Located in upcountry Maui on the slopes of Haleakalā, Makawao is a charming little town with a big history. Here you’ll find many paniolo (cowboy), who have been wrangling cattle in Maui’s upland fields since the late 19th century.
The Makawao Rodeo held annually on the 4th of July is Hawaiʻi’s largest paniolo competition and a great family friendly activity. Makawao is a charming town to visit any time of year, though, especially if you’re heading to or from the peak of Haleakalā. Book a convenient and affordable flight to Maui today, and while you’re on the island, be sure to check out these five awesome activities and destinations in Makawao:
1. T. Komoda Store and Bakery
Locals and visitors alike flock to T. Komoda’s Store and Bakery for melt in your mouth donuts and cream puffs. The family-run bakery has been in business since 1916, and their cream puffs, stick donuts, and other tasty treats have been perfected in the 100 years since. Make sure to come early, because there will be a line, and these sweet treats will sell out!
2. Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center
Founded in 1932, the Hui No’eau Arts Center brings together Hawaiʻi’s vibrant arts community in a stunning setting overlooking the West Maui Mountains. The center is situated on the beautiful grounds of the Kaluanui Estate, which was built in 1917. Since the 1930s, the property has grown into a vibrant arts community with classes and artist studios ranging from glassblowing to painting. Visitors can explore the grounds on a self-guided tour and peek into the studios, or take a guided tour to get familiar with the amazing plant life of Kaluanui. There are over 70 specimens of plants and trees on the property! Follow up your tour with a gourmet picnic.
3. Hali’imaile General Store
Head to Hali’imaile General Store for acclaimed Hawaiian cuisine in a sweet plantation setting. Chef Bev Gannon brings diners a menu of eclectic American food with Asian overtones at this popular spot. Seafood lovers will find something special at “the Store,” from coconut seafood curry to macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi.
4. Makai Glass
Stop by the stunning Makai Glass studio and shop for unique sculptures inspired by Hawaii’s sea life and volcanic formations. With live demonstrations of molton glass being turned into beautiful keepsakes of the island culture, you’ll want to take a souvenir home with you.
5. Hali‘imaile Distilling Company
Established in 2010 amongst the sugarcane and pineapple fields of Makawao, Hali’imaile Distilling Company makes small batches of “Hawaiʻi in a bottle.” There’s a spirit for everyone here, from Maui Moon Vodka to Paniolo Whiskey. Come by for a tour of the distillery and to learn about the unique approach to making world class spirits. A tasting is included too, so you can sample the goods before deciding which one is your favorite.