Travel east from Kahului airport and you will come across a small, but bustling hub of the North Shore, Paia town. Established initially as a sugar plantation in the late 1800’s, Paia was once home to 20% of the island’s population. As the sugar industry grew, so did the town with stores, restaurants, schools and even a movie theatre built to support the population. Towards the middle of the 20th century, the plantation industry shifted towards Central Maui and the town began to take on more of a laid back, beach town vibe.
Today, Paia is a colorful mix of swimwear shops, art galleries, yoga boutiques and restaurants. No longer just the last major town on the road to Hana, Paia is now a destination for windsurfers and big-wave riders alike. Home to Hookipa Beach and Mama’s Fish House, this eclectic town is a magnet for visitors, pro windsurfers and kite surfers. Make sure to grab a fish burger at the popular original Paia Fishmarket and cup of gelato made with fresh local ingredients at Paia Gelato.