Visitors can see so many things on the Maui volcano tour, many things they might not otherwise have seen on their Maui vacation. This downhill bike tour through Upcountry Maui offers a chance to see this unique part of Maui up close. Sure you can drive through Upcountry, but that’s like taking a boat when you could go surfing. You’ll get to “experience” the adventure that is Upcountry and Haleakalā when you take the Maui volcano bike tour.
Although on our self-paced Maui volcano bike tours, you can stop as you want along the way, there are a few major stops that everyone should take on their volcano tour. One of these stops is Makawao Town. The historic little town of Makawao is the heart of what’s known as “Paniolo Country.” One of the last paniolo or Hawaiian cowboy towns in Hawaii, Makawao has its own unique atmosphere and feel. As the “biggest little town” in Upcountry, “
Makawao has one foot in its plantation past and another in its thriving arts community,” the Hawaii Tourism Authority noted. Yes, Makawao is a little bit of the old mixed with a little of the new, and this is what makes Makawao one of the must-see stops along the Maui volcano tour.
Makawao is where the paniolo still roam and rodeos are still a major part of life and the culture of Upcountry. Held annually on the Fourth of July, the Makawao Rodeo is Hawaii’s largest paniolo competition with all the traditional rodeo events like calf roping, bronco riding, and barrel racing as well as a parade through Makawao. Paniolo is still such a large part of the town’s life and heritage that you just might see a cowboy riding through town on horseback.
This eclectic town is jam-packed with charming boutiques and art galleries, all with an authentic, not so touristy feel, but more of a ‘this-is-life-in-a-small-Upcountry-town’ atmosphere. Once named one of the top 25 arts destinations in the United States, Makawao is home to many working artists. From watching glassblowing at Hot Island Glass to shopping for Polynesian jewelry, clothing, and home accessories to browsing numerous fine arts galleries and wood sculptor shops, Makawao offers a world of diversity in its shopping.
A diverse array of restaurants also calls Makawao home, including the famous T. Komoda Store & Bakery. This small bakery that has been a local tradition since 1916 is legendary for its pastries including its cream puffs and donuts on a stick. And as Mitchell commented on Yelp: “The best way to hit this spot is to take the Maui Sunriders sunrise bike tour. It is a great stop with 7 miles left to go in a 26-mile downhill mountain bike bomb. . . It looks like a bodega/convenience store, but the secret (well not that much of a secret) is that they make the most amazing fresh bread and donuts.”
So don’t forget to stop in Makawao Town on your Maui volcano tour! This eclectic little paniolo town has a lot of character and a cool story to tell.
(First Photo by “Allie_Caulfield”)
(Rodeo photo by “Travis”)
(Gecko Trading Co. Photo by “Allie_Caulfield”)
(Fourth photo by PV Photography)
(Komoda Store Photo by “Too Tall Paul”)