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A bucolic scene at Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula, Hawaii.

, Surfing Goat Dairy

Why hit a beach when you can eat goat cheese?

  • Article by: KERRI WESTENBERG
  • Star Tribune
  • February 15, 2013 - 2:32 PM

That question is not rhetorical. In Maui recently, I spent a delightful day “Upcountry,” where I visited a goat dairy, a lavender farm and a lodge with a brick, wood-fired oven and views of the distant ocean. I didn’t miss the beach for a minute.

Most chilled Minnesotans go to Hawaii to warm their blood in the sun, and I lolled on the beach plenty during my Maui trip. In Upcountry, though, I wore my fleece and donned a scarf. But my day of driving on curvy mountain roads — past pineapple fields, ranches and rusted-out sugar factories — stands out.

My experience is akin to that of Jackie Crosby’s, the author of this week’s Travel story who discovered Oahu by hiking its hills and remote beaches. I found that by exploring the places many visitors ignore, I got a deeper view of Maui. Deeper — and more amusing.

Who wouldn’t be tickled by a goat bleating from atop a landlocked surfboard? At Surfing Goat Dairy, where boards are arranged as jungle gyms for the four-legged kids, you can take a tour of the operation or simply enjoy the green fields, adorable creatures and cheese samples (www.surfinggoatdairy.com). From there, I headed to Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, where paths wind through lavender fields and gardens, and visitors can enjoy lavender tea and scones on the deck of a cottage and shop in the gift store (www.aliikulalavender.com).

At my final stop, Kula Lodge, my family and I devoured wood-fired pizzas and took in the great view. We were so impressed that the next time we’re lucky enough to get to Maui, we’ll spend our first night Upcountry at the lodge (www.kulalodge.com). Then, as winter-weary Minnesotans, we’ll hit the beach.

 

Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com, and follow her on twitter @kerriwestenberg.

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