Best known for the annual 4th of July Rodeo that has been held for the past 50 years, Makawao is the cowboy capital of upcountry Maui. Located at 1,500′ elevation, the region maintains a cooler temperature. With rain just about everyday in the early morning, the pastures are bright green year round.

What to do in Makawao

retail stores in makawao
Chickens make themselves at home at Makawao Retails
  • Shop for unique souvenirs at quaint boutiques throughout downtown; Enjoy island-style ice cream after taking a leisurely stroll down historic Baldwin Avenue.
  • Attend the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center’s annual Makawao Paniolos Heritage Festival to celebrate local paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) traditions with music, food, art exhibits and more
  • Explore the town’s historic sites, including the Makawao Union Church that was built in 1917 by New England Missionary Jonathan Smith Green.

The Cowboy Capital Of Maui

If you are looking to get a taste of what cowboy (and cowgirl) culture in Hawaii is like, Makawao is the place for you. Wide open pastures with panoramic ocean views inspire the inner cowboy to come out. If you want a taste of local culture, pull up a bar stool at Stopwatch Bar & Grill. This is the best place to grab a cold beverage and talk story with local ranchers.

Watch a Rodeo in Maui

The HHSRA website has all the details about High School Rodeos on Maui. These kids are really good! If you want to see Paniolo’s in action, I highly recommend checking out one of these events.

Makawao Rodeo
Roping Arena in Makawao

While I am not a rodeo person myself, I have to say that the horses here have it pretty good.

upcountry maui

And this bull seems to be very content with the lush green pastures.

cowboy country upcountry maui

A little known part of Maui

If you are looking to spice up your vacation and break away from the tourist norms, be sure to visit Makawao, the cowboy capital of Maui. From local shops to happy live stock, Makawao is a welcome change from the typical Maui vacation.

Looking for more to do on Maui? Check out the 41 Best Things to do on Maui.