For casual visitors, Paia might seem like nothing more than a stop along the famous Road to Hana, but for keen surfers, it’s a major destination—the main hub of the North Shore and its world-renowned surf breaks. The town is filled with all the amenities that go along with the surfer lifestyle, from health food markets and homely burger joints to yoga studios and boutique shops. Surfers (and windsurfers) head to Ho'okipa Beach, while families chill out at Baby Beach, which offers calm waters for swimming.
If you’re planning to drive the Road to Hana, be aware that the road has many twists and turns that can be challenging even for experienced drivers. You might be more relaxed on a tour with a professional driver so you can enjoy the scenery to its fullest.
Things to Know Before You Go
You can sometimes spot sea turtles and rare monk seals at Ho'okipa Beach.
Paia town has many wheelchair accessible stores and restaurants.
The town has a number of rental shops offering gear as well as surfing and windsurfing lessons.
How to Get There
Paia is located 8 miles east of Maui’s main Kahului Airport. The easiest way to get around on Maui is by car, but there are public buses that will take you to Paia from the airport.
When to Get There
Maui has a warm climate that makes vacationing here pleasant at any time of year. For the best surfing waves, visit between late October and mid-March. You can also time your visit to one of the many surfing contests held in Paia every year.
Experience the Road to Hana
For a taste of Hawaii’s incredible natural beauty, set out along the narrow, winding road to Hana. The famous route is full of hairpin turns, with hillsides rising on one side and steep ocean cliffs on the other. Along the way, you’ll pass waterfalls, bamboo forests, a black sand beach, and stunning views.