Makawao is a town on the island of Maui in the state of Hawai'i, United States of America. Pronounced MAH-kah-wow and meaning "Eye of the Forest," Makawao is one of four towns (the others are Ha'iku, Pukalani and Kula) that make up the semi-ambiguous region known as "Upcountry." Latitude: 20º51'N, Longitude: 156º19'W
As Makawao marks the start of a vast expanse of jungle-like rainforests that wrap around the north and east sides of Maui, it is naturally wet and cool. Average temperatures are generally 5 to 10 degrees below those at sea-levels or in Kahului. Makawao is known for its cowboy culture, incredibly eclectic mix of residents, uniquely laid-back and liberal character and delicious local eateries. During World War II and the two decades that followed it, Makawao was host to a famed USO club as well as a local population of active military personnel, many of whom were stationed at the nearby 4th Marine Infantry Division in neighboring Ha'iku.
Kahului Airport (IATA: OGG) is the main airport for the island of Maui, and the second largest commercial airport in the state. It is a secondary hub for Hawaiian Airlines, which provides interisland service to Kahului from the other major airports in the state. Several major U.S. airlines also provide non-stop service to Maui from the West Coast and beyond.
Other airports on Maui include the Ka'anapali Airport located outside of Lahaina, serving the west side of the island, and Hana Airport located in Hana, serving the eastern part of the island. (Generally, it is far less expensive to fly into Maui via Kahului Airport rather than into Hana or Ka'anapali Airport, however travel between these three airports as a means of travel around the island can offer an inexpensive alternative to car rentals if done at the right time of year.)
To get to Makawao, exit the airport and follow the signs toward Haleakala Highway. Once on Haleakala Highway, travel up the mountain, turning left onto Makawao Avenue after approximately 7.5 miles and following Makawao Ave until you reach Makawao town, about a mile down the road.
Seeing Makawao is easy, as the town is mostly comprised of the intersection of Baldwin and Makawao Ave. Makawao is an old Paniolo (cowboy) town and much of its history is reflected in the architecture and feel - even today you can find horse-hitching posts scattered around the town. Highlights of Makawao include The Makawao Steak House, a popular local restaurant (order their Kalaheo cut, a 24oz cut of bone-in prime rib), Pollis, the local watering hole and Mexican restaurant, Casanova's, the towns' Italian restaurant and Upcountry's nightlife epicenter and Komoda's Bakery (home of the famous stick donut). Visitors should walk from Makawao Ave down Baldwin Ave, perusing the many shops and local businesses that give the town its unique character.
Jahwaiian Dreams, 3567 Baldwin Av., . Lovely eco-friendly cottage in historic Makawao.