located right next to the Upcountry distilleries and across from the famous Haliimaile General Store. 903 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768
Though it’s considered the North Shore and not technically Upcountry Maui, we consider Paia worth mentioning since you’re already on this side of the island. A laid-back beach town with a charming, bohemian vibe, Paia is filled with boutiques, galleries, funky cafes, and restaurants. One of the main draws of Paia is the people-watching. In a 2-minute period, you can see a hippie, a surfer, a crackhead, and a celebrity.
Haleakala National Park
One of the best ways to experience Upcountry and the famous Haleakala sunrise is with Haleakala EcoTours. This tour is perfect for those who want to explore the island beyond the beaches and experience Maui’s beautiful, rugged landscapes on the Haleakala volcano. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Upcountry Maui while taking in a breathtaking drive up to the summit of Haleakala (the island’s highest peak), where you’ll witness an unforgettable sunrise, sunset, or mid-day clouds well below you. With knowledgeable and friendly drivers, comfortable transportation, and unforgettable sights, a van tour with Haleakala EcoTours is a must-do on your Maui itinerary.
Upcountry Maui is an amazing destination that’s unlike any other. From gorgeous lavender farms and botanical gardens to spectacular award-winning restaurants in quaint towns, there’s something for everyone. So, on your next visit to Maui, make sure to include these top Upcountry spots on your itinerary.