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Top things to do in Kula

See all 232 things to do in Kula

Things To Do in Kula

The ancient district of Kula makes up the majority of Maui’s Upcountry, an inland area of the island sitting along the western slopes of the Haleakalā volcano. Unlike the tourist hubs of Lahaina and Wailuku, Kula is mostly rolling hills and farmland, home to less than 7,000 people. The sunny days, cool nights, and rich volcanic soil create the perfect conditions for growing the fresh fruit and vegetables that are served in Maui’s top-rated restaurants. In fact, you can just think of the district as one big garden, bursting with aromas of tomatoes, strawberries, lemons, lavender, and orchids. The farm-to-table phenomenon has given way to many incredible ranch tours and tasting experiences, while a drive east along the North Shore will take you into the jungly paradise of heavenly Hana.

Areas & Neighborhoods

Kula Town — The town of Kula is loosely divided in 2 parts—Upper Kula in the higher elevations closer to the volcano, and Lower Kula further to the west.

  • Upper Kula: Upper Kula is centered along Route 377, also known as Kekaulike Avenue. Made mostly of green pastures and eucalyptus groves, there's little development here save for the Kula Botanical Gardens, the Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm, and a couple of roadside markets and flower shops. Visitors will enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and mountainside views at the handful of lodges and cottages that dot the highway. To the north, Piiholo Ranch is a scenic destination where you can enjoy horseback riding and ziplining while looking out over the beautiful blue Pacific.
  • Lower Kula: Running for about 16 miles (26 km) along Highway 37, Lower Kula is a quaint part of town where you'll find much of the region's farms and sugarcane fields, along with a selection of bistros, lodging options, and markets. The town's most notable landmark is the brilliant white Holy Ghost Mission, a 19th-century church given to the islands Portuguese community from the king and queen of Portugal. Roughly 4 miles (6.5 km) to the west of the highway, the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm and Hawaiian Sea Spirits offer tours and tastings of their award-winning cheese and vodka.

Haleakalā National Park — To the east of Kula, Haleakalā National Park is home to the dormant Haleakalā volcano, which stands at towering 10,023 feet (3,055 m). Within the park, you can catch sight of exotic plants, rare birds, and lava fields. Come here in the early morning to see the sunrise over the crater, or at night to watch the sunset in the west. You can also tackle the volcanic slopes by bike or take to new heights with a helicopter landing on the crater. Surrounding the park are numerous forest reserves including Koolau, Hana, Kahikinui, and Kula. Here, you can hike trails through tropical nature preserves to see cascading waterfalls and magnificent coastal views.

What to See in Kula

Kula has a wealth of wonders for the eyes, but if visiting for the first time, you simply can’t miss the chance to see the city and surrounding regions from above. On a full-day tour, soar over Haleakalā National Park in a helicopter, gazing down upon lush forests, coastal cliffs, and the moon-like landscape of the volcano. Back down on ground, finish the day with visits to some of the Upcountry’s top highlights. Cruise through the old plantation town of Paia, browse the galleries that line Makawao’s main road, and stop to tour Kula’s dairy farm and distillery.

Things to Do, Landmarks & Attractions

For Outdoor Adventurers

There’s no end to the outdoor adventure that the Upcountry has to offer. Just outside of Kula, you can zoom through eucalyptus trees on a ancient lava tube. For ocean lovers, Kihei, roughly a 30-minute drive from Kula, offers seaside activities such as surfing lessons, snorkeling, and kayaking. Cowboys-in-the-making will love the chance to put their horse-handling skills to the test with a private lesson at Piiholo Ranch.

For Peace Seekers

Of course, not all of your outdoor excursions have to be so adventurous. On a guided tour, journey your way through the Upcountry’s most stunning farms, taking in tranquil views of fields of lavender, pineapple, citrus, and avocado. For even more serenity, embark on a drive along the famous Road to Hana. Bask in the breathtaking beauty of peaceful forests, postcard-worthy beaches, and majestic waterfalls.

For Foodies

Treat your taste buds to the exotic flavors of Hawaii on a food tour of the historic city of Paia. With a local leading the way, sample island-grown produce such as papayas and rambutans, and culinary creations like Hawaiian shaved iced and macadamia nut pancakes. There’s fun to be had for imbibers, as well. During a visit to the Hali'imaile Distillery, you can sip on a tasting of small-batch brands including Maui Moon Vodka and Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum.