Makawao
Makawao

Makawao

Maui, Hawaii

The basics

Many visitors stop at Makawao on the way to or from Haleakala National Park, but the quaint town offers plenty of reasons to linger. Explore the area’s ranching past at the Makawao History Museum, or visit a working ranch. You can also take advantage of cooler temperatures in the upcountry and hike around the Waihou Springs Forest Reserve or horseback ride the trails in the Makawao Forest Reserve. Nature lovers can visit the fragrant Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm.

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Things to know before you go

  • You’ll find the majority of shops and art galleries on Baldwin Avenue and Makawao Avenue.

  • The Maui Upcountry Islander bus stops in and around Makawao.

  • Parking can be difficult except in the municipal lot on Makawao Avenue.

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How to get there

Makawao is located in Upcountry Maui, on the slopes of Haleakala. It’s around 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of Kahului. Take the Haleakala Highway and turn on Makawao Avenue. There’s limited parking in town. It’s also possible to reach Makawao by public bus. Some sightseeing tours to Haleakala also stop here.

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When to get there

You can visit Makawao year-round. Its upcountry location means that the weather is generally cooler than the coast, which makes it a good escape from hot summer temperatures. Visit on Wednesday mornings for its popular Farmers Market, and on the third Friday of the month for the Third Friday Makawao town party. The island’s biggest rodeo is held here on the Fourth of July, along with a parade through town.

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Where to find sweet treats

Despite its small size, Makawao is home to two popular sweet shops. T. Komoda Store & Bakery is famous for its cream puffs, malasadas, and donuts on sticks—note that these often sell out before 10am. The Maui Cookie Lady is known for its gigantic cookies in traditional and tropical flavors, along with other treats including caramels and local honey.

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