Scenic Paia on Maui’s North Shore offers just about everything a traveler seeks: quaint shops, fantastic restaurants and numerous beaches offering a wide variety of activities, from swimming, surfing, windsurfing, and more. Away from the hustle and bustle of Lahaina and Kihei, Paia is a laid-back little beach town with something for everyone.
Historic Paia town was once a booming plantation town, with remnants of an old sugar cane mill still visible just up Baldwin Avenue. Many of its old plantation-style wooden buildings, complete with the vibrant color schemes for which Paia is known, are still intact. Inside these colorful storefronts are over 40 unique shops, offering an array of boutiques, surf shops, art galleries and even an old-fashioned tattoo parlor. With warm hospitality and friendly service, the atmosphere is unlike that of any other town on the island.
Paia also has no end of dining options, including Coffee Shops, Pacific Rim, Continental, Mexican, Crepes, Indian Curries, Sushi, Pizza, Burgers, Vegetarian, Mediterranean and of course Seafood. Paia is also a great place to pick up a picnic lunch for your trip to Hana.
Besides great food and shopping, Paia is known for its variety of beaches. Baldwin Beach Park has one of the most beautiful white sand beaches on Maui and offers full facilities, including showers and lifeguards. It's a great beach for swimming, beach-combing and relaxing. If this beach doesn't have what you are looking for, keep driving and check out Paia Bay and Tavares Bay, just look for the parking lots visible from the highway.
Just past Paia on Hana Hwy is Hookipa Beach Park, offering one of the world's best spots to watch surfers and windsurfers, and while this beach also offers lifeguards, entering the water at this beach, even just for swimming, is usually reserved for experts only. Check with the lifeguards before heading out.
Many people reserve their stop in Paia town for their trip out to Hana or after a trip upcountry, only to wish that they could spend a little more time. When planning your trip, remember that Paia is a mellow little town, with most stores opening late (10am!) and closing early (5pm!). Bring your appetite, wallet, and camera, but don't worry if you forget your bathing suit, there are many bikini shops too!