Best Things to do on Maui: Visit Makawao

Best Things to do on Maui: Visit Makawao

 The Hali’imaile General Store

 The Hali’imaile General Store

The Upcountry area of Maui is home to the charming paniolo (cowboy) town of Makawao ("edge of the forest" or "beginning forest). You could walk the entire township in under an hour, however the art galleries, history museum and selection of fine shopping boutiques could keep you busy all day.

You can also learn about and experience the paniolo lifestyle by taking our Upcountry Maui Ranch Adventure. The unique, exciting experiential tour includes luxury transportation provided by Platinum Tours of Maui, a private guided horseback ride, a gourmet picnic lunch catered by the Hali’imaile General Store.

Makawao is also known for food! The Hali’imaile General Store is Chef Bev Gannon’s restaurant featuring eclectic American food with Asian overtones – the essence of modern Hawaii food. Founded in 1988, “The Store” has been a Maui destination for both visitors and locals that appreciate fresh local ingredients and island-inspired menus. Sip Me features organic coffee, juice, hot cacao, special blended health elixirs and treats. Market Fresh Bistro is a farm to table eatery serving a spectacular breakfast and lunch selection. Casanova's Italian Restaurant is a long-standing staple for dinner and historical venue for musical talent.

There are many other activities in the area. Makawao was once named one of the top 25 arts communities in the United States. From Makai Glass, and Hot Island Glass, to Makawao Fine Art, and  Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center to the Maui Hands Maui Art Galleries, there is a wealth of options to explore in Makawao’s arts culture. Take a hiking, camping or night-time astronomy tour. Visit the Rainbow Acres Succulent and Cactus Farm, or take a few holes at the Pukalani Golf Club. Rest, relax, meditate or walk a labyrinth at the Sacred Garden of Maliko.

Best Way to Explore Maui: In Our Luxury Fleet

Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Too many people take Maui tours in vehicles that make economy class airline seats seem roomy and comfortable. PT Maui prides itself on not just going above and beyond that reality, but in having the best fleet of tour and airport transfer vehicles on the island. On the twisting, winding roads of Maui, particularly on the Road to Hana, you need not only room, but comfort, and our luxury vehicles have it all.

Enjoy true luxury in our custom-designed Mercedes Benz Sprinters, with hardwood floors, leather captain’s chairs, panoramic tinted windows, a glass roof, wet bar, USB plugs and charging stations, personal refrigerators, snack bars and more. There is no other tour vehicle like this on Maui. 

Our line of Toyota sport utility vehicles enhances guest safety and provides an authentic luxury appeal. Each vehicle is equipped with all-terrain grade tires to enhance capability and comfortability. We specialize in off-road needs with 4x4 capability, complimenting the unique accesses we maintain with the various ranches on island.

Toyota Tacoma, 4WD Truck; A compact vehicle to move up to 4 passengers. Includes a truck bed for any large, bulky cargo, equipment or luggage in tow.

Toyota Tundra, XL 4WD Truck; An XL cabin to comfortably accommodate up to 4 passengers. Includes a truck bed for any large, bulky cargo, equipment or luggage in tow.

Toyota Sequoia, SUV; An XL cabin with third row to comfortably accommodate up to 7 passengers. Includes cargo space at back for small cargo or luggage in tow.

Best Things to Do on Maui: Visit The Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm

Visiting The Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm

Visiting The Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm

The Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm’s 13.5-acre farm resides at an elevation of roughly 4,000 ft. on the slopes of Haleakala (House of the Sun), and is home to approximately 55,000 lavender plants and 45 different varieties of lavender. Though lavender is not native to Maui, it blooms all year-round in the cool, dry island climate. Olive trees, hydrangea, Protea, succulents and a wide variety of other plants can be found on the farm.

Founder and Agricultural Artist and Horticultural Master Ali’i Chang prided himself on having an impeccable and ever-changing canvas for visitors to enjoy, and he took considerable pride in his work and the work of his staff. Much more than a working lavender farm, AKL is a botanical garden filled with numerous artifacts and collectibles that Ali’i gathered in his many years of travel and entrepreneurship.

The Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm shares their crop with local businesses which incorporate it into a wide variety of products including essential oil products, cosmetics, sachets, soaps, candles, scrubs, and even a lavender-flavored organic vodka made by Ocean Vodka.

Relaxation, Rejuvenation and Renewal are all held in this magical place that the spirit calls home!

Best Things to do on Maui: Sunset Dinner at the Maui Chef's Table


Let us pick you up at your resort, and watch the Maui Sun paint the sky from Kealia Boardwalk, Pali Lookout or Sugar Beach. Then experience a one of a kind nine-course dinner entertainment experience. Executive Chef Jeff Scheer has assembled a team of incredible Chefs, each with an impressive resume of experience.  Each Chef is uniquely creative and inventive while sharing the same core values for sourcing and preparing food. Chef Scheer’s staff prepare your meal live and on-site with appetizers and specialty beverage crafting service. Feel free to ask about the ingredients or the inspiration behind each course as it is prepared. All beverages and food including entrees are sourced from locally grown ingredients. Chef Scheer strives to create a unique "rustic refined" experience, not just for the people who live here but also for the people visiting the island. Maui Chef’s Table explores the modern tastes and textures of our island’s local and organically grown produce, fruit, and proteins. Chef Scheer is happy to interact with guests, so feel free to ask about the ingredients or the inspiration behind each course as it is prepared.

The Maui Tropical Plantation has been operating for over 30 years. Over the years, the grounds have been transformed from show crops into a productive, working plantation.  The Maui Tropical Plantation currently maintains over 40 harvested crops, and hundreds of tropical and native plants. Book well in advance, this event is frequently sold out.

The Plantation’s current features include: The Mill House Restaurant, Bar and Coffee Cafe, Tours, Retails Shops, Farm Stand, Zip Lines, Culinary Events, Entertainment, and Historical Display Pieces. The Maui Tropical Plantation’s beautiful grounds and stunning view of the gorgeous Waikapu valley will provide unforgettable memories on your trip to Maui.

Best Things to Do on Maui: Go Snorkeling!


La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay or Keoneʻoʻio Bay is a spectacular snorkeling location for experienced divers and snorkelers. You will need strength (or a good tour boat guide) to make it past the choppy waves and silty shoreline to its well-stocked reefs. La Perouse Bay can be windy and prone to big surf in the summer.

South of Wailea, past some spectacular lava fields, at the end of Makena Alanui Road, you will find a parking lot and access to the Bay. The best time to go snorkeling is in the early morning, before the trade winds pick up.

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay (“two harbors”) is a large, highly popular sheltered bay where you can hike, swim, snorkel, surf and dive. There is not much beach sand, it’s mostly rocky (and the rocks can be slippery), but the snorkeling and diving are highly rated by many Maui guides. 

The high, rocky cliffs on both sides protect the Bay from harsh trade winds. You can get a good view of the bay from the roadway on the cliffs to scope out your best spots from above. You may even spot larger Sea Turtles from this vantage point.

Kāʻanapali Beach

West Maui’s Kāʻanapali Beach is a great place to dive or snorkel. Three miles of sparkling gold-white sand, crystal clear water, great snorkeling, cliff-diving, convenient amenities and unbeatable sunset views. Divers will find tropical fish including rare and uncommon species such as the Flying Gurnards, Flame Angels, and Frog Fish. You may be lucky enough to spot a Spotted Eagle Ray, endangered Green Sea Turtles, octopus, dolphins or whales (in season). It’s no wonder why many visitors think Kāʻanapali Beach is one of the best beaches in America. This ancient retreat for Maui royals is now a popular getaway for the world, and one of the best places on Maui to capture that jaw-dropping sunset picture.

If you don’t have your own snorkeling or underwater camera equipment, check out Boss Frog’s rentals. They have a location nearby the Napili Bay Plaza, in Napili.

Copy of Best Things to do on Maui: Hawaiian Ranch Adventures


The verdant slopes known as Maui’s Upcountry region are dominated by the dormant Haleakala Volcano. Touring the scenic pasture land of the Upcountry region offers an unparalleled, unique perspective of the island of Maui. The Upcountry region is the cornerstone of Maui’s rich agricultural heritage and ranching history.

Platinum Tours of Maui’s luxury Hawaiian Ranch Adventure starts at your resort. We will pick you up in one of our luxury vehicles for a brief ground tour of Central Maui before your transfer to Kahului heliport for your aerial tour of the island. We have many private properties available upcountry for your luxury ranch experience. Each landing zone offers a unique perspective of Maui, varied activities, and a delicious lunch with your choice of caterer. We will return to your resort by luxury ground tour. Available in reverse with ground tour to activity sight and helicopter departure with aerial tour, landing at Kahului Heliport followed by ground transfer back to your resort.

Become a Hawaiian Cowboy for a Day

If you would rather remain on the ground, you can experience the wonders of Maui’s interior on horseback with an exclusive Upcountry Ranch Adventure at the Piiholo Ranch. You will experience a private horseback ride guided by a professional paniolo (cowboy/cowgirl). A gourmet picnic lunch catered by renowned chef Bev Gannon of the Hali’imaile General Store will be provided.


Best things to do on Maui: Visit ONO Farms

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ONO Organic Farms of Maui is a family-owned and operated, certified organic, hand-picked, tropical fruit, coffee and cacao farm located along the "Road to Hana". The southeastern slopes of the Haleakala volcano, in the Kipahulu District of East Maui offer a uniquely verdant and isolated environment that is ideal for growing exotic tropical fruit, coffee, and chocolate.

The Ono Farm Roadside Market in Hana Town is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at their roadside market in Hana Town (next to the gas station). You will have the opportunity to taste seasonal, fresh organic produce before you buy. Check out their variety of jams, jellies, coffee, and chocolate beans available for purchase as well!

The Ono Farms Exotic Tropical Fruit Tasting Adventure takes about 90 minutes, and includes samples of ten to twelve in-season fruits, home grown coffee, and home grown and roasted chocolate beans. Tours take place every Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Same day reservations may be available if reserved prior to 12:30 p.m. HST.

After arriving from your north shore drive along the scenic, breathtaking, world-famous "Road to Hana," begin your tour of ONO Organic Farms with refreshing samples of delicious ("ono" in Hawaiian) exotic tropical fruit, Arabica estate coffee and chocolate. Then, stroll through a lush forest of spectacular fruit trees that are growing where previously there was pasture.

When you tour ONO Organic Farms, you'll be surrounded by abiu, avocado, apple banana, ice cream banana, Cuban red banana, mountain apple, rose apple, star apple, star fruit, cacao (chocolate), cinnamon, durian, strawberry papaya, low-acid white pineapple, lychee, mango, breadfruit, jackfruit, red sweetsop, soursop, coffee, white and chocolate sapote, pink and white pomelo, pomegranate, egg fruit, kumquat, sweet lilikoi (passion fruit), rambutan, tamarind, tangelo, tangerine, gourmet guava, oranges, and more.

ONO Organic Farms rests on the slopes of an ancient volcano, so please wear shoes suitable for hiking. 

Best Things to do on Maui: 2nd Annual Maui Chefs Invitational

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The 2nd Annual Maui Chefs Invitational is a multi-part series where eight chefs from the nation’s most successful restaurants come together in the spirit of creativity and camaraderie, while showcasing their artistry and knowledge. Embark on an adventure with highly acclaimed chefs from various cities and backgrounds. Their innovative menus and cutting-edge techniques will leave a lasting impression on the islands, paving the way for more progress in our growing culinary community.

Learn from and interact with leading Chefs. Indulge your senses, celebrate their talents, savor the bounty of Maui, and enjoy the company of fellow food enthusiasts at the Mill House.

September 1st & 2nd Dinners

Feast on a multi-course menu from eight of the country's most highly-acclaimed Chefs. Each individual course will reflect the expertise of one specific Chef. As a team, all the Chefs will prepare and plate courses tableside in our lanai kitchen. The open-air concept allows you to watch and interact as each course is created. These chefs love to share their passion, so feel free to ask about ingredients or inspiration behind any of the dishes. We encourage you to mingle with the other diners as you experience this culinary adventure. Friday and Saturday will feature different menus, to provide a unique experience both evenings.

The $250 per person fee includes dinner and gratuity. Beverages will be available for purchase and no outside beverages are allowed on premises. Due to the length of this experience, 3 to 3.5 hours, only guests 11 and older will be allowed to attend.

Sunday, September 3rd BBQ

Guests will graze on dishes created through the collaborative efforts of Chefs, while enjoying sun and live music on the grounds of The Maui Tropical Plantation. The Visiting Chefs will work in teams with local Hawaiian Chefs to create unique dishes, enticing your senses with original flavors. This is a casual event offering guests and Chefs the opportunity to mingle and relax underneath the West Maui Mountains.

The $75 entrance fee is for guests ages 11 and older, and includes meal & gratuity. Children 10 and under are free, however, must be accompanied by an adult at check-in. Beverages will be available for an additional fee and outside beverages are not allowed.

Please note: Maui Chefs Invitational does not accommodate dietary restrictions. Please take into consideration that if you have specific preferences or allergies, you may not have an experience as elevated as others.

*Special price 3-day tickets available by phone reservation only

Tickets can be purchased at:

Best Things to do on Maui: The Maui Cookie Lady

Imagine home-baked giant gourmet artisan cookies made with Hawaiian flavors.  Delicious! The Maui Cookie Lady’s cookies are proudly featured by top hotels & resorts, and high-quality artisan markets.

Mitzi Toro began baking cookies in 2012 as a fundraiser to thank hard working nurses at the Maui Memorial Hospital for taking phenomenal care of her terminally-ill father. Mitzi was encouraged to transform her cookie fundraiser into a business by her regular customers who came to love her delicious product.

After building her own commercial kitchen and officially starting her made-on-Maui cookie production line, the company quickly garnered fans around the world from as far away as the UK, Japan and even Dubai!

The Maui Cookie Lady aims to get a new line of Cookie Butters to the happy bellies near and far by Spring of 2018. The company’s motto is: “To make the world a smaller place one cookie at a time.”

Popular flavors include Kona Coffee Espresso using Peaberry Beans, Pineapple Lychee Passion with Hibiscus Flowers, White Tea, Lemon Chocolate, Mango and Raw Maui Sugar, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Grown-Up Samoas (made with Maui Brewing Co.'s Coconut Porter craft beer), Butterscotch Kisses (made with Sammy Hagar’s Maui Distilled Macadamia Nut Rum, Butter Toffee, Caramel, Butterscotch Chips and Raw Maui Sugar)  and the Original Butter Rum Triple Chunker, their original cookie and best seller, with three types of chocolate (White, Dark and Milk), raw sugar with a hint of butter rum. Da Half Baked (Reese's, Snickers & Oreo Stuffed in Chocolate Chip Cookie & a Dab of Malt), a giant 8 oz Chocolate Chip Cookie stuffed with Reeses, Snickers & Oreo with Malt. Elvis - Banana and PB C'ptn Crunch, Elvis' favorite sandwich made into a cookie. Raw Hawaiian sugar and Molokai sea salt adds a wonderful local flavor the unique cookie combination with Butterscotch, Vanilla Caramel, Banana and Peanut Butter C'ptn Crunch Cereal.

Best Things to Do on Maui: Special Events in August

All this month, visitors can enjoy a citrus sparkler at the Hāna Burger Food Truck with ranch-grown lemon and limes, simple syrup and Pellegrino. Perfectly refreshing! Proceeds go to support Easter Seals Hawaii and The Traveling Plate, a Statewide Culinary Tour to Benefit Easter Seals Hawaii.

The Hāna Burger Food Truck is open for lunch daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Current menu items include a fresh fish sandwich, farm salads, the signature Hāna Burger with grass-fed beef, house-made pickles, refreshing fresh fruit smoothies, lemongrass iced tea, french fries, ahi tuna salad with papaya seed dressing, and more. All items can be enjoyed at picnic tables with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, or packed to go. Buns, sauces, salads and sides are made from scratch using the Ranch’s own organic produce. The new dining patio has more seating and shaded picnic tables.

The Island Art Party is on! Check out their events through August. Wine and Paint Nights, Family Paint Nights, and more. You don’t have to be a great painter to come home with a nice work of art. They also have space available for private parties, and individual lessons.

If you want to learn more about humpback whales, Whale Talks are free and family-friendly at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,  726 S. Kihei Rd Kihei, every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM in the sanctuary conference room.

Don’t pass up a chance to see ‘Ulalena, a dynamic, colorful, emotional, and entertaining theatrical performance voted “Best Live Show in Hawaii” by Hawaii Magazine, Best of the Best 2015. ‘Ulalena at the Maui Theatre. Called a “stunning theatrical sensation” by National Geographic, ‘Ulalena shares the rich history of Hawaii through authentic Hawaiian music, dance and over 100 instruments played live. Experience the true essence of aloha!