What to See and Do in Makawao
Makawao Town – Sightseeing, Shopping, Glass Blowing
Makawao is a town that Maui tourists love almost as much as Lahaina. It’s on the slope of Haleakala, on the way to Upcountry. To get to Makawao, you have to go first to Kahului (near the airport), then take the Hana Highway to the Haleakala Highway (37), to Makawao Road. You can zoom in on the Maui Map for details.
Makawao is loaded with small local shops and boutiques selling mostly clothes and art, plus some souvenirs. The most famous shop in town is Hot Island Glass, where you can watch glass blowing most days, and buy beautiful glass art. My wife’s favorite store here is Sherri Reeve’s gallery of pastel paintings, clothes, and household accessories. The best variety of artists and types of art and accessories are at Maui Hands. And definitely stop to see Jordanne Gallery in the center of town, where you’ll find her usually painting a Maui scene. Makawao is Maui’s cowboy town, so there are a couple shops with cowboy gear, and there is even a rodeo every July. Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for cowboy, so you may also hear this called a paniolo town.
As you explore Makawao Town, be sure to stop by The Maui Cookie Lady’s storefront on Baldwin Avenue. The Maui Cookie Lady has attracted tons of attention in recent years for her unique cookie creations. Her Makawao flagship is an attraction in itself, inspired by all things whimsy and brimming with one-of-a-kind local treats. In addition to the famous cookies, you’ll find Maui-made caramels, chocolates, candy apples, fudge, hand-dipped ice cream bars, and countless other creative goodies. The Maui Cookie Lady is a great place to shop for locally made gifts and souvenirs to bring back home.
Two excellent restaurants in Makawao are Casanova, with very good Italian lunches and dinners, and Freshies with great breakfast and lunch. A very popular bakery for the best sweet treats is T Komoda.
Up the road from Makawao in the Kulamalu Town Center is Mahalo Aleworks. At this time, Mahalo Aleworks is Upcountry’s only brewery. It’s a great place to try locally brewed beer, made with fruits and spices grown right here in Upcountry. The taphouse also has incredible sunset and bicoastal views, and it has already grown to be a favorite watering hole among locals. As far as food goes, the brewery does not have a kitchen.
Still, guests can order gourmet sausages from the Upcountry Sausage Co. cart located in the brewery or wood-fired sourdough pizzas from Restaurant Marlow next door.
While you are in this part of Maui, it would be a good day to also see the nearby town of Paia.
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