10 Unforgettable Best Things to Do in Paia Maui: North Shore

by | Jul 24, 2023

Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Things to Do in Paia Maui

Are you looking for things to do on Maui? Look no further than Pā’ia, the charming town on Maui’s North Shore.

Known for its laid-back hippie vibe and world-class surf spots like Hookipa Beach Park, this beach town has plenty to offer on your Maui vacation. Whether it’s lounging on Baldwin Beach Park or feasting on fresh seafood at Mama’s Fish House, unforgettable experiences are waiting for you in Paia.

So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure in paradise!

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Is Paia Maui Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Paia Maui is worth visiting for a unique and unforgettable Hawaiian experience.

As a picturesque coastal town on the North Shore of Maui, Paia boasts an eclectic mix of culture and natural beauty that attracts travelers worldwide.

Known for its laid-back hippie vibes and vibrant atmosphere, this charming town offers a wide range of activities to suit anyone’s interests.

You can’t discuss Paia without mentioning its idyllic beaches such as Baldwin Beach Park and Hookipa Beach Park – both perfect for lounging in the sun or participating in various water-based adventures like snorkeling excursions.

For food lovers, local markets await with fresh produce alongside scrumptious dining options in Paia, like the popular Paia Fish Market where you’ll find tasty seafood dishes such as their renowned Obama burger.

Beyond its stunning shores, immerse yourself in art at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center or seek serenity at the Sacred Garden of Maliko.

Whether it’s strolling through quaint streets adorned with colorful boutiques or embarking on adrenaline-pumping escapades like ziplining through lush green canopies, there’s no denying that Paia has something special to offer everyone who visits.

With so many fantastic experiences uniquely tailored to this enchanting location along Maui’s treasured North Shore coastline, one thing is certain: a trip to Paia will undoubtedly make lasting memories that you’ll cherish forever!

Reasons to Visit Paia

Paia is a hidden gem that will truly take your breath away. It’s just a short drive from the popular Hana Highway, but it feels like you’ve been transported to another world entirely.

This sleepy little beach town has a charming bohemian vibe that attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for surfing adventures, breathtaking beaches or delicious food, Paia has got it all.

One of the biggest reasons to visit Paia is its famous surf culture. The town is home to some of the most professional surfers in Hawaii and offers fantastic waves for both beginners and experienced surfers alike.

Plus, many local businesses offer lessons so visitors can experience the thrill of riding the waves themselves. Beyond surfing, there are plenty of opportunities for relaxation on stunning beaches with calm waters perfect for swimming or simply lounging in the sun.

So pack your bags and head to Paia – whether you’re into adventure or relaxation on white-sand beaches, this dreamy destination won’t disappoint!


Things to Know Before Visiting Paia

Before visiting Paia, make sure you know how to pronounce the town’s name correctly and pack appropriately for the weather. To discover other essential things to know before your trip, keep reading!

How Do You Pronounce Paia?

Pronouncing Pā’ia (pronounced pah-ee-ah) correctly is essential for any traveler exploring this beautiful Hawaiian town.

The name “Pā’ia” comes from the Hawaiian language and pays homage to the region’s rich cultural history.

This charming and laid-back beach town on Maui’s North Shore has become popular, offering an authentic Hawaiian experience away from the tourist crowds.

When conversing with locals, using the proper pronunciation of Pā’ia will show respect for their culture and help you connect with them more easily.

So before setting foot in this vibrant haven filled with stunning beaches, lively markets, and unforgettable experiences like surfing at Ho’okipa Beach Park or savoring fresh seafood at Paia Fish Market, remember to pronounce it as “pah-ee-ah.”

As you enjoy your adventures in Paia, embracing its unique atmosphere alongside travelers and residents alike, knowing how to say its name properly will make all the difference during your stay on the enchanting island of Maui.

Where is Paia Exactly?

Nestled on the scenic North Shore of Maui, Paia is a vibrant and eclectic small town that boasts an atmosphere, unlike any other place in Hawaii.

This hidden gem can be found approximately 45 minutes away from popular hotel areas by car, making it an ideal day trip destination for those looking to explore Maui’s diverse landscapes and attractions.

Accessible via the famous Hana Highway, Paia is a gateway to this legendary scenic drive and invites travelers to embark on unforgettable adventures.

Paia’s location makes it perfect for immersing oneself in its stunning natural beauty – with the azure waters of Baldwin Beach Park, Okipa Beach Park, and Paia Bay within close proximity.

The surrounding coastline features several pristine beaches where visitors can enjoy surfing or simply appreciating the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to its breathtaking beachscapes, Paia is also a short distance away from other iconic landmarks such as Haleakala Volcano.

things to do in paia town

Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Weather and Climate Of Paia

The weather and climate of Paia play a significant role in its appeal as a must-visit destination on Maui’s North Shore.

With an average temperature of 70°F to 85°F throughout the year, this charming coastal town provides perfect conditions for enjoying outdoor activities like surfing, sunbathing, and exploring local markets.

Thanks to the region’s tropical climate, rainfall is common but rarely lasts long enough to ruin your plans. These brief showers often result in breathtaking rainbows framing the picturesque surroundings.

Paia’s unique location at the base of Haleakala Volcano means it benefits from sunny beach weather and refreshing breezes sweeping down from higher elevations.

This blend creates ideal conditions for water sports such as surfing or windsurfing. Hookipa Beach Park is particularly popular among professional surfers due to consistent waves generated by trade winds that roll onto its shores.

While visiting Paia during winter might mean slightly cooler temperatures compared to peak travel season, you’ll also have better chances of witnessing humpback whales migrating through nearby waters—a truly unforgettable experience!

So whether you’re planning a trip filled with adventure or relaxation (or both!), rest assured that Paia’s pleasant weather will accommodate all your vacation needs.

things to do in paia maui town

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Things to Bring When Visiting Paia

When planning your trip to Paia, there are a few items that you should consider packing to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are some things to bring when visiting Paia:

1. Reef-Safe Sunscreen: With sunny skies and warm temperatures year-round, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is important.

2. Swimsuit: Don’t forget your swimsuit! Paia has some of the best beaches on Maui, including Baldwin Beach Park and Ho’okipa Beach.

3. Comfortable walking shoes: You’ll likely be doing a lot of walking around town and exploring the area’s natural beauty. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes that can handle uneven terrain.

4. Cash: Many local businesses in Paia may not accept credit cards or cashless apps, so it’s always good to have cash on hand if needed.

5. Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated while enjoying outdoor activities by bringing a refillable water bottle.

6. Insect repellent: The lush tropical surroundings can mean pesky insects – be sure to pack an effective insect repellent.

7. A light jacket or sweater: Even though temperatures are generally warm throughout the day, evenings can get chilly, so it’s always advisable to bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler nights.

8. Snorkeling gear: Paia has some great snorkeling spots where you can explore the colorful underwater world – bringing your own gear ensures that you won’t miss out on the adventure.

Overall, packing smartly for your trip can enhance your experience in Paia and let you focus on enjoying all of its beautiful sights and sounds.

Places to Visit in Paia

Maui’s North Shore beaches are a must-visit attraction in Paia, with Hookipa Beach Park being a favorite spot for professional surfers and windsurfers. Another highlight is Mama’s Fish House, known for its fresh seafood and beachfront views.

1. Maui’s North Shore Beaches

Maui’s North Shore is famous for its stunning beaches, and Paia town offers access to some of the best. If you’re a surfer or just looking for a relaxing day soaking up the sun, Ho’okipa Beach park is the perfect place to visit.

This beach has waves that can reach up to 30 feet in height, making it a popular spot for professional surfers. If you prefer calmer waters, Baldwin Beach Park is another excellent option with crystal clear waters and soft sand.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Maui’s North Shore beaches will surely provide an unforgettable experience during your Hawaiian vacation.

2. Ho’okipa Beach Park

One of the top spots on Maui’s North Shore is Hookipa Beach Park, which attracts both professional surfers and casual swimmers.

This beach park is known for its world-class waves, making it a popular destination for surfing enthusiasts. In addition to surfing, visitors can observe sea turtles from a safe distance basking in the sun on the shore. The beach park offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding landscapes and is perfect for picnics, barbecues or relaxing in the sun.

To get to Ho’okipa Beach Park from Paia town, take Hana Highway and turn onto Baldwin Avenue – it’s only about a 5-minute drive away.

Once there, make sure to visit the lookout point for stunning views of both the beach and the surrounding cliffs!

Hookipa Beach Park has a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, with over 1,500 reviews rave about its scenic beauty and incredible waves.

This stunning location has been included in many lists of top things to do in Paia due to its natural beauty and year-round appeal.

Whether you’re an experienced surfer or simply looking for a beautiful spot to swim, Hookipa Beach Park should definitely be at the top of your list when visiting Paia on Maui’s North Shore.

things to do in paia maui - hookipa beach nesting sea turtles

3. Baldwin Beach Park

Baldwin Beach Park is a must-visit spot on Maui’s North Shore, located in the charming town of Paia. This breathtaking beach is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sands, and tropical trees lining the shore.

Here, you can watch professional surfers ride the waves or try your own hand at windsurfing or surfing.

If you prefer to relax and soak up some sun, Baldwin Beach Park offers plenty of space to lay out a towel and enjoy a picnic with friends or family.

In addition to its natural beauty, Baldwin Beach Park also offers convenient amenities such as bathrooms and showers for visitors’ comfort.

Plus, it’s only a short drive from downtown Paia where you can grab refreshments before heading back out into paradise. Don’t forget to take in the stunning sunsets over this idyllic beach – memories that will last forever!

4. Paia Farmers Market

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and find unique souvenirs is by strolling through the Paia Farmers Market.

This vibrant outdoor market offers a wide range of goods, including fresh produce, handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing.

You’ll be able to sample exotic fruits and tasty treats from food vendors while chatting with friendly locals.

The Paia Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning in a large lot just off Hana Highway.

It’s an easy walk from many of Paia’s hotels and resorts or plenty of parking spaces are available for those who drive. There’s no admission fee to enter the market so it makes for a perfect low-cost activity during your trip to Maui’s North Shore.

Activities in Paia

Discover the thrill of surfing in Paia, one of the top activities to experience when visiting Maui’s North Shore.

5. Surfing

Surfing is a must-try activity in Paia, located on Maui’s North Shore. The area is known for its impressive surf and attracts professional surfers from all over the world. Whether you are a seasoned pro or new to surfing, there are plenty of spots to catch some waves in Paia.

Ho’okipa Beach Park is a popular spot for both surfing and windsurfing on the North Shore, while Jaws, just 3 miles east of Paia, offers legendary waves for experienced surfers.

But even if you’re not up for hitting the waves yourself, watching others ride them can be just as thrilling.

You can find several viewing spots along the beachfront where you can watch professional surfers show off their skills – it’s an experience that’s hard to forget!

And after working up an appetite catching waves or simply soaking up the sun at scenic Baldwin Beach Park, make sure to stop by Paia Fish Market for mouthwatering fish tacos and burgers – they’re famous throughout Hawaii!

6. North Shore Zipline

Looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure on Maui’s North Shore? Look no further than the North Shore Zipline! Here are some exciting facts about this thrilling experience:

  • Technically, not in Paia. The North Shore Zipline is located in Haiku, just a 15-minute drive from Paia town.
  • This zipline tour offers seven different lines, each providing a fast, fun rush over the lush jungle terrain.
  • The tour is available for $147 per person and is suitable for all thrill-seekers!
  • Known also as “Camp Maui”, this attraction boasts a stellar 4.7 rating based on 14 reviews.
  • The zipline is just one of 10 unforgettable things to do in Paia and Maui’s North Shore that should be on your bucket list.

So if you’re up for an adventure on your trip to Hawaii, be sure to check out the North Shore Zipline – it won’t disappoint!

Attractions in Paia

Paia has a variety of top attractions to offer, including the beautiful Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, the peaceful Sacred Garden of Maliko, and the historical Pauwela Cannery.

7. Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center

The Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center is a must-visit for art lovers traveling to Paia on Maui’s North Shore. Here are some facts about the center:

  • It is a nonprofit organization that provides open access to quality arts education.
  • The center offers various art classes, tours, and events for the community.
  • Visitors can see exhibitions, attend classes, and participate in events at the center.
  • Located in Makawao, near Paia and Haiku towns on Maui’s North Shore.
things to do in paia - Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center

Photo credit: Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center

8. La’akea Village

La’akea, a Maui-based 501(c)3 organization, was established in 2000 by a dedicated group seeking a thriving residential and vocational community for adults with autism and other intellectual or developmental disabilities.

As a Department of Health licensed agency, La’akea has cultivated a 12-acre farm and runs a country store, an indoor day program, and community building. It also manages a group home and three apartments for IDD clients, fostering their independence.

This inclusive environment enables participants to lead active, productive lifestyles, and become contributing members of the Pai’a and Maui communities. Locals often visit La’akea for fresh produce and meaningful interactions.

La’akea welcomes all who wish to partake in this unique community. A growing trend in Maui sees residents trading leisure time for volunteering in activities such as gardening and landscaping, making La’akea a hub for community engagement and personal enrichment.

Best Places To Eat In Paia

Paia is known for its incredible seafood, but there are plenty of other delicious dining options as well.

9. Paia Fish Market

Located in the heart of a low-key beach town on Maui’s North Shore, Paia Fish Market is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Since 1989, the restaurant has been serving up some of the best quality seafood dishes like fish tacos, poke bowls and burgers made from fresh-caught local fish.

With over 2,600 reviews and a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on their menu and prices, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best restaurants in Maui.

Paia Fish Market offers mouth-watering food and a laid-back atmosphere that captures the essence of Hawaii’s surf culture. The menu consists mostly of seafood items with options for non-seafood eaters as well.

From casual dining to special events or even take-out orders, they provide excellent customer service that makes your visit unforgettable; you won’t be disappointed by anything that comes off their kitchen line! And if you’re looking for an even more memorable experience?

Try the Obama Burger – President Barack Obama dined at Paia Fish Market back in December 2011 and ordered this famous burger!

things to do in paia - paia fish market

Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

10. Mama’s Fish House

Mama’s Fish House is a must-visit Maui’s North Shore restaurant.

This world-famous eatery features Hawaiian fish caught daily by local fishermen, prepared with precision and served in a charming Polynesian-style atmosphere overlooking the ocean.

You won’t want to miss out on their Crispy Mahi Mahi or the Poisson Cru – a Tahitian raw fish salad that’s sure to delight your taste buds. Mama’s Fish House is a highly sought-after reservation, so be sure to plan ahead and book early.

For those looking for more than just great food, Mama’s Fish House Beach (also known as Kuau Cove) is stunning and easily accessible from the restaurant itself.

Enjoy some of Maui’s best snorkeling and paddling in clear turquoise water amidst views of West Maui mountains and neighboring islands such as Molokai and Lanai.

Afterward, take advantage of Mama’s boutique shop, which sells handmade crafts sourced directly from local artisans, perfect for taking home a piece of Hawaii with you!

Wrap-Up: Why Paia Should Be On Your Bucket List

Paia on Maui’s North Shore is a must-visit for any traveler to Hawaii. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed beach vacation or an adventurous getaway, this town has something to offer everyone.

From soaring down ziplines and surfing the waves, to exploring local markets and indulging in fresh seafood at Mama’s Fish House or the iconic Paia Fish Market – there’s no shortage of things to do in this chill hippie town.

With its stunning beaches, unique attractions like the Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa, and close proximity to nearby Haiku town, it’s no wonder why Paia is one of Maui’s most beloved destinations. So pack your bags and add this beach town gem to your bucket list!


What are the best things to do in Paia, North Shore Maui?

There are many memorable activities to enjoy in Paia, North Shore Maui. Some of the best things to do include exploring the town’s unique shops and galleries, indulging in delicious food, exploring the beautiful beaches, and experiencing the vibrant surf culture.

How can I get to Paia?

Paia is located on the North Shore of Maui, and there are a few ways to get there. If you are driving, you can take the Hana Highway (Route 36) from Kahului. It is also possible to book a shuttle or taxi service from the airport or other areas of the island.

What are some popular attractions and places to see in Paia?

Some popular attractions and places to see in Paia include Baldwin Beach Park, Ho’okipa Beach Park, Paia Bay, Paia Town, and the Maui Dharma Center. Additionally, you can find unique shops, art galleries, and delicious restaurants in the town.

What is the weather like in Paia?

The weather in Paia is typically warm and tropical. It is important to note that the North Shore of Maui can be windier than other parts of the island. It is advisable to check the weather forecast before planning outdoor activities.

Where can I stay in Paia?

Paia offers a variety of accommodations for visitors. Some popular options include the Paia Inn, a boutique hotel in the heart of town, and vacation home rentals in the surrounding area.

What are some things to do around Paia?

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in the vicinity of Paia. You can visit the famous Road to Hana, go on a snorkeling or whale watching tour, hike in the nearby Haleakala National Park, or explore other charming towns like Haiku.

Are there any health food stores in Paia?

Yes, Paia is known for its health-conscious community, and there are several health food stores in the town. One popular option is Mana Foods, which offers a wide range of organic and natural products.

What are some recommended restaurants in Paia?

Paia is a great place for food lovers, and there are many fantastic restaurants to choose from. Some highly recommended options include Mama’s Fish House for seafood, Cafe des Amis for Mediterranean cuisine, and Flatbread Company for delicious organic pizzas.

Can you recommend any fun things to do in Paia?

Absolutely! In addition to the beautiful beaches and unique shops, you can enjoy activities like surfing, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kiteboarding in Paia. You can also check out the vibrant local art scene and attend live music performances.

Is there a nude beach near Paia?

While Paia itself does not have a nude beach, Little Beach in Makena, which is about a 30-minute drive from Paia, is known as a clothing-optional beach. Please note that certain rules and regulations may apply.

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.