Located up on the mountain at 1600′ above sea level. Makawao is an old cowboy town or what we here in Hawaii like to call Paniolos. These cowboys of spanish descent came to Makawao to hunt the wild cattle that was brought and let loose on Maui in 1793. The Paniolos of Spanish / Mexican heritage then began to setup ranches high up on the slopes of Haleakala. Much of that land is still being grazed today. You can see a lot of it as you travel up through Upcountry Maui on your way to the summit of Haleakala.
In town Makawao has many little galleries, stores, cafes and restaurants. They are packed into an area about 1/2 sq mile so it’s easy to wander through all of them within a couple hours. During the day many of the art galleries and jewelry shops are open. In the evening the two restaurants at the crossroads of town and a local pub just up the street are open late. It is definitely much more of a sleepier town then Paia which is 15 minutes down the mountain to the Northeast.
Some of the things to do in Makawao include hitting Cassanovas in the evening for some dancing and drinking. Playing some sports at the ball park, as pickup soccer is played Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Stopping in a Polly’s mexican for a drink and a burrito is always a nice way to end the day. The sports bar always has something going on with some live rock music on most weekend nights.