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Upcountry Maui: An Amazing Place to Live with all the Amenities You Could Possibly Ask For

Maui may be globally renowned for its 120 miles of dramatic coastline and array of spectacular beaches, but the enclaves that comprise “Upcountry” are the most splendid parts of the island to live in. Between the region’s verdant, rolling hills, towering, lavender-leafed jacaranda trees, and sweeping, 360-degree vistas, Upcountry has garnered a radiant reputation as the place to call home on an island already overflowing with otherworldly beauty. In other words? It is that remarkable. Here’s why.

A sublime climate

The leeward side of the island, such as Kihei and Lahaina, is perennially sun-splashed and warm, with temperatures skyrocketing into the 90s during the summer months. Meanwhile, the luxuriant and remote East Side — namely, Hana — welcomes rain showers daily and sometimes even hourly.
Upcountry is a blend of these rather extreme weather systems. Towns such as Kula and Pukalani enjoy resplendent sunshine but also cooler, more manageable temperatures, while Hā’iku and Makawao tend towards the wetter side (and have the vegetation to prove it). The climates in these areas offer the perfect conditions for daily living, to say nothing of the impact they can have on your gardening and farming endeavors.

Breathtaking views

Whether you choose a sprawling estate complete with fireplaces and a farm in Upper Kula or an opulent home near the Pukalani Country Club, the views from Upcountry are arguably the best on the island. Why? Because of the Upcountry’s elevation. Located on the breathtaking flanks of Haleakalā, Upcountry rests high above sea level and enables its residents to soak up staggering, panoramic vistas of the Pacific and its outlying islands.

Outstanding schools

Upcountry is home to three of the highest-ranked and most coveted schools on the island: Seabury Hall, Haleakalā Waldorf School, and Carden Academy of Maui. All three are intimate in size but huge on education, just as all three are situated on campuses so lush and stunning they rival a resort’s. Living in proximity to one of these institutions is a near guarantee that your children will be treated to a superb learning experience.

Excellent dining

Upcountry may not have the nightlife of Lahaina’s Front Street or the bevy of bars found in Kihei and Wailea, but that’s part of the point: Residents here prioritize and relish a quieter, more serene style of life.
And yet, Upcountry certainly isn’t at a loss for world-class dining. A morning at O’o Farm translates to sumptuous, hyper-fresh bean-to-cup coffee and delicious frittatas made with the farm’s organic produce, while an evening at Marlow translates to masterfully-crafted, wood-fired pizzas with seasonal toppings ranging from Lapa’au oyster mushrooms to arugula.
Indeed, from the astonishing Japanese fare at Nuka to the seared Mahi Mahi and Kaua’i shrimp bouillabaisse at Hali’imaile General Store — and from the fresh elk burgers at the historic Ulupalakua Ranch Store to the lobster and artichoke fritters at Kula Lodge — Upcountry abounds with a wonderful collection of exquisite restaurants and laidback cafes. When you’re determined to celebrate a special occasion? Aim to score a reservation at Mama’s Fish House in Kū’au a short distance away: the irresistibly romantic waterfront venue was named the second best fine dining restaurant in the United States by Open Table.

Terrific shopping

Luxury shopping is plentiful in Kā’anapali and Wailea, two affluent hamlets roughly an hour (give or take) from Upcountry. In the latter, for example, you’ll find The Shops at Wailea, a posh, open-air plaza teeming with the likes of Tiffany & Co., Prada, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Louis Vuitton, among others.
Upcountry itself, however, has an entirely different vibe. The luxe boutiques that line Makawao’s picturesque downtown district offer high-end, “small batch,” one-of-a-kind fashions. Upscale, sustainable attire is found in spades at The Mercantile, while Pink by Nature boasts several swoon-worthy designers such as Cali Dreaming, Mother Denim, Flook the Label, and Stillwater. If you’re an art aficionado, Makawao (and Upcountry as a whole) flourishes with exquisite fine art galleries. Throughout the year, the island’s ultra-prestigious Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center presents juried shows filled with spellbinding pieces.

First-rate hiking and biking

Sure, the leeward side and North Shore possess stunning beaches. Yet, not only are these places a relatively fast drive away, but Upcountry is also one of the top spots on the island for hiking and biking. For one, Makawao Forest Reserve presents 2,093 verdant acres and trails surrounded by Cook pines and Hala Pepe. Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area, one of Maui's most visually arresting sites, has several trails that wind through redwood forests. The cooler temperatures in the Upcountry also make hiking here all the more enjoyable.

An exceptional farmers’ market

Maui has made incredible strides in the last several years to become more and more sustainable, and Upcountry has some of the best and most prolific farms on the island. The delectable produce harvested in Maui’s volcanic soil is on full display every Saturday morning at the lively and lovely Upcountry Farmers’ Market in Kulamalu Town Center. You’ll find a panoply of locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs here. There is fresh-caught fish, handmade focaccia, sourdough, sweet rolls, and malasadas. You will also find ono dips, macadamia nuts, honey, proteas, orchids, and roses.

Supreme tranquility

Those sunnier sides of the island we mentioned earlier see the lion’s share of the 58,412 tourists visiting Maui daily. Upcountry Maui real estate is the Valley Isle’s best-kept secret. With the exception of Kula Lodge, the retreat center Lumeria, and a handful of Airbnbs and bed & breakfasts, the region doesn’t have resorts or hotels. This purely residential vibe equates to a warm, tight-knit local community, a place where kama’āina (or island residents) can savor the splendors of Maui without noise and distractions. In turn, life here is calm and peaceful, exactly as it should be.

Invest in Upcountry Maui homes for sale

If you’ve recently had the pleasure of experiencing Kula and have been Googling homes for sale in Upcountry Maui, you’re in the right place. The ‘Ohana Real Estate Team specializes in Upcountry Maui real estate and understands its market like few others. Schedule a consultation with them today to discover life in the most extraordinary part of the island.

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