Best things to do on Maui: Go Upcountry

Upcountry Maui

Upcountry Maui

The slopes of the dormant Haleakala Volcano, cornerstone of Maui’s rich agricultural heritage and ranching history, are known as the Upcountry region in Maui. Some of the best views of Maui and the ocean are offered on the rolling countryside throughout Upcountry Maui in the Kula district.

Kula stretches across the Upcountry region, on the western-facing slopes of Haleakalā, from Makawao to Ulupalakua. Many full-time residents prefer to live Upcountry, as the weather is cooler, and the mostly rural area is calmer, away from busy tourism-oriented communities near sea level.

The fertile fields of Kula are home to many exotic farms and many offer unique tours. Smell the sweet lavender and marvel at the stunning views at the Alii Kula Lavender Farm or see the protea (sugarbush) flowers at the Shim Coffee and Protea Farm Tour. Most protea flowers bloom in Maui from December through April.

Take a “Seed to Cup” coffee Tour and enjoy a gourmet lunch at the O’o Farm.  Over the past 10 years, this 8.5 acre diversified natural farm has flourished providing fresh local ingredients for Pacific’O restaurant in Lahaina, Maui.

The Kula Botanical Garden encompasses 8 acres of unique native Hawaiian and imported plants, rock formations, a covered bridge, meandering stream, waterfalls, koi pond, aviary and a carved Tiki exhibit. The garden is filled with blooming carnations, birds of paradise, orchids and protea flowers.

Head over to the Haliimaile General Store for lunch. Then take a guided tour of the Haliimaile Distilling Company, followed by product sampling in their tasting room. A botanical tour of the exquisite Haiku Mill includes history of Maui’s sugar cane industry. Stop at Ho’okipa Beach and the eclectic town of Paia on the North Shore.

The Upcountry area of Maui is also home to the quaint cowboy town of Makawao. 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 here for a full day. Activities in the area include Piiholo Ranch & Ziplines, Rainbow Acres Succulent and Cactus Farm, Pukalani Golf Club and more!