Haleakala National Park
While the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala Volcano is most dramatic during sunrise and sunset hours, any time of day offers unforgettable views. The entrance of Haleakala National Park, located at 6,500 feet of elevation, is home to many scenic hiking trails and photogenic views, so don’t forget your camera! See Maui from above and below the cloud line, and take time to appreciate the vast differences in temperature and scenery during your ascent.
Widely considered the largest ‘dormant’ volcano in the world, Haleakala is actually still active, though it hasn’t exhibited any volcanic activity since its most recent eruption in 1790. Also keep an eye out for the Nene Goose, the official state bird of Hawaii, as well as the rare and beautiful Haleakala Silversword, or Ahinahina, plants!
Located in higher elevation areas of Upcountry Maui, Kula is one of the most ideal places for botanical gardens, farms, and coffee plantations on Maui, thanks in large part to its rich, volcanic soil and ideal mixture of rainfall and sunshine. It’s also one of the most beautiful areas to drive through while visiting Maui!
We highly recommend a stop at one of Kula’s many noteworthy attractions, including Kula Lodge or Grandma’s Coffee House for a scenic meal with panoramic views of Maui, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, O’o Farm or Kula Botanical Garden.
In the mid 1800s, King Kamehameha III sent for vaqueros to come to Hawaii in order to pass on their skills of herding. Since then, a long line of paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboys, have made their home in Makawao, Maui. Every July 4th, the annual Makawao Rodeo brings thousands of spectators and visitors to celebrate the paniolo heritage, which remains a rich part of the culture in Upcountry Maui.
When visiting Makawao, be sure to stop in town to browse the many amazing local art galleries, satisfy your sweet tooth with cream puffs and stick donuts at T Komoda Bakery, tour the vast Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, and catch a glimpse of the lush Makawao Forest Reserve.
For those eager to explore the rainforest and jungle areas of Maui without having to drive all the way to Hana, Haiku is the perfect destination. Located on Maui’s north shore, Haiku is a hub for yoga, meditation, foodies, surfers, and those interested in a healthy lifestyle in a beautiful island setting.
Visitors should expect plenty of rain, but can easily make a pit stop at popular Haiku eateries like Colleen’s at the Cannery, Maui Kombucha and Tuk Tuk Thai Cafe, or Ho’okipa Beach Park to spot the local honu (sea turtles), surfers and windsurfers.
The hippie-surf center of Maui since the 1970s, Paia is the tiny town everyone loves to love. With fantastic people watching, beaches, restaurants, coffee shops and boutique shopping, you can’t go wrong in this north shore gem on Maui.
Stop into Maka by Mana for a delicious assortment of healthy, organic local eats, or grab a midday pick-me-up in the outdoor garden at Paia Bay Cafe. Baldwin Beach is a great place for an afternoon swim and sunshine, and a post drive happy hour is always in order at hot spots like Cafe des Amis or Flatbread Pizza.