There is so much to do on Maui including beaching, snorkeling, eating, surfing, and more! However, these areas can get crowded from time to time and you may just want to get away from it all. A visit to Upcountry Maui will help you to get above it all. The areas of Makawao, Haiku, Kula, Pukalani, and Ulupalakua make up the Upcountry region of Maui and are home to amazing hikes, beautiful waterfalls, and bi-coastal views that will etch their way into your memory.  Get more of a local feel for the island with these 5 Things To Do In Upcountry Maui.

Upcountry Maui Activities


1. Makawao Forest Reserve

Escape the beach crowds—and give your sun-kissed skin a rest—by heading towards lusher parts.

Makawao Forest Reserve—a striking park tucked into the northeastern countryside 2,500 feet above sea level—boasts Koa trees that climb into the sky and copses of musky eucalyptuses.

Makawao Forest Reserve

Bike riders can find their thrills on single and double-track trails, while the Kahakapao Loop Trail presents five idyllic miles of native plant species (and the garrulous birds who sing out from them).


2. Oʻo Farm

Hawaii may import 90% of its food but one look at its farms will remind you that the island’s agricultural scene is absolutely thriving.

One farm that embodies it all? Oʻo—an organic orchard tucked onto the slopes of Kula that presents eight and a half acres of sustainably maintained land and produce.

OO farm Maui

Started by a pair of surfing pals in 2000, this jewel grows everything from stone fruit to anise (and supplies some of the best restaurants on the island).

Head upcountry for their Forage & Feast excursion, which gives guests the chance to pick their own produce before a meal is created from the harvest. Crazy about coffee? Sign up for their Seed to Cup Coffee Tour, where visitors receive in-depth lessons on the farm’s roasting process—and what constitutes the perfect cappuccino.


3. Paia Souvenir Shopping

Back in the day—as in the 19th and early 20th centuries—Paia served as a plantation camp for the myriad laborers at the Paia Sugar Mill, at one point housing a fifth of the island’s population.

Paia Maui

Today, the plantation quarters may be nothing but a memory, but what’s remained is the town’s notable diversity. Located on the North Shore and often referred to as the “Windsurfing Capital of the World,” Paia’s varied shops and restaurants reflect its eclecticism. Browse discriminating art galleries filled with blown glass and one-of-a-kind jewelry, find a trendy hat or top at the aptly-named Alice in Hulaland, or score shades and a gorgeous bikini at Maui Girl & Co.

Best part yet? When you’re done gathering souvenirs, you can kick up your feet at one of the village’s excellent eateries. One to try? Café de Amis, where the beer is cold, the curries are hot, and the crepes are tasty.


4. Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm

Where the Lahaina Pali trail is arid and harsh, Upcountry Maui—and the home of Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm—is welcoming and mild.

lavender farm Maui

Frequently compared to California’s wine country, the pastoral meadows on Haleakala’s upper slopes have a calming effect—no vino required—especially on this gem of a farm, where a labyrinth of lavender (as in 55,000 plants and 45 different varieties) looks out upon incredible views of the island.

The brainchild of organic farmer Aliʻi Chang, the orchard also exhibits an array of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs, as well as a charming café that serves—wait for it—lavender-infused lattes.


5. Helicopter Tour

Stunning scenery overflows across Maui County, but some of its most astonishing spots can only be accessed by a chopper.

(And what spots they are—from the vertiginous sea cliffs of Molokai to the colossal waterfalls within the West Maui Mountains.)

Maui helicopter tour

Maui Helicopter Tours gives guests intimate views of these beauties aboard crafts that blend luxury with safety. State-certified tour guides provide eye-opening lessons on Maui’s geography, history, and culture, and with tours that include Haleakala, Hana, West Maui, and Molokai, you’re sure to find a trip that’ll leave you slack-jawed.


Check out more Maui Activities.

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