AloeVender was born on Maui, so it was only fitting that I visit the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm on my recent trip to Maui. I have been to Maui many times, but this was my first visit to Ali'i Kula. The farm is high up on Haleakala - about 4,000 feet above sea level. The views from the farm make the trip worth the drive. They charge a very nominal admission fee of $3/person to visit the farm. They recommend reservations, but the day we went (a Sunday in late January), we had no problem getting in without them, although the parking lot was very full.
We started our day early, leaving our condo in Maalaea around 8:00am. A quick stop at Costco for gas, and then we headed up for breakfast at Grandma's Coffee House in Keokea. Grandma's is definitely a highly recommended spot for breakfast and coffee. Go on a weekend, when they server an amazing version of Eggs Benedict served on cornmeal waffles with your choice of meat (I opt for the Mahi Mahi over turkey, bacon or ham). The Bullseye Breakfast (a mound of rice circled with slices of spam and topped with eggs, with a target drawn in ketchup) is also a great choice, but if I happen to be there on a weekend I always go for the Benedict. The line can be long, but the wait is more than worth it. When you get in line, pop up to the front and grab a menu so you are set when it is time to order.
The drive from Grandma's Coffee House to Ali'i Kula is pretty short - maybe 12 minutes. The road into the farm is narrow in spots, so keep your speed down and be careful on the curves.
When you get to the farm, be sure to look for the parasailers above the farm. When the weather conditions are right, you can see many people flying at once. It is an incredible sight!
The farm itself is spread around the grounds, comprising over 13 acres of land. The self-guided tour winds around several loops through gardens highlighting some of the vegetation found on Maui. The self-guided tour takes about 25 minutes (for our group) and is included in the $3 admission to the farm. They also offer a guided walking tour and a motorized cart tour for an additional fee.
The gift store is a must-see on the trip. They have an amazing assortment of lavender products, many are under their own label, but they also have some items produced by other manufacturers (such as Formulary 55). They have several soaps, lotions and moisturizers. I highly recommend the Lavender Gourmet Seasoning! It is fantastic! I also picked up their culinary lavender...I'm not sure how I'm going to use it yet, but I'm sure it will be great!