If you have ever done the Road to Hana in Maui, then you have probably spent some time in the funky town of Paia. This is the city that is most commonly known as the starting point to the Road to Hana, but it is so much more.
Paia is a surfers paradise with a laid back population of just over 2,700 people and is only 55 miles from the town of Hana. This makes it the perfect stop before the picturesque trek to Hana.
We started our Road to Hana adventure with an brief overnight stay at the hip Paia Inn, that we wished lasted longer.
The Paia Inn is a trendy boutique hotel with only fifteen rooms. Not only do they serve the best breakfast in town, their backyard is the gorgeous Paia Bay beachfront where you can surf or watch the sunrise. Conde Nast also named them as having one of the World’s Sexiest Hotel Staffs. And it is true. They are all super hot. Maybe I should have skipped the donut this morning. Or for the last six years.
If you travel to Paia, there are two eateries that must be on your bucket list; Flatbread Pizza and Mama’s Fish House.
We hit up the pizza joint for a quick lunch upon arriving into town. There is almost always a wait at Flatbread Pizza and once you eat there you will know why. Their pizza and salads feature the best of local products.
The most popular pie, the Mopsey Kalua Pork, is made with the most tender Kiawe smoked free-range pork shoulder. Add in an organic mango BBQ sauce, along with Maui pineapple and you have found perfection in a pizza.
That same night we went to the overly recommended Mama’s Fish House.
If you want to splurge, paying an average $50 per entree (just the entree…not including drinks, appetizers or dessert), then head over to Mama’s. Though my mama would never charge as much.
It is totally overpriced, but the breathtaking grounds and open air dining are reason enough to go. And the fish is pretty damn good too.
Photo Credit: bionicgrrrl
After dinner we strolled the two-block downtown area peaking into the pricey clothing boutiques. The shops exemplify the lifestyle in Paia; cool, casual and comfortable.
Before heading back to the Inn, we needed a little something sweet and stopped by One Gelato Company for a Sandy Beach Gelato. It is made from peanut butter, sea salt and, my new favorite Hawaiian food, coconut candy. Don’t miss any Sandy Beach in Paia.
Though this is a town you can see yourself spending many days relaxing in, we are now ready for a memorable Road to Hana adventure. And forgive me, but I will not be missing the super-sexy surfer chicks in abundance. My husband will.
Have you visited the town of Paia? Have you traveled the Road to Hana?
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Disclosure: A portion of my stay was sponsored by the Maui Tourism Board and Paia Inn, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.