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A Little About Paia

Paia is a small town on the north shore of the Valley Island. Paia is located on the scenic road to Hana, and is the last community on the Hana Highway before Hana itself. Paia has a population of about two thousand five hundred residents, and covers almost seven square miles. Paia’s economy depends heavily on the tourist industry, although the community has generally maintained an authentic rural Hawaiian character. Paia is less than ten minutes away from the larger town of Kahului, which is home to one of Maui’s major airports. Paia was originally a plantation town, and some aspects of the sugar economy can be seen in the architecture of the community. Paia is home to locally and nationally famous eateries, such as the Paia Fish Market and Charley’s, which is rumored to be a favorite of Willie Nelson. Paia’s small commercial district is a treasure trove of unique boutiques and locally owned businesses, ranging from hole in the wall restaurants to art galleries.

Paia is well known as a wind surfing and kite surfing destinations thanks to a number of nearby beaches and water sport hotspots. The most popular among these is Hookipa Beach, which regularly attracts professional windsurfers during the winter months. The prevalence of this sport in Paia has earned the community the nickname of “the windsurfing capital of the world.” The entire family can enjoy H.A. Baldwin Beach Park, which is protected from larger waves by a lagoon. There are several surf and tourist shops in Paia which offer equipment rentals throughout the year. The community is served by the Maui Bus, which offers an inexpensive way to visit larger towns such as Kahului and Wailuku.

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