Upcountry Maui: cool places, towns and amazing views to experience around the upcountry areas
Upcountry Maui is located on the slopes of Haleakala, a vast area that covers many small towns like Makawao, Haiku, Pukalani and Kula. Mostly rural and agricultural, the views driving around the rolling hills of upcountry does have some cool and unique places to explore with botanical gardens, lavender farms, pineapple farms, art venues and many other venues to explore.
We share many of our favorite spots to explore Upcountry Maui in this post below. Book mark this for your future visit to this scenic and underrated place to explore outside of visiting Haleakala National Park.
Where is Upcountry Maui located?
Upcountry Maui is located on the Hawaiian island of Maui at the slopes of Haleakala. It refers to the elevated region on the island, situated inland and at a higher elevation than the coastal areas. This area is known for its picturesque landscapes, including rolling hills, farms, ranches, and stunning views of the ocean. The Upcountry Maui region includes towns like Makawao, Pukalani, and Kula. It offers a cooler and more temperate climate compared to the coastal areas of Maui.
Towns and attractions around the Upcountry areas of Maui
Small towns dot the upcountry areas with fun places to stop and grab a bite, shop the farmers markets and check out the cute boutique mom and pop galleries that set up shop in these towns.
The largest town upcountry, a visit to Makawao in Upcountry Maui offers a charming and unique experience. This quaint town is known for its artistic vibe, with galleries, boutiques, and craft shops lining the streets. You can explore local artwork, handcrafted goods, and even watch artisans at work. The town retains its Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage, which is reflected in its architecture and annual events like the Makawao Rodeo. Don’t miss the chance to savor delicious food at local cafes and restaurants. Makawao’s relaxed atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it a great stop while exploring Upcountry Maui.
Lots of cool galleries, coffee shops and restaurants to enjoy, you see this western town with a more hip vibe to shop and enjoy this fun town.
Visit to Haiku, upcountry
A visit to Haiku, a charming town in Upcountry Maui, promises a serene and laid-back experience. Surrounded by lush tropical landscapes, Haiku exudes a tranquil vibe that attracts those seeking a peaceful escape. The town is known for its artistic community, evident in the galleries and studios that showcase local creations. Suprisingly for a very small town, there’s a lot of fantastic eating venues and food trucks to check out at Haiku area.
As you explore, you’ll find yourself captivated by the picturesque scenery – from rolling hills to bamboo forests. Haiku’s local markets offer a taste of fresh produce and unique crafts. Whether you’re taking in the scenic beauty or immersing yourself in the local culture, a visit to Haiku is a refreshing and rejuvenating journey.
Check out Pukalani, Upcountry
Pukalani, located in Upcountry Maui, offers a delightful array of attractions to explore. Here’s what you can expect to see in this charming town:
Pukalani Country Club: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at the Pukalani Country Club. This picturesque golf course provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape while you tee off.
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm: Just a short drive from Pukalani, this lavender farm is a must-visit. Stroll through fragrant lavender fields, explore beautifully landscaped gardens, and take in panoramic views of Maui’s countryside.
Local Shops and Cafes: Pukalani’s commercial area offers a selection of local shops, boutiques, and cafes. You can browse for unique souvenirs, handmade crafts, and enjoy a taste of local cuisine.
Pukalani Park: If you’re traveling with family, Pukalani Park is a great place to relax and have a picnic. It has playgrounds, open spaces, and facilities for outdoor activities.
Makawao Forest Reserve: While not directly in Pukalani, the Makawao Forest Reserve is nearby and worth a visit. You can take a hike through the lush forest, enjoying the shade and the beauty of native vegetation. Check out all the cool hiking venues at the forest reserve here for more information.
Local Events: Depending on the time of your visit, you might have the opportunity to attend local events or festivals in Pukalani. Keep an eye out for community gatherings that offer insights into the town’s culture and traditions.
Scenic Drives: Pukalani serves as a gateway to scenic drives in Upcountry Maui. Take a leisurely drive along the winding roads, soak in the breathtaking views, and capture memorable moments.
Visit Kula, Maui
Kula, located in Upcountry Maui, offers a range of attractions that showcase the natural beauty and cultural richness of the area. Here’s what you can see and experience in Kula:
MauiWine: Formerly known as Tedeschi Vineyards, MauiWine offers wine tastings and tours. You can explore the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Kula Botanical Garden: This garden is a treat for nature enthusiasts. Wander through a diverse collection of plants, including native Hawaiian species and exotic flora. The garden’s elevated location provides stunning views of Maui’s coastline.
Here’s a quick video tour of the Kula Botanical Gardens below
Upcountry Farmers Market: Held on weekends, this market offers fresh produce, artisanal goods, local crafts, and delicious food. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the local community and experience the flavors of the region.
Check out this video highlight visiting the market below.
Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area: This state park is a bit further up the mountain from Kula, but it’s worth the drive. It features hiking trails that lead through lush forests, past waterfalls, and to scenic viewpoints.
Surfing Goat Dairy: Located in lower Kula, this dairy farm offers guided tours where you can learn about the cheese-making process, interact with adorable goats, and sample their award-winning cheeses.
Kula Country Farms: Depending on the season, you can visit this farm for strawberry picking, pumpkin patches, and other agricultural experiences. It’s a family-friendly attraction that lets you engage in fun outdoor activities.
Other unique venues to explore around the Upcountry, Maui region
Outside of the many venues shared above, here are some more unique and must visit spots to enjoy Upcountry, Maui area.
The Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center is a creative and cultural institution located on the island of Maui in Hawaii, USA. Established in 1934, the center is housed in a historic plantation estate and is dedicated to promoting and supporting visual arts in the local community and beyond.
The Hui No’eau offers a variety of programs and services aimed at fostering artistic expression, education, and appreciation. It provides a welcoming environment where artists of all levels, from beginners to professionals, can engage with different art forms and techniques. The center hosts workshops, classes, exhibitions, and events that span a wide range of artistic disciplines, including painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, photography, and more.
The Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center serves as a hub for both local and visiting artists, allowing them to connect, collaborate, and explore their artistic passions. Its galleries showcase the works of talented artists, providing a platform for them to share their creations with the community. Additionally, the center often hosts cultural events, lectures, and outreach programs, promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of art in the context of Hawaiian culture and beyond.
The Haiku mill and ruins in Maui
The Haiku Mill and its ruins are historical and picturesque landmarks situated on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The Haiku Mill is an iconic wedding and event venue that has been carefully restored to its former glory. Originally built in the 19th century as a sugar mill, the Haiku Mill is now renowned for its charming blend of old-world elegance and tropical ambiance.
The venue boasts stunning gardens, lush greenery, and an enchanting courtyard that provides a romantic backdrop for weddings, celebrations, and other special occasions. The Haiku Mill’s architecture features a mix of European and Hawaiian influences, creating a unique and captivating atmosphere that transports visitors to another time and place.
Adjacent to the restored Haiku Mill, there are also ruins that harken back to its historical origins. These ruins are remnants of the original sugar mill and plantation, evoking a sense of the island’s past and the important role it played in Maui’s history.
The sacred gardens of Maiko, Upcountry
The Sacred Gardens of Maiko are located in the region of Haiku on the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA. This serene sanctuary offers visitors a place of tranquility and reflection amidst the island’s lush landscapes.
The Sacred Gardens of Maiko is a tranquil and spiritual sanctuary located in Maui, Hawaii. These gardens are a serene and harmonious space designed to provide a peaceful escape and a connection to nature. Visitors can explore lush landscapes, meditation areas, and carefully crafted spaces that encourage reflection and contemplation. The gardens are not only a place of natural beauty but also hold significance as a place for inner exploration and renewal.
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Conclusion to visiting Upcountry Maui
In conclusion, a visit to Upcountry Maui promises an enriching and captivating experience that highlights the unique charm and diverse offerings of this elevated region. From the serene town of Makawao, with its artistic ambiance and Paniolo heritage, to the tranquil haven of Haiku, surrounded by lush landscapes and artistic inspiration, each destination offers its own distinct flavor.
Exploring Pukalani reveals a blend of golfing opportunities, local shops, and the opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of lavender fields and scenic vistas. Kula, on the other hand, beckons with its wine tastings, botanical gardens, and the chance to connect with the local community through farmers markets and farm experiences.
The common thread throughout Upcountry Maui is the harmonious coexistence of natural beauty and cultural richness. Whether it’s wandering through lavender-scented gardens, enjoying fresh produce from local markets, or marveling at the breathtaking views from elevated vantage points, Upcountry Maui offers a genuine escape from the ordinary. With a tapestry of experiences that encompass art, agriculture, nature, and community, Upcountry Maui stands as a testament to the diverse and captivating spirit of Maui’s interior.