Going Upcountry Maui is as much a state of mind as it is an area of Maui, starting at Pukalani, climbing the slopes of magnificent Haleakala to the communities of Makawao, Kula, Keokea and Ulupalakua.
Rural Makawao welcomes visitors with hitching posts fronting the boutiques, restaurants and art galleries that are part of the eclectic personality of the area. Voted one of the top 25 arts-related travel destinations in the country, Makawao is the home of the Hui No’eau visual arts center. The center housed in a plantation-era estate home treats visitors to ongoing classes and exhibitions. If you happen to be visiting Maui over the Fourth of July weekend be sure and make time for the Makawao Rodeo, and take in the Paniolo(Hawaiian cowboy) spirit found here.
The farming community of Kula is best known as the home of some of the island’s freshest produce, especially the delicious Kula onion which is incorporated into most local dishes served on the island. Allow time to see the beautiful protea flowers and aromatic lavender at Ali’i Kula Lavender , just beyond Kula you will find the 20,000 acre Ulupalakua Ranch and Tedeschi Winery and Surfing Goat Dairy.
Ho’okipa Beach Park attracts pro windsurfers and kite surfers in the winter months when conditions are roughest. Waves on the north shore are huge and make it the perfect place to watch these professionals perform but please heed all posted safety signs if visiting during the winter months. In the summer months this stretch of shoreline is the perfect place to swim and sunbathe or just relax in the sun.
Pa’ia is the perfect place to shop for the perfect gift for friends and family amongst colorful, plantation-era storefronts and boutiques. Shop for surf gear and locally produced art, jewelry and clothing have lunch at one of the ethnic eateries in town or just a short drive to Mama’s Fish House.
If you plan on driving the Road to Hana, you will travel through Upcountry so take time to enjoy the view and enjoy the Upcountry experience. If you have the time there are several lovely bed and breakfast as well as small inns for visitors to stay Upcountry as well.