Maui is much more than beaches and sun. For a family fun non-beach day Go Upcountry for a drive and desert tour!
Have you explored Upcountry Maui? Upcountry is loosely defined as anywhere ‘up the hill’. Town names are Makawao, Haiku, Pukalani, Kula etc. When you need a break from the beach (perhaps because of a painful sunburn), discover a rural side of Maui you perhaps weren’t expectin, or even knew existed. Expect to see cowboys, horses and beef cows; cacti, colorful Eucalyptus trees, poinsettia hedges and beautiful purple Jacaranda trees (they bloom in May).
In addition to cooler weather, u-pick strawberries and pumpkin patches, Upcountry Maui is also known for its three famous bakeries; and desserts! These are my favorite stops for Upcountry dessert!
This Makawao bakery (3674 Baldwin Ave) recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and at first glance looks like a ‘hole in the wall’. Don’t let its appearance fool you. Komoda’s is a local favorite and well known for its malasadas (Portuguese donuts) and cream puffs. It is located at the 4 way stop in Makawao (the corner of Makawao and Baldwin Ave). Word to the wise, go in the morning, by afternoon they are all sold out. Cash-only.
If you are up for a longer drive, perhaps lunch at Bully’s Burgers or the Ulupalakua Ranch, stop for coffee and desert at the very end of Kula (next to the last gas station, just before you drive the winding road to Ulupalakua Ranch). This is another ‘hole in the wall’ with an intriguing coffee tree growing right next to the entrance. ‘Grandma’ started a tradition of roasting her own coffee roughly a 100 years ago – they serve their locally grown and roasted coffee and you can also buy a bag! Grandma’s is known for its amazing deserts but also serves breakfast and lunch. At times they have live music.
An Upcountry restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with an amazing desert display case. Careful – these treats will cost you restaurant prices, but are well worth it. Kula Bistro is located on Lower Kula Road which runs parallel to Kula Hwy. When you drive past Kula Elementary School, take your first left and then back track til you see it on the left. Here is a January 9th article from the Maui Now all about Kula Bistro (http://mauinow.com/2016/01/09/kula-bistro-quality-consistency-community/). Enjoy!
I’d love to hear about your favorite Upcountry spots. Let us know in the comments!