Love lavender? Want a escape the heat/humidity found at sea level? Looking for great views in tranquil setting? You can't miss the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm on the slopes of Haleakala. As the name suggests, the farm is located in the Kula area of Maui, about 45 minutes from the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport Hotel & 1 hour from the summit of Haleakala. It's a great stop on the way up or down from Haleakala even though it's slightly out of the way on some very narrow, windy roads.
When you first arrive, you'll pull up to a "guard shack" where you'll need to pay an admission fee of $3/person. You'll then need to park in a makeshift gravel parking lot on a steep hill.
But the main draw here are the lavender fields.
If you're lucky, you'll be hit with a lovely scent of lavender the minute you step out of your car, but at other times, the scent can be quite light but still there if you get close to the flowers. But don't forget to look back out over central Maui to admire the amazing view!
So what else do you do here besides admire the view and the flowers? There is garden in the lower area of the farm with various flowers and other plants, and there's even a scavenger hunt! If you complete the hunt, you'll receive a free lavender shortbread cookie. The wife and I love these cookies and make them at home now. Other than that, you can order a picnic (48 hour advanced notice required), bring your own, or snack on a lavender scone with lavender infused drinks like tea, coffee, or lemonade.
To be honest, I didn't care for the scone, the lemonade, the tea, or the brownie. The coffee is a big question mark. I don't drink coffee, but people that do are nearly evenly split between liking it and hating it. Speaking of food, these items are purchased in the gift shop, which is in-between the lavender fields and the gardens.
In the gift shop you'll find a variety of things such as soaps, sachets, aprons, books, and culinary items. Me being me, I decided to try as much of the food items as I could. As mentioned earlier, I didn't care for the brownie or the scone at all. The lilikoi jelly is fine enough, but doesn't have any lavender flavor, and there are better products for less out there. The strawberry pepper jelly is good, but again, no lavender flavor. The lavender honey, on the other hand, is something I found to be pretty good and did buy. I used to love their seasoning mix too, but they changed the mix and I don't care for it as much anymore. What the wife & I did end up stocking up on is the culinary lavender. If you like rosemary, you might like the flavor of lavender and I've used it with fish, pork, and beef so far. We do use it primarily to make lavender shortbread cookies at home too and I'm thinking of attempting to make lavender ice cream, but that's another story!
So is it worth a drive up the hill to Ali'i Kula Lavender and the entry fee? I say yes. You should visit at least once. It's so peaceful, cool, and has such beautiful views, I'd say it's worth it just for that. If your a photo bug like me, the chance to snap away is also a good enough reason to go. Here are some additional photos from our visit... enjoy!