Places to Visit on Maui – Cool Paia Town

Paia Town on Maui’s north shore is the hippest old hippy town—a place where cultures collide in the coolest of ways.

Built in the late 1800’s, it catered to the sugar plantation workers who lived in camps surrounding the area. The town exploded to over ten thousand residents as the sugar cane industry was booming. A train passed through town, coming and going from Haiku to Kahului, and was filled with people and pineapple. As the sugar industry waned, so did the town. Like many small towns, it lacked an industry to keep it alive.

Then in the 60’s, the hippies arrived, breathing new life into Paia. In the 80’s, windsurfing took hold and soon Paia was transformed into the eclectic, cosmopolitan, village-type sea town it is today.

My favorite, not-to-be-missed spots are:

  • Biasa Rose
  • Pearl (out a ways from town-but worth the stop)
  • Annie’s Antique Store
  • Paia Fish Market (for the best fish sandwich)
  • Mana Foods (locally owned organic food store)
  • Moana Bakery
  • Maui Hands (local art store)
  • and so much more!

On the fourth Friday of the month Paia hosts “Fourth Friday.” It is a night of local entertainment, eating, art, and just being seen. The new generation hippies still can be seen today as evident by the sign that reads, “Please don’t feed the hippies.”

Kristina Shugars

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