Many people know Paia as the “Windsurfing Capital Of The World.” But if you decide to visit Paia, you’ll be able to do more than windsurfing. This pedestrian-friendly town has a surprising number of attractions for nearly everyone to enjoy.
It’s the place where people have flocked to for nearly 150 years. From the early immigrant sugar workers to the counter-culturists in the 1960’s to the surfers in the 80’s, Paia has become a bohemian place where people really enjoy life. The Town boasts a variety of places including coffee shops, art studios, restaurants, boutiques, yoga studios, and even a health food store, and is also a stop on the Road to Hana.
La’Akea Farm Stand And The Thrive Cafe
Here’s where you’ll find a farmer’s market offering locally and organically grown produce along with handmade items. But behind this venture is a nonprofit that has another purpose: to help meet the needs of residents with developmental disabilities through the arts, the community, and with farm-based programs.
La’Akea Village is based on the Camphill Villages Model and is continually working to expand its programs for resident and nonresident care. The results are the work of residents, staff, participants and volunteers. You’ll not only be getting the best organic fruits and vegetables; you’ll also be helping for a greater good.
Ho’okipa Beach Park
Of course, any visit to Paia has to include a beach, and Ho’okipa Beach Park is one of the best. You can find it at mile marker #9 on the Hana Highway, it’s been a popular surfing spot since the 1930’s. Whether you surf, snorkel, or swim, you’ll be in good company—locals flock here along with visitors.
If you visit during the spring, summer, and fall, you’ll have plenty of opportunity for surfing as well as plenty of amenities, including picnic tables. In the winter, you may have the opportunity to see a pod of humpback whales.
Ho’okipa is Hawaiian for “hospitality,” and it’s given as well as expected. Please be mindful of the signs, and respectful of the people, the ocean and the beach.
Maui isn’t necessarily a place where you’d think about spirituality. But Paia has two notable historic places, The Holy Rosary Catholic Church and the Maui Dharma Center, a Tibetan Buddhist center for study.
When you need a break from the busyness of Paia, quiet reflection is nearby. Home to The Great Paia Lha Bab Peace Stupa, the Maui Dharma Center began working on this Stupa as a monument to the late Venerable Lama Tenzin (1938-2001), the first full-time resident spiritual director of the Center.
The Stupa is located at the entrance to the parking lot, and completed on time for consecration in 2007 by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during his historic visit to Maui. There is a daily prayer schedule as well as other activities during the week. You can turn the large prayer wheel inside the Stupa, walk the grounds and visit the gardens, and ask questions of the friendly members on site. (Donations are graciously accepted.)
Holy Rosary Church is was built in 1926 and is a historic landmark. Its beautiful architecture includes incredible stained glass windows crafted in Belgium by M. Barry. The marble statue in the outdoor memorial for St. Damien was carved in Italy. This Gothic style isn’t seen anywhere else on the island.
Located on Baldwin Avenue, just north of downtown Paia, Holy Rosary sits in the middle of Paia’s historic plantation area. Despite its historic status, this church has an active congregation, and has a regular weekly mass schedule.
You can find more information on the Paia Town Association’s website.
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