Perfect Day Upcountry

Follow your local guide and trade the holiday hustle and bustle for an Upcountry itinerary filled with leisurely discoveries.


Story by Lehia Apana | Illustration by C.M. Butzer

perfect day upcountry maui

Freshies Maui

8 a.m. While the rest of Makawao town eases into the day, fuel up with a hearty breakfast at this garden café in the shade of a sprawling Argentinian coral tree. With options like huevos rancheros, French toast, and housemade biscuits and gravy, it feels like Sunday brunch any day you arrive.

Haku Maui

10 a.m. Take the winding, bamboo-lined path that leads to the floral wonderland that is Haku Maui, where local girl Britney Texeira crafts Hawaiian-style headpieces that embody elegance and aloha. Join one of several workshops she conducts throughout the month or schedule a private session, which includes a palette of floral greenery, about two hours of expert instruction, and a handmade adornment to take home.

Ulupalakua Ranch Store

1 p.m. Flanked by sweeping ocean and mountain views, the serpentine drive to this out-of-the-way lunch spot is a destination unto itself. Ulupalakua Ranch Store is in the heart of paniolo (cowboy) country, and this quaint outpost serves legendary burgers made from venison, beef, lamb and elk raised a stone’s throw away. While you wait, browse the paniolo-themed gear and gifts, then grab a seat at a picnic table and enjoy lunch with a view.


2:15 p.m.  Stroll across the road to Maui’s winery for the 2:15 p.m. Old Jail Tasting. Sample exclusive bottlings in the building that served as the office of James Makee, the whaling captain who founded Rose Ranch—later Ulupalakua Ranch—in the mid-1800s. (The Makee family hosted lavish events at the ranch, and rowdy partygoers were reportedly sent to the building’s cellar “jail” to sober up.) Reservations are required for the Old Jail Tasting, but sips are available throughout the day at the King’s Cottage, built in the 1870s for David Kalākaua, the affable Hawaiian royal known as Hawai‘i’s “Merrie Monarch.” Grab a map at the King’s Cottage and enjoy a relaxed self-guided tour of the storied property.

Sun Yat-sen Park

5 p.m. This small but scenic park commemorates the life of Dr. Sun Yat-sen—known as “the father of modern China”—and his ties to Maui. Bronze statues and displays offer a self-guided history lesson set in nature. Located along Kula Highway at Kama‘ole Road

Kula Bistro

6 p.m. Italian comfort food shines at this beloved Upcountry eatery, where you can also BYOB. Now’s the time to uncork your favorite MauiWine; or visit Morihara Store across the street for beer or wine to pair with your meal. Cheers to a Perfect Day!


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