Paia Town

Paia Town – A Surfer’s Paradise Plus the Beginning of the Road to Hana
The Bottom Line:

As the first stop on Road to Hana adventures, Paia Town offers tons of ways to fuel up for fun. Plus, it’s a beloved North Shore hub with a surf aesthetic unlike any other. So, if you’re going to come by, plan to spend the day enjoying all it has to offer before jetting off down the highway.

- The Local Expert Team

Whether you’re just exploring North Shore or getting ready to travel the Road to Hana, Paia Town is well worth a lengthy visit. As a beloved surfer’s paradise, this quaint town takes you back to a simpler time. Old-school shops and mom-and-pop eateries fill out the space, although there are miles of beaches to explore as well. With so much to see and do, it’s best to plan to spend the full day here before heading out on even more adventures.

Thankfully, it’s easy to make the most of your visit by grabbing a room at a local inn, like Paia Inn, The Inn at Mama’s Fish House, or Mangolani Inn. If you prefer a more rustic lodging experience, stay at the Aloha Surf Hostel instead. No matter where you stay, you’ll enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the nearby oceanside. Small-town culture is alive and well in this town, too, so expect endless hospitality coming your way.

Maintaining a bright aloha spirit and good vibes for all is a way of life at all the shops and eateries around town as well. As you venture into town, you’ll find rows of historic buildings filled with boutique shops selling clothing, jewelry, beach gear, gifts, and so much more. In between the shops, there are fine art galleries, massage parlors, yoga studios, and other fantastic service centers.

To visit all the top spots in town, you’ll want to start on the Hana Highway at Baldwin Beach Park and then continue all the way down to the Kuau Store. After that, double back to head down Baldwin Avenue for a few more stops. Just remember that there are only two paid parking lots at either side of Mana Foods. Beyond that, you’re on your own in finding street parking near your destinations of choice.  

You’re sure to work up a big appetite as you shop your heart out. Thankfully, you have many excellent eateries to enjoy, including:

  • Island Fresh Café
  • Only Ono BBQ
  • nyloS Restaurant
  • Café Des Amis
  • Maka by Mana
  • Café Mambo
  • Milagros Food Co.
  • Paia Bay Coffee Bar
  • Choice Health Bar Paia
  • Vana Paia
  • Dollies North Shore
  • Flatbread Company
  • Hana Hou Surf Club
  • Surfclub Tacos
  • Thai Spice LLC
  • Lima Cocina + Cantina

For dessert, don’t hesitate to visit Tobi’s Shave Ice & Poke, Artisan Ice Cream, and Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice.

If you’d like to pack a lunch for a picnic on the beach, stop by Paia Fish Market for all you need. Or you can grab a meal to go at the Hana Picnic Lunch Company. You can get even more essentials at Mana Foods and the Kuau Store. For little tidbits, consider stopping by the Minit Stop Paia on the Hana Highway.

Want even more gear to enjoy the beach to the fullest? Get on over to Maui Sunriders Bike Co., Hi-Tech Surf Sports, and the other rental shops nearby. In addition to having bikes, surfboards, and other gear for rent, many offer surfing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding lessons to remember.

Public beaches stretch all the way along the northern edge of Paia, giving you plenty of places for oceanside adventures. Baldwin Beach Park has everything you need to enjoy the sand and surf for hours at a time. Boogie boarding, windsurfing, and other waterside activities are popular here thanks to its large shore break. Plus, there are calm pools for swimming on either side, complete with lifeguards on duty more often than not.

As you travel east along the shoreline, you’ll find many other beaches, such as Paia Secret Beach, Kaulahao Beach, and Kuau Cove. Near Paia Secret Beach, there’s a skatepark, basketball hoops, and open fields for running and playing to your heart’s content. Need a playground for the little ones? Head over to the Paia Community Center.

In the end, it’s clear that Paia Town has so much to offer whether you want to stay for a few hours or stick around for the weekend (or longer!). So, make sure it lands on your itinerary whenever you’re going to be on the island.

Insider Tip:
Many of the old-school shops only take cash. Fortunately, you can find ATMs at the Bank of Hawaii, Paia Shell station, and Minit Stop Paia.