Maui Tropical Plantation, situated at the base of Waikapu Valley on Maui, has been a part of the local community for over 30 years. Open since 1984, many locals remember the plantation as more of a theme park for children or keiki. There was free admission, tram rides, animals and exhibits based around Hawaiian culture.
Maui Tropical Plantation – Family Recreation
These days the plantation is still free admission and has become one of the top tourist attractions on Maui. The tram tour still runs daily and the grounds are absolutely stunning. It is great place to bring the family and instantly be surrounded by lush, colorful and vibrant agriculture.
At the entrance of the plantation is the Maui Tropical Plantation Country Store which carries chilled, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, coffee, gifts, souvenirs, jewelry, food products and clothing. Next to the country store is The Scoop, a small ice cream stand that also offers smoothies, shaved ice, and “shaka pops”.
For folks staying in South Maui vacation rentals, it’s only a short 15-20 min drive to Maui Tropical Plantation. For those, staying on Maui West Shore, it would take twice as long, but the drive is scenic and is totally worth it.
Maui Tropical Plantation – Farm Driven Food
A large portion of the plantation is Kumu Farms which is comprised of over 60 acres of farm land that is being used to grow 40+ varieties of crops including herbs, pineapple, taro, mango, avocado, eggplant, sweet potatoes, carrots, fennel, beets and much more. Kumu Farms not only supplies produce to the restaurant located on site, The Mill House, but also to other Maui restaurants, other islands and mainland as well. They are famous for their non-GMO SunRise papaya which is shipped all over Hawaii and mainland U.S.
Maui Tropical Plantation – Coffee Roasting
Also located on property is Mill House Roasting Company. The coffee beans are grown at the plantation and sourced from other farms on Maui. They are roasted in small batches daily and served in the coffee house which offers a full menu of coffee drinks as well as tea, kombucha and pastries. Coffee beans are also available for purchase and are exclusively grown and roasted on property.
Maui Tropical Plantation – Zip-lining
For those seeking a little adventure there are two zip-lining companies on property. The first, Maui Zipline offers more of a novice experience suitable for families and children as young as 5. The ziplines are attached to towers that are dispersed throughout the property, allowing guests to view the grounds from above, fly past the restaurant and even soar over the pond overlooking Waikapu Valley. Flyin Hawaiian Zipline is a much more extensive course where guests are taken up the mountain on ATV’s for tours that last between 4-5 hours, reaching speeds of 60+ MPH, stretching across the West Maui Mountains.
The Mill House Restaurant
Last but not least is The Mill House Restaurant. Upon it’s grand opening in early 2016, The Mill House Restaurant has continued to push the boundaries of farm-driven cuisine on Maui. It is open for lunch, happy hour, dinner, and a special Saturday Chef’s Table event – an interactive dinner experience. What makes The Mill House special is the Executive Chef, Jeff Scheer’s, dedication to sourcing all meat and produce locally as much as possible, and supporting local farmers and businesses. The restaurant is serving the highest quality product available presented with integrity and cooking techniques traditional and modern. With options for every member of the family including keiki, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free individuals, The Mill House provides an experience unlike any other on Maui.
Saturday Maui Chef’s Table
The Mill House Restaurant at Maui Tropical Plantation offers a Chef’s Table every Saturday night. The event consists of an interactive tasting menu style dinner hosted by a few of the chefs at The Mill House.
This multi-course dinner extravaganza with open kitchen and communal seating is a unique culinary experience, that can be a highlight to every vacation or celebration. The chef will speak about the local farms from which they source ingredients, talk about the courses, and entertain you with culinary tips and stories.
So next time you find yourself on our beautiful island, plan a day at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Bring some left over bread to feed the ducks, grab a cup of coffee and a snack, go on the tram tour, explore the grounds and end your day at the restaurant watching sunset from the lanai. The views themselves will be worth the trip.
Maui Travel Guide
To make your Maui vacation an unforgettable experience, read this Maui Travel Guide, So much information is packed there for your quick and convenient review.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Rose started culinary school and cooking in professional kitchens at age 23. Upon finishing school and an inspiring trip to San Francisco, she decided to pack her things and move to the city that would ultimately be the start of an incredible cooking and lifelong journey.
For the next 5 years, she trained in some of the most celebrated kitchens in the Bay Area including:
– Benu (stagiaire) by Corey Lee, San Francisco
– Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller, Yountville, CA
– Boulevard by Nancy Oakes, San Francisco
– Mourad by Mourad Lahlou, San Francisco
In May of 2016 she became the Executive Sous Chef for The Mill House located at Maui Tropical Plantation on Maui, Hawaii. In these kitchens she developed a background in savory, pastry, baking and bread production.
An advocate of the slow food movement with a love for strong, bold flavors, fresh produce and rustic cuisine, she believes that food should be comforting and memorable, shared and soulful.
Currently, Rose works as a private chef in the Bay Area with a focus on plant based cooking.