Started as a sugar plantation in the 1870s and incorporated in 1896, Pa‘ia is now the closest thing Maui has to a laid-back, California-style beach town. Given the proliferation of tie-dye, some folks say it remains stuck in the 1960s. Generations of kama‘aina mix with mainland hippie transplants and European ocean enthusiasts—Pa‘ia is best known as the windsurfing capital of the world.
Take a deep breath and enter the Maui Dharma Center. The Dalai Lama consecrated its imposing 27-foot-high gold-trimmed stupa, or outdoor shrine, in 2007. 81 Baldwin Avenue. 808-579-8076; mauidharmacenter.com.
H.A. Baldwin Beach Park is perfect for an invigorating swim or an early-morning walk or run. Its long white-sand beach west of town is popular with families, especially on weekends. Highway 36 (a.k.a. Hana Highway), mile marker 6. tinyurl.com/ook5dqa.
East of town, watching world-class windsurfers at Ho‘okipa Beach Park is truly thrilling. Unless you’re world-class yourself, don’t even think about getting into the water here. Highway 36, mile marker 9. tinyurl.com/pjvbqkm.
For all things surf and beach, go to the original of four Hi-Tech Surf Sports locations. 58 Baldwin Avenue. 808-579-9297; surfmaui.com.
Moonbow Tropics has an unmatched selection of Hawai‘i-made aloha shirts, plus casual women’s clothing and jewelry. 27 Baldwin Avenue. 808-579-3131; moonbowtropics.com.
Maui Girl Beachwear is packed full of bikinis, many designed and made on Maui. 12 Baldwin Avenue. 808-579-9266; maui-girl.com.
In a town full of stylish shops, Biasa Rose Boutique is one of the best, with casual contemporary clothing for men and women and plenty more. 104 Hana Highway. 808-579-8602; facebook.com/biasaroseboutique.
Your pie will come out of a big, primitive-looking wood-fire oven at Flatbread Company. But first, top it with stuff from the list of organic, local, and sustainable products. 89 Hana Highway. 808-579-8989; flatbreadcompany.com.
Cool, funky, and always crowded, Pa‘ia Fish Market serves fabulous fresh fish in several preparations at popular prices. Grab a seat at a communal table or haul your catch to a beach park. 100 Hana Highway. 808-579-8030; paiafishmarket.com.
Café Mambo is a colorful party of art and decor that offers an energetic combination of world cuisines for all three meals. 30 Baldwin Avenue. 808-579-8021; cafemambomaui.com.