Welcome to Upcountry
The island’s heartland, made up of lush hills and breathtaking mountain views
The term “Upcountry'' refers to much of the Haleakala side of Maui, away from the shoreline. As you ascend into Maui’s Upcountry, you will be mesmerized by the luscious, green hills and misty mountains. The peaceful atmosphere, perfect temperature, and breathtaking views are the norm here. Maui’s Upcountry covers 102 square miles and is home to a number of towns, including Haliimaile, Makawao, Pukalani, Kula, and Ulupalakua.
This region of Maui was once used as stomping grounds for paniolo, also known as Hawaiian cowboys. This culture arose in the 19th century when King Kahmehameha III invited vaqueros from California to teach islanders to wrangle cattle. Today, the Upcountry is still agricultural and residential. Despite being primarily rural, this region of Maui still offers plenty for visitors and adventurers.
What to Love
- A laid-back, peaceful lifestyle
- The great outdoors in your backyard
- Enjoying a staycation at Kula Lodge
Unlike other parts of the island that are tourist-heavy, Upcountry has managed to stay relatively undeveloped and residential. Life in the Upcountry allows you to experience the island in its authentic self and explore this off-the-beaten-track region.
Despite its laid-back atmosphere, Upcountry Maui offers plenty of attractions and excursions. The elevation on the mountainside offers cool temperature and inspiring panoramic views. The tight-knit communities are full of idyllic pastures, charming neighborhoods, unique farm tours, and lovely botanical gardens.
Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment
Kick back and relax by enjoying a staycation at Kula Lodge! Nestled in close proximity to Haleakala National Park, Kula Lodge offers romantic cottages. With rustic elements and luscious gardens, you can experience an enchanted getaway. You can also stop for dinner at Kula Lodge’s Garden Terrace Restaurant for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Enjoy locally sourced, innovative cuisine and amazing views while dining al fresco.
In the mood for some delicious, homemade Italian food? Be sure to check out Casanova Italian Restaurant. Established in 1986, this restaurant has consistently been voted Best Italian in Maui. Meanwhile, Hali’imaile General Store is the place to go if you’re craving Hawaiian food. This upscale eatery is the go-to place for Hawaiian regional, farm-to-table cuisine.
For a fun-filled evening out, Makawao offers an array of entertainment options and exciting activities. This vibrant town is one of the most visited towns in Maui’s Upcountry and is filled with boutiques, gift shops, restaurants, and entertainment opportunities.
Things to Do
While being majority residential, Upcountry still offers an array of exciting opportunities and activities. Start your day off with coffee and fresh pastries from Grandma’s Coffee House. This charming shop has been around since 1918 and is loved for its comfort food, take-out treats, and fresh roasted, organic Maui-grown coffee. Spend a sunny day outdoors picking at Ali'i Kula Lavender. This sprawling farm grows over 45 varieties of lavender, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Be sure to browse through the gift shop and all the lavender-scented products.
Embark on a day trip to Ocean Organic Vodka, located in Kula. Here, you can learn more about sustainable farming practices, tour the 80-acre farm, or enjoy a guided tasting experience. While drop-ins are welcome, reservations are highly encouraged.
Kick off your Saturday morning at the Upcountry Farmers Market. A favorite among locals, this market offers a wide variety of products, ranging from leafy greens and vegetables to fresh, tropical fruits, homemade bread, cold-pressed juice, and much more!
Upcountry is home to a handful of top-notch educational institutions, including:
- Seabury Hall
- Kamehameha Schools
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