Makawao Town Travel Guide
One of the few largely residential areas on resort dominated Maui is the town of Makawao. It is located further inland than most of Maui’s more popular towns, southeast from Kahului. If you’re passing through Makawao, perhaps on your way to Haleakala, be sure to stop at the legendary town bakery!
Aerial view of Makawao and Pukalani | Photo by Forest and Kim Starr
Makawao is part of any area known as “upcountry” which is known for its ranch land and agriculture. Makawao is even considered by many to be the center of upcountry Maui. People in this area might call themselves Paniolo, which essentially means Hawaiian cowboy.
Makawao’s weather patterns don’t conform to the typical Hawaiian wet and dry seasons. From April to October, daily highs sit between 76 and 80 degrees with 18 to 20 days of rain per month. From November to March high stay between 75 and 78 degrees, and you can expect 12-16 days of rain per month. Average nighttime lows are between 62 and 68 year-round.
Melinis minutiflora (Molasses grass) Plumes at Makawao Forest Reserve | Photo by Forest and Kim Starr
Things to Do
Be sure to stop by the phenomenal T. Komoda Store & Bakery for a donut-on-a-stick or malasadas. Keep in mind, however, that they often sell out by 10 a.m. There are also a few art galleries to check out including Kirsten Burney Gallery, Sherri Reeve Gallery, Viewpoints Gallery Maui, and Jordanne Gallery.
The Makawao Forest Reserve is also well worth a trip into town if you’d like to see native Hawaiian plant life and take some wonderful hikes. There are seven hikes with difficulty ratings ranging from easy to intermediate, so this is a great place to take the whole family for a jungle adventure. The hikes are all between 1.5 to 4 miles.
Fraxinus uhdei (Tropical ash) Canopy at Makawao Forest Reserve, Maui | Photo by Forest and Kim Starr
If you’re looking for a great hike in the area check out:
- Kahakapao East Trail
- Kahakapao West Trail
- Kahakapao Loop Trail
- Pineapple Express Trail
- Ravine Trail
- Renegade Trail
- Tweener Trail
Kahakapao Gulch Maui | Photo by Forest and Kim Starr
Featured dishes @casanovamaui
There are several awesome places to eat–again, we can’t recommend the bakery enough. But, you might also try out the following for delicious eats in Makawao.
- Hali’imaile General Store
- Habibi On Maui
- Casanova Italian Restaurant and Deli
- Kojima’s Sushi
- Pizza Fresh
- Makawao Garden Cafe
- Kama Hele Cafe
- Freshies Maui
Poke bowl at the Hali’imaile General Store
- Stopwatch Sportsbar & Grill
- Serpico’s Restaurant
- Joy’s place LIVE!
- Fatt Chicks Burgers & More
- Mixed Plate Pukalani
- Farmacy Health Bar Pukalani
Chili and Rice w/ Hotdog at the Fatt Chicks Burger
How far is Makawao from the Pipiwai Trail?
Makawao is about two hours from the Pipiwai Trail. To get there, head south out of Makawao on Highway 37 and then stay on the Highway when it becomes 31. Follow Highway 31 all the way to the Kipahulu Visitors Center where the Pipiwai trailhead is located.
Bravely step on this steel bridge at the Pipiwai Trail | Photo by Christian Joudrey
How far is Makawao from the Road to Hana?
Makawao is only about 20 minutes from the Road to Hana. Travel north out of Makawao on Kaupakalua Highway 365. After about 15 miles, you’ll turn right onto Hana Highway about six miles into the Hana drive. If you don’t want to miss this first segment, head north on Balwin Avenue about 20 miles and then turn right onto Hana Highway, only a couple miles into the scenic drive.
Continue on your Road to Hana adventure with Shaka Guide after exploring Makawao Town | Photo by Dronepicr