If you’re staying in Maui, regardless of which side of the island you’re on, you should the take the time to visit the charming town of Paia. Nestled on the North Shore of Maui, it’s not a big town but it has become a haven of activity over the last decade, boasting a variety of restaurants, boutique stores and surf shops.
Paia has it’s own unique vibe. Being right by the North Shore waves, there is a thriving local surf community here! But as well as surfers, Paia is home to 3 temples and attracts a new age, spiritual, crystal-buying type too.
So, what should you check out if you’re heading to Paia?
The town itself has it’s own beach: Paia Bay.
This is a beautiful sandy beach and a favorite for well-seasoned body-boarders due to it’s strong surf. It isn’t recommended for beginners however, and certainly isn’t the place for a casual swim.
It is good for a stroll down, or perhaps a pretty place to sit and watch the surf and the sunset whilst nursing a tub of ice-cream from Paia Gelato.
Then there is Baldwin beach. This is a long white sand beach just before Paia on the Hana Highway. It is better suited for a family beach day-out than Paia Bay. It has all you could need with parking, showers, bathrooms, picnic tables, barbecues and life-guards.
Both ends of the beach have more protected swimming areas. On the west end, there is a protected lagoon known as ‘Baby Beach’ which is perfect for kids to swim in.
Boutiques and Stores
Although, not the cheapest place to shop in Maui, Paia has a range of stores selling beautiful clothes and gifts. We love Pearl Butik and Luna & Tide for their beautiful Hawaiian household items, many of which make great gifts.
There are also plenty of upmarket surf shops and bikini stores. If you’re looking for the current trends in beach wear – you’ll find them in Paia.
Also, worth checking out is Mana Foods. On the one hand this is just a grocery store, but it has become an attraction in Paia it’s own right.
Mana Foods specialises in stocking natural, local and organic foods. As well as a bakery and deli selling freshly made food, it has it’s own vegan and gluten free cafe, Maka. There is also a large health and beauty section, selling all the vitamins you could ever need.
Paia is a great place to eat out, as there are a number of good quality restaurants to choose from. If you fancy well-cooked fish, then you won’t be disappointed at Paia Fish Market. Prefer Mexican? Then try tacos from Milagros in the center of Paia.
Have you been to Paia? What were your favorite things to do there?