Perfect Day: Land & Sea

Exploring Maui’s Upcountry and North Shore from the ground up.


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

perfect day upcountry & north shore Maui

O‘o Farm 10:30am

Before Maui earned fame as a travel destination, agriculture led the island’s economy. Although largescale farming has dwindled, boutique growers and agritourism operations continue to showcase local fare. For a taste of Maui’s agricultural heritage, start with a tour and lunch at O‘o Farm. Most of the produce grown on this eight-acre farm—forty thousand pounds last year alone—is consumed onsite; the rest is served at O‘o’s sister restaurant Pacific‘O. Begin with an easy walking tour through O‘o’s orchards to learn about the farm’s regenerative growing practices and coffee roasting, before harvesting ingredients that will be used for an al fresco feast.

Ali‘i Kula Lavender 1:45pm

Less than a mile away from O‘o is the family-owned Ali‘i Kula Lavender farm. Set at an elevation of four thousand feet, this aromatic attraction offers one of the most mesmerizing views of the central valley. Explore on your own, or join a guided tour that winds through lavender fields and botanical gardens. The gift shop sells close to one hundred lavender products, including fresh scones and tea.

Pā‘ia via Baldwin Ave. 3:30pm

Each spring Upcountry roads are covered with the lilac-hued blossoms of the jacaranda tree. This seasonal vibrancy is especially lush along Lower Kula and Old Haleakalā highways. Follow one of these roads to reach scenic Baldwin Avenue, which starts in the center of Makawao town and heads north toward Pā‘ia. Spanning just seven miles, Baldwin Avenue is home to several noteworthy religious sites. Makawao Union Church is a stone structure designed by prominent Hawai‘i architect C.W. Dickey; built in 1916, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. One mile farther north is Holy Rosary Catholic Church with gothic architecture, stained glass windows, and a marble statue of St. Damien. At the entrance to Pā‘ia, stop at the Maui Dharma Center and spin the prayer wheel that sits inside a stupa consecrated by the Dalai Lama himself. While in Pā‘ia, grab a picnic dinner at Mana Foods to enjoy at the next stop.;;

Ho‘okipa Beach Park 6:15pm

Ho‘okipa may mean “to show hospitality,” but Ho‘okipa Beach Park isn’t welcoming in every way—its shallow, nearshore reef and strong currents can make it a dangerous place to swim or to learn to surf. But it’s tops for hanging out and watching windsurfing pros or seasoned surfers. Perch along the park’s cliff-side lookout for a view of the action and enjoy your picnic. This salt-sprayed playground is also a gathering place for the beloved honu (green sea turtles) that swim ashore to rest. But remember, love them from a distance. Feeding or touching the honu is totally uncool—and totally illegal.


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