Welcome to Makawao
Slightly inland on East Maui, along the northwestern slope of the Haleakala volcano, sits the Old Hawaiian paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) town, Makawao. Since the 19th-Century, Makawao has been a horseback riding town where cattle were wrangled, and cowboys rode horses everywhere. While the town still has that old-fashioned feeling, it’s developed a thriving artist community as well. With a soulful and eclectic vibe, the Makawao community is packed full of shops, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants that residents enjoy daily.
You won’t find beaches here, as the town is upcountry, but you’ll still find plenty of beauty surrounding you. From pastures and farms to cloud-forested areas, there is a sanctuary-like feeling to this charming town. The center of Makawao features a crossroads with four directions in which you can go to find shopping, dining, and entertainment.
What to Love
Makawao's real estate options maintain the town's small-town feeling while boasting an eclectic and soulful vibe. Residents enjoy being off the beaten path. The annual Fourth of July Makawao Rodeo is a fun event and the largest paniolo competition in Hawaii. It offers residents an excuse to gather and enjoy food and entertainment. The Makawao Forest Reserve is in your backyard and has an assortment of trails.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
With quaint shops, galleries, and cafes in the area, residents have plenty of options for their shopping and dining. A stroll down Baldwin Avenue offers a number of boutiques, such as Holiday & Company, Tribe Maui, Little Tibet, and Designing Wahine.
You’ll also find an assortment of places, like Monarch Collective, that showcase local designers, Maui Hands an art gallery with local designers, and Lumeria Maui a resort and wellness retreat center.
Inside of the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center there’s a gallery with a selection of one-of-a-kind, handmade items from local artists and vendors. If you’re a fan of health and wellness, The Dragon’s Den will quickly become a favorite for its herbs, teas, and more.
There is certainly no shortage of dining options in the area with plenty of quality restaurants in addition to traditional Hawaiian-style food trucks. Casanova has an elegant and welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy traditional Italian selections.
Polli’s Mexican Restaurant, considered an up-country staple and voted Maui’s best Mexican, has a delicious selection of scratch-made Mexican dishes. Quite possibly the resident favorite is T. Komoda Store and its delectable cream puffs, malasadas, and other homemade treats. This shop was established in 1916 and has been serving these delicacies ever since, with people arriving early to ensure they get a taste.
Things to Do
The Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center offers a number of classes and events in addition to the displays of artwork. Of course, there’s also the Makawao History Museum which provides everything you need to know about the town and how they’re striving to keep history alive and preserved.