Upcountry

Welcome to Upcountry

Kula

Kula is a rustic, laid back town. It is inland and higher in elevation than beach towns. You’ll find plenty of generations old farms here, which is part of the charm. 

One such farm is Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, 14 acres and 45 varieties of lavender. Another farm with just as much appeal is Surfing Goat Dairy. Surfing Goat Dairy is home to 188 goats on 42 acres and makes a wide variety of goat cheeses, most of which are award winning. With these kinds of neighbors, it should come as no surprise that there is a farmer’s market in town. No doubt this market is sure to delight!

Be sure to visit Kula Lodge for a wonderful wood fired pizza. The Lodge is also a great little getaway with outstanding views of the island.

Makawao

Many mainlanders are familiar with cowboys, or even Vaqueros, the Spanish term for those who herd cows for a living. Few though, are as familiar with Paniolos. They are the Hawai'ian cowboys, and they are ubiquitous in Makawao. The market in town is the Rodeo General Store. Every year they host the Makawao Rodeo, with Hawai'ian twists on barrel racing, calf roping, bareback bronco riding etc. Even national champions are used to. You may even spot a Paniolo riding a longhorn down the street. 

But don’t let the old western feel confuse you, this town is as eclectic as they come. It may be home to rodeos, but you’ll also find art galleries for glass blowers, wood sculptors and painters, and art classes available at the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center. At the nearby Maui Polo Club you can catch a game while tailgating or from the club house. There is a hypnotherapist as well as a bakery that has been around for over one hundred years. This bakery, by the way, is legendary. Be sure to go by before 10, or they will likely have sold out and closed up shop for the day. You can find some of the only mountain biking on Maui nearby at Makawao Forest Reserve, ziplining, and volcano tours. This town is truly a unique adventure!

Pukalani

In Hawai'ian, Pukalani means “gateway to heaven” and it’s easy to see why. Perched at 1,500 feet, on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala, Pukalani is one of the largest towns in the upcountry. The elevation keeps it cooler than the sea level towns. Pukalani is a laid back town with a country atmosphere. However, they also have a shopping center with staples such as Starbucks and Pizza Hut. The Pukalani recreation center has a swimming pool, baseball/softball fields, basketball, soccer field, and tennis courts. Be sure to make a visit to Pukalani Country Club to see their golf course which offers panoramic views of Maui and the ocean. 

Haiku

If you prefer a quaint town that is off the beaten path, Haiku is for you. Haiku is a rainy town two miles inland tucked into a rainforest and isn’t generally crowded with tourists. Here you’ll find Haiku Mill, a popular wedding location that also offers botanical tours and farm-to-table meals. If you’re finished taking in the beauty of the mill, visit the Leilani Farm Sanctuary, a rescue for farm animals, that offers an hour long tour, as well as a botanical garden. Shopping of all kinds can be done in Pauwela Cannery, an old cannery turned shopping center for small businesses where you can get art, baked goods, coffee and more. The nearest beach is Ho'okipa Beach, also known as the windsurfing capital of the world. Take in the incredible views of water surfers, and windsurfers offered at this beach, but leave catching a wave to the professionals. Offshore of Ho’okipa Beach is the legendary surf break commonly referred to as Jaws. If you’re really craving a water feature you can interact with, nearby is Twin Falls. It’s an easy walk through the rainforest to these falls where you can enjoy a swimming hole and a fantastic snack stand.

Pa'ia

Pa'ia is another diverse and eclectic town. Known for being home to all things bohemian and hippie, you’re likely to find more than one sign or bumper sticker that jokingly says “Please don’t feed the hippies.”  In town you’ll find plenty of little shops reflecting the bohemian lifestyle here, and when you’re ready to eat, the options run the gamut from one rated the best in Maui (with a price that reflects it) to smaller eateries that can hold their own despite the lower price point. You’ll find everything from gelato to cafes, coffee to country western dining in Pa'ia. Pa'ia attracts fewer tourists but has more than five beaches within walking distance including a nudist beach, and multiple beaches that are great for kids. If hippies, beaches and good food are your preference, you’ll be happy in Pa'ia. 

There aren’t any resorts or well-known condos upcountry, if you want a super treat, stay at The Inn at Mama’s Fish House.  By the way, Mama’s Fish House is constantly rated as one of the all time top restaurants in Maui. Other great restaurants are Haile Maile General Store, Pollys Restaurant & Casanovas.

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