The town of Paʻia is a bustling little town that most people only see while driving to Hana.  It’s okay, but you’ll be missing out on a historic gem of Maui history if you donʻt plan on exploring this little town. Take some time to read up about our view of the North Shore Community.


The town was created in the late 1800ʻs by the sugar plantation company Alexander & Baldwin. For their field workers.  During that time a lot of immigrants settled in Paʻia where the little work camp became a booming plantation town. The town grew so much that at one point 20% of the town lived in Paʻia.  Things like movie theaters, stores, schools, hotels, and restaurants helped with the growth and development of the town.

A fire in the and tsunami in the 30ʻs and 40ʻs destroyed some of the town, but was quickly rebuilt. By the 1950ʻs rolled by, a lot of the population started moving out towards Kahului and Wailuku. During that time the buildings became empty and unused. In the 60ʻs a wave of hippies and new immigrants settled in and claimed paʻia as an unofficial hippie capital (still to this day, to me at least,).

The 80ʻs and 90ʻs grew more shops, and restaurants, and brought a good balance between tourism and plantation life.  That ended in the 2000ʻs with the closing of the sugar plantation. With Windsurfers traveling from all over the world to experience the unofficial capital of windsurfing, tourism has been the biggest economic fuel for the town.


There are so many beaches within Paʻia that it’s hard to just choose one of them. So, hereʻs a list of them to pick from:

  • Paʻia Bay (bring a picnic)
  • Baldwin Cove (this one vanishes!)
  • Baldwin Beach Park (long sandy beach)
  • Baby Beach (scenic & great for keiki)

A short drive:

  • Ku’au Cove (aka Mama’s Fish House Beach)
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park (windsurfing capital of the world!)

My Take On Paʻia

I love it! I feel everything in Paʻia gravitates towards Mana Foods.  Their parking lot is the greatest, their deli, juice bar, and selection of items in the store is by far one of my favorite places to go to. The employees there are also top tier with their knowledge and customer service. 

There’s a cute coffee shop called Paʻia Bay Coffee, they have a great menu, their drinks are some of my favorites in paʻia, and they also have live music.  It’s a great place to relax, maybe plan out the rest of your visit, or to just take in the relaxing vibe that is in the cafe.

This is a favorite spot of mine and it’s been a struggle to suggest this or not.  If I tell yʻall, the line will be longer for me to eat there.  If I donʻt, I would be doing my due diligence in being an honest blogger/writer about great spots in Paʻia.  So… If you’re wanting great Mediterranean, French, and Indian food then look no further than Cafe Des Amis.  Located across from Mana Foods, it is my go to place for curry and crepes. 

Thereʻs good massage spas, tattoo shops, and so much more that you could spend an entire day just discovering things in Paʻia.  That includes just walking along the road to see the paʻia community center and the Paia Mantokuji Soto Zen Mission where they have the Bon Dances every year.

Youʻll also never know who youʻll see in Paʻia.  Willie Nelson and Owen Willson have been known to just hang out in Paʻia. You’ll also have eccentric personalities, tourists (of course) and local people just hanging out, eating, or simply enjoying a beach day with their family.

In all, Paʻia is a great place to relax, take in some of the mixed cultured atmosphere that has grown in the town. Enjoy some great foods, drinks, and people in this little town that has a lot of history and a bright future ahead.