Maui Guide: Paia

The outside surfboard fence of the Aloha Surf Hostel.



Paia is a charming town on the North Shore of Maui and is the start to the Road to Hana. Known as a little hippie town, this is home to some of the best surfing in Maui. This part of the island tends to be rainy most mornings, but can clear up in the afternoon. Paia is a great destination if you’re looking for a place that’s not too touristy.


$: Aloha Surf Hostel
$$: Paia Inn

Ahi Sashimi Salad at Mama's Fish House in Maui

Ahi Sashimi Salad at Mama’s Fish House in Maui


Along the main road in Paia Town, Hana Highway, there are so many places to eat and shop. One of my favorites in town was Paia Bowls, which feature beautiful acai bowls, smoothies, coffee, and kombucha on tap. This is a great stop for a healthy breakfast or snack and has all outdoor seating with umbrellas – perfect for waiting out a quick rainstorm.

Another great lunch or dinner spot is Flatbread Company. If you go, you have to get the Mopsy’s Kalua Pork flatbread, a gourmet version of the traditional “Hawaiin Pizza”.

I can’t talk about food in Paia without mentioning Mama’s Fish House. Located right on the water, this is one of the most popular restaurants in Maui, so be sure to make a reservation. If you’re a small group, 1-2 people tops, you can probably get a spot to eat at the bar, where they serve the full menu all day. Read more about my dining experience in my post Top 10 Places to Eat in Maui.

A “Snow Man” outside of Mama’s Fish House



As I mentioned above, the main street in Paia has a lot of small boutiques and shops you can stroll through. I loved checking out Alice in Hululand, a quirky little store with souvenirs, clothing, and jewelry. Aloha Boutique is a great store for buying brand name swimwear – Maaji, L*Space, Seafolly, and so many more. I bought a Maaji surfsuit (which you can find here) that I can’t wait to break in on my next dive.


When in Paia, you have got to check out Ho’okipa Beach Park. This is a world-renowned spot for wind-surfing, so be sure to go to watch some impressive surfing on massive waves. On the downside, this is a terrible beach for swimming, so stick to being a spectator here unless you’re a pro. Baldwin Beach, on the other hand, is a little calmer and perfect for swimming and for families.

Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is one of the most popular adventures in Maui. It’s a long, winding, two-lane road from Paia to Hana, with beautiful stops along the way. From waterfalls to lookouts to food trucks, there’s so much to see and do along this highway.

Paia was just one of three towns I explored while in Maui. To see our other guides, go to Maui Guide: Lahaina and Maui Guide: Wailea.

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