As you make your way along the Haleakala volcano tour, you’ll find a small town that carries on the traditions of the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) life. In the heart of Paniolo Country sits the historic town of Makawao. This quaint town located on the slopes of Haleakala is rich in paniolo heritage with rustic charm as well as being a flourishing arts community.
As you take the Maui volcano bike ride down to the beach, you’ll pass by the Oskie Rice Arena just above Makawao, home of the Fourth of July weekend rodeo that has been held here annually for more than 50 years. This annual rodeo competition is the largest rodeo in Hawaii featuring paniolo calf roping, barrel racing, and bronco riding. Along with the annual rodeo, the town of Makawao also holds a Paniolo Parade through downtown every year. Country and western dancing, live music, and chuck wagon-style food are all features of these renowned annual events celebrating the paniolo lifestyle.
Although small, with a population of about 7,000, the historic ranch town of Makawao has much to see and do all year round. Along with weekly line dance lessons and a farmer’s market on Saturdays, you can find a number of charming art galleries, boutiques, and shops to stop in at on your Haleakala bike tour. In Makawao, you can see glass blowers, painters, and wood sculptors and order a piece of art to take home with you. As noted, “This charming town was once named one of the top 25 arts destinations in the United States.”
So don’t hurry through Paniolo Country and Makawao on your Maui bike tour. Stop to have lunch or browse through one of the fascinating shops or galleries scattered throughout this historic town, reminiscent of the Old West and famous for its Hawaiian cowboy, or paniolo, heritage.
Admission Ticket Free