Situated on the North West slope of Mt Halekala, you’ll find the delightful town of Makawao. If you wish to see a different side to Maui from the resorts and beaches then head to this old paniolo (cowboy) town with its unique upcountry vibe.
A happy hour or so can be spent wondering up and down the town which is centered around the intersection of Baldwin and Makawao Avenue. Here you will find a variety of boutiques and stores selling quaint household accessories, souvenirs and clothes. There is free parking in front of the shops along Baldwin Avenue (although they can fill up fast!)
Makawao is known for its art community and you’ll find a range of artists here. Enjoy watching them in action, and pick up bespoke keepsakes from their shops.
Eating and Drinking
Makawao has a variety of good restaurants to choose from. You’ll find the famous Makawao Steak House here, with locally raised and grown natural food, as well as Pollis a well-loved, easy going Mexican restaurant with a buzzing atmosphere. We also like the yummy pizza and carafes of wine at Casanova Italian Restaurant.
If you’re not stopping by for a meal, but fancy a brief sit down then try Sip Me, a charming coffee shop which not only sells great coffee and tea but also has a variety of tasty snacks to choose from.
And finally you can’t mention Makawao without mentioning T Komoda bakery. This 100 year old food store has queues for its cream puffs, malasadas and other delicious baked goods. Best in the morning when fresh…but be prepared for crowds.
Cowboys and Rodeos
Yes, that’s right Makawao is known for its cowboys! Much of the land surrounding Makawao is ranch land and you’ll see traces of cowboy in the look and feel of Makawao town.
Every year on the 4th of July, Makawao hosts Hawaii’s largest rodeo event. You’ll be able to watch bull riding, calf roping, bronc riding and much more! The streets of Makawao also close down for the Hawaiian Wild West Parade featuring beauty queens and rodeo royalty.
What else is there to do in Makawao?
Makawao means “eye of the forest”, and there are some great walks you can do in the nearby forest land. There are two good options for hikes: The Kahakapao Loop Trail which is open to bikers and hikers alike, or the Waihou Springs Forest Reserve which is only for hikers. Enjoy shady walks through Maui’s luscious eucalyptus and pine trees.
On the edge of Makawao you’ll find an excellent zipline course at Piiholo Ranch. This is a great activity for adults and kids alike, and with 4-abreast ziplines you can even fly alongside your family and friends! The views are incredible, taking you above tree tops and over gulches. Read about our experience ziplining at Piiholo Ranch
Have you visited Makawao? Share your favorite things to do with us in the comments!