Welcome to the “coolest little town” on Maui!
Located on the northern coast of the island, Paia is filled with so much color and so much history that it’s ready to burst at the seams. It’s an old plantation town turned beach town, and at the end of Hana Highway, this is as chill as it gets.
Surf bums, tourists, locals and hippies frequent through the vibrant vintage boutiques and quaint art galleries that paint the town. It’s also become quite the place for the free-spirited folk or any folk, for that matter, who enjoy arts, music and culture.
Not many realize, however, just how old this place is. Paia’s over a century old! It all started in the 1800s – with the Paia Sugar Mill and then the Paia Store, which supported the plantation workers. Back then, it was a mixed pot of different cultures and races. In fact, immigrants from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Puerto Rico ended up living together and without realizing it, helped write the history of Paia.
A history which also includes the sport of windsurfing. Because the town’s near many famous windsurfing spots, including Hookipa and Spreckelsville, it’s also become the windsurfing capital of the world. During the 80s and 90s, an influx of windsurf enthusiasts discovered this mecca. Most of them never left, choosing to make Paia a home away from home.
PAIA, MAUI • About 4 miles into your drive to Hana from Kahului
Posted by: Bruce Fisher