Maui’s North Shore is known for its rugged beaches and incredible surf breaks. It is less developed than the South and West sides of Maui which are geared up for tourists. As a result you’ll find less accommodation options on this side of the island. However if you’re keen to get away from the resort culture and bask in Maui’s natural beauty undisturbed, then a visit to the North Shore is for you.
There are loads of great places to discover on Maui’s North Shore. Here are some you shouldn’t miss.
Ho’okipa Beach and Lookout
If you’re into surfing (wind or board) then you’re likely to already be familiar with Ho’okipa Beach Park. Situated off the Hana Highway, this beach is world famous for it epic surf, and attracts well seasoned surfers from far and wide. This beach regularly plays host to professional windsurfing competitions.
For an expansive ocean view, head to the lookout situated on the edge of the cliff above the beach park. This is a popular place to stop and watch the skilled surfers down below. Many people stop off here for a few minutes on their drive to the Road to Hana.
There is another reason to head to Ho’okipa Beach Park and that’s the turtles. Hawaiian green sea turtles like to hang out near the exposed reef just off shore from the beach. They also like to rest on the beach amongst the boulders (which they look surprisingly alike!) At times an area of the beach will be roped off to keep the endangered species safe from overly curious tourists.
An up and coming town, Paia has a free-spirit vibe, mixed with a dose of the North Shore surf culture. There are a number of great restaurants here. The original Paia Fish Market (now with restaurants in Lahaina and Kihei) is reliably good. We also like Rock & Brews for their relaxed atmosphere and range of beers.
It’s right on the beach, and Paia Bay makes for a great place to take a short walk before or after you eat. The town also has a range of great shops, including Mana foods an organic grocery store. For more information on Paia check out our blog on Paia.
A favorite spot for families on the North Shore, the stunning stretching white sands of Baldwin Beach make it easy to spend time here. This beach is located just outside of Paia, has plenty of parking and has all the Beach facilities you could want (showers, BBQs, lifeguards and picnic tables). Perhaps more of a boogie boarding beach than a swimming beach, in the winter months in particular there is a regular shore break with fairly large waves.
Another popular stop early on the Road to Hana is Twin Falls. However you want to spend at least an hour here at Twin falls to relax and enjoy all it has to offer. There are two waterfalls accessible here (hence the ‘twin’), and it is a beautiful hike through luscious green plantation. Wear your swim gear under your clothes and enjoy a rewarding dip in the waterfall pool when you get there.
The hike isn’t difficult and its suitable for children – but walking through the water can be rough when barefoot, so waterproof shoes are recommended for optimum enjoyment and minimal whining!
We hope you enjoy the North Shore of Maui. What are your best things to do there?