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Perfect Upcountry Maui Day

This is Heaven on Earth! With its eucalyptus-scented breezes, high elevation, thriving art scene and gorgeous botanical gardens, Maui’s Upcountry is an enchanting section of the island that is beloved by residents and visitors alike.

The Upcountry region covers about 102 square miles and includes the areas of Kula, Makawao, Haliimaile, and Pukalani. Check out how we think the perfect Upcountry Maui day should go.

Get The Day Started Right

The perfect start to any morning is with a good breakfast and great early morning vibes! Luckily, Upcountry has a variety of breakfast options with everything from charming cafes to traditional sit down restaurants. Here are some of our favorite picks.

  • Komoda Store & Bakery: With more than 100 years in business, you can easily say Komoda Store Bakery is a living legend and Maui institution. Located at the top of Baldwin Avenue (in Makawao), Komoda Bakery easily anchors the surrounding Makawao Town and creates plenty of foot traffic throughout the town because parking is so hard to find! My favorite is donut stick, but their butter rolls, cream puffs, and donuts are also worth a try!
  • La Provence: Tucked away on a cute little Kula hillside, the garden atmosphere is reminiscent of its counterpart region in France that this cafe is named after. Mainly flying under the radar and a got to spot for Maui residents, you’ll be in a treat for their wonderful benedicts, delectable french toast, airy crepes and sweetly perfect baked goods.

Get Your Heart Going

Known for rolling hills, lush forestation, and Haleakala, Upcountry is perfect for adventurers looking to explore Maui’s natural beauty. With dozens of options for beginner, intermediate, and expert hiking trails, you will be able to find one suitable to your liking.

  • Thompson Road (beginner): An island favorite, Thompson Road is the perfect place to take a leisurely weekend stroll. It’s a hidden gem about an hour off the beaten and path from the major resort areas like Wailea and Makena. Located in Keokea near the Ulupalakua (a couple miles past upper Kula). It’s about a 3 mile walk round trip with incredible vistas everywhere you look.
  • Waihou Spings Olinda (intermediate): Tucked away high above Makawao and just below the cloud line of Mount Haleakala at 3,820 feet is the Waihou Spring Trail or Olinda Forest. Spanning an 186 acre grove of pine trees, is a loop trail that provides easy and serene walking among the songs of birds and cool mountain air.
  • Sliding Sands (Expert): Likened to the planet Mars, this is easily one of the prettiest hikes on Maui. It will be a true test for hikers as this hike is no walk in the park. Starting at the summit of Haleakala, hikers will descend more than 2500 feet in the first four miles. Be sure to do more research before attempting this hike!

Lunch at Kula’s Not So Hidden Gem

Since 2012, Kula Bistro has been thriving with a packed house that can sit up to 60. Head chef and owner, Luciano Zanon believes it’s the fresh ingredients, consistent quality, and excellent service that is responsible for Kula Bistro’s tremendous triumph. One can make a very convincing case that it might even be Maui’s best Italian restaurant! P.S., they’re also BYOB with no corkage fee.

Enjoy Maui’s Only Winery

The Tedeschi Winery in Ulupalakua is the only winery in Maui due to its coveted climate and acres of land available to growing grapes. Since the mid 70’s, the Tedeschi Winery by Ulupalakua Ranch has been known for its best kept secret, the  local production of fantastic bottle of wine. Tucked away on 23 acres of the southern slopes of Ulupalakua, the rich volcanic soils provide the perfect foundation for winemaking vines. 

Wrap Up With Upcountry’s Best Fine Dining

Before the farm-to-table movement in Hawaii took off, chef Bev Gannon has been perfecting her craft as the “beacon” of Hawaii Regional cuisine since 1988. Located on the lower slopes of Haleakala sits Hali’imaile General Store, Maui’s favorite home town restaurant nestled in the pineapple fields of the low rolling hills of Haleakala. Chef Gannon shares her “elegant but unpretentious” fare comprised of ingredients from local farmers, served by an excellent staff in digs inspired by the pineapple plantations.

Contact a Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Specialist


The views from Ho’olei 

Please consider me to be your trusted Maui real estate and lifestyle adviser. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Don’t hesitate to call me for your any of your Maui real estate needs, I would be honored to assist you in your home search.


Anthony Sayles R(S)


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