Posts Tagged ‘Kula’


Family photo at Alii Kula Lavender Farm. Just look at the views! Beautiful.

Upcountry Maui has to be one of the most beautiful places in all Hawaii. Small towns like Pukalani, Haliimaile, Makawao, and Kula, that define the area on the slopes of Haleakala offer a glimpse back in time, each with a distinct personality and charm. Art galleries, restaurants, bakeries, and locally owned retail shops are what you’ll find here. Costco and Walmart don’t exist in Upcountryland. Crisp, cool mountain air keep things comfortable. The spectacular scenery alone is worth the drive.

We spend a lot of time Upcountry when we visit Maui since we stay with family living there. On our recent vacation to the Valley Isle, we revisited some of our favorite places. Here’s the photos…

If you’ve not been to Alii Kula Lavender Farm, you need to go. It’s a peaceful oasis with acres of manicured lavender fields and panoramic views of Maui’s south shore. It also smells really nice when you step outside of your car.


Here they serve delicious lavender scones and tea. The patio with tables and chairs offers a relaxing setting to enjoy both.


The gift shop here is wonderful with a wide variety of lavender products. The shampoo and conditioner are great for humans, while our family pets seem to love the speciality animal products.


And this view never gets old.

Just down the road from the lavender farm you’ll find Kula Country Farms. This small roadside store offers up fresh and delicious produce from the area. The Kula Strawberries for $3/container are always a winner…sweet and juicy. We like stopping by to pick-up vegetables and fruits to last us our time on Maui.


Here’s just a few things we scored from Kula Country Farms. The beets were heavenly. Everything so fresh.


Ensen enjoyed pretending he was a paniolo and got all of us to jump on the horse with him for pics. Yeeehaaaaw!

As lovers of cheese, visit Upcountry wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Surfing Goat Dairy. The kids enjoy petting the goats and roaming the area. Us adults love sampling the cheeses and talking story with the Kafsack’s when they aren’t busy milking the goats. The feta is a favorite of ours, but there’s all kinds of styles and spreads to choose from. They also have a lunch menu in case you’re hungry. You won’t be disappointed.


Ensen once again hamming it up for the camera. This goat nearly gave him a free haircut.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of amazing Upcountry Maui adventures to be had. Watching the sunrise and sunset atop Haleakala and hiking the crater is another adventure to consider. Tedeschi Winery and Ulupalakua are just a few more miles up the hill.

What are some of your favorite Upcountry Maui spots? I’m always looking for a new experience the next time we visit.

-NGK

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Haleakala Braised Lamb and Kula Tomato Ragu over Handcut Pasta from Market Fresh Bistro in Makawao – Just incredible! It takes three days to braise this beautiful piece of lamb and the results are self evident. Tender, flavorful, and served on a bed of delicious homemade pasta. If it’s on the menu, I highly recommend ordering it. The farm to fork experience here with friends Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands and PR guru Charlene Kauhane made the meal even more special. Menu doesn’t get much fresher than the one here.

We recently took a much needed vacation to Maui for a few days of rest, relaxation, fun, family, friends, exploration and of course eating! And boy did we eat well enjoying a couple family dinners in Kelly’s aunty’s garage in Wailuku, while making the most of the remaining time noshing at new and familiar eateries around the island. I managed to document the entire eating adventure on Foodspotting, however, for this post I decided to reduce it down to the 12 favorite things I ate on the Valley Isle. Tasaka’s Guri Guri Ice Cream would have made list had it not been for the sad fact that they were closed the entire time we were there. 😦 As was Sam Sato. But I digress. Let’s get to the eating.


Teri Beef and Chicken Katsu Plate from Cafe 808 in Kula – A favorite stop of ours for a plate lunch whenever we’re exploring upcountry Maui. Solid food, casual atmosphere, and guaranteed to fill you up. Come hungry!


Strawberries from Kula Country Farms in Kula – Always fun to stop by this roadside market to pick up fresh fruits and veggies. On this day, we picked up some strawberries which were so sweet and juicy. I also managed to snag some delicious beets which were roasted and devoured at dinner. NOM!


Pepperoni Pizza from The Outrigger Pizza Company in Pukalani – I was hoping I’d find a food truck on Maui and it didn’t take long to stumble upon this wood fire mobile pizza oven in the Long’s Drugs parking lot up in Pukalani. Serving up made to order pizzas using the freshest ingredients and cooked in under 90 seconds, I didn’t hesitate to jump in line to order. I liked the texture and flavor of the crust and the tomato sauce and toppings were ono. You can find the oven upcountry on Wednesdays. Check website for business hours.


Cream Horns from Stillwell’s Bakery and Cafe in Wailuku – All I can say is you need this! Creamy custard surrounded by flakey pastry dough and dipped in chocolate. While this would make anyone an instant hero at any party, these also make great omiyage for family and friends…if you’re traveling to the neighbor islands.


Garlic Noodles from Star Noodle in Lahaina – This place was another highly recommended stop on our eating expedition and I’m glad we stopped by. Handmade noodles in a delicious garlic sauce and topped with garlic bits and green onions…need I say more? I didn’t think so. I could eat this again, and again, and again, and again. If you’re hungry, you’ll want to order the large. Sharing optional.


Stick Donuts and Cream Puffs from Komoda Bakery in Makawao – Sometimes you just crave something familiar and comforting. This is a great place to find it. Nothing fancy. Just great tasting and satisfying pastries to start the day.


Mountain Apples from some friend’s tree – One of the real treats of the trip was snacking on fresh mountain apples from one of our aunty’s friend’s tree. I hadn’t had one of these in years and biting into one brought back memories of growing up on the Big Island. If you can get your hands on some at a market or a friendly neighbor’s yard, don’t pass up the opportunity.


Peter’s Signature Maui Cattle Co. Burger from Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea – Who doesn’t love a good burger and this one is a winner! Great flavor and toppings. The only thing is I wish it came with fries (you need to order that ala carte). I’ve been a fan of Chef Peter Merriman since eating at his original restaurant in Waimea on Hawaii Island. When I heard about his new restaurant in Wailea, I knew we had to go. It is an impressive space with the scent of the wood burning oven wafting through the entire dining room. The menu is focused on local and sustainable ingredients and it’s evident in the quality of the food. A great place for a casual lunch or a romantic dinner. Oh, and there 36 handcrafted beers on tap…served at 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Awesome!


Fresh Opihi – This was definitely a highlight of our vacation. It also the reason why family parties are so fun. You never know what’s going to be served. So fresh, so delicious, so many in my tummy.


Chili Fried Chicken from Pukalani Superette in Pukalani – I’ve heard great things about the bentos at this place, but never had the chance to try them until this trip. Believe the hype. The chili fried chicken was flavorful, crispy and finger licking good. So was the chow fun. Get there early though as things can run out by mid-morning. A great stop for grub before heading up to Haleakala.


Pork Chops from Tiffany’s Bar & Grill in Wailuku – Just look at those pork chops…don’t you just want to lick our screen? Another family favorite for great food and good times. Reminds me of the Original Side Street in…no frills when it comes to looks, but the food is delicious and the menu is huge. Go check ’em now go!

And there you have it. There’s so many great places to eat on Maui I wish I had more time…and money. Please share your favorite spots to grab a bite and why. I’m already working on my list for the next visit. Until then, eat well.

-NGK