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Pa'ia, Maui…It's Oh So Boho!

The morning of our departure from Lahaina (location for MTV’s Maui Fever) set amid the west coast of the island, I put on a silk bohemian maxi dress fashioned from vintage saris with a bikini.  After packing up our luggage, the cabdriver hopped into the driver’s seat of his minvan and asked, “So where to?”  I said, “Pa’ia.”  Shocked, he exclaimed, “Really?  I haven’t gone there in ages.  It’s like the place is stuck in a time warp with all those hippies.  You’re certainly dressed appropriately.”  I smiled gleefully as he noted my cunning Nicole Richie-esque fashion choice.  To the North!  Bohemia, here we come!

I was prepared for Paia, the coolest little town on the North Shore of Maui (on Frommer’s Top 10 List).  My friend J had advised me that I would looove it, knowing that I had a pechant for all things boho.  If you were to displace the Hamptons into a Hawaiian island, this would certainly be it except less preppy more Grateful Dead.  Perfectly highlighted blonde hottie mothahs and their sun-kissed, cool kids in Roxy hoodies intermingle with the T&G (tanned and gorgeous) local hippie surfers in tie-dye.  You can spend two days here to take in the shopping, sights and sounds.  Friendly locals greet you on the streets with a drawn out “Alooohaaaa” (say it like Keanu Reeves would say ‘duuuude’) and watch the crashing ocean waves as the sun sets.  Just like a Jack Johnson video (“Uke-lu-ke-le-le, eating banana pancakes..”) but for real and with rainbows.

  • Slumber Party:  Paia Inn – Stay at this Boutique Inn (the only hotel in town) owned by hottie hipsters in straw fedoras and the gorgeous models that love them.  Seriously.  This cozy inn has a few rooms, free Internet service, Free Trade organic coffee and baked goods, a trail to the beach in the backyard and a prime location on Baldwin.
  • Hippies Like Shopping Too:  There are a plethora of cute little shops along the main drag.  Get your fix of the HOTTEST swimwear at Maui Girl, like Swarovski encrusted paisleys, animal prints or designers like Rosa Cha.  Insanely cute but bring your credit card. For casual wear like tie-dyed tanks or bright batik cotton jersey dresses, try Mahina.   Trendsetters should hit up Alice in Hulaland for accessories, fashion forward flip flops and a nice selection of dresses.  Check out Indigo which dazzles with beautiful Indian and Asian accessories and home furnishings.
  • Chill Out:  One Gelato Company and Anthony’s Coffee Co. serves some delicious flavours of ice cream.  Try something tropical like Pineapple or a Dulce de Leche.
  • I like your Board Shorts.  Stalk Surfer Boys:  You know where all the hottt surfer boys hang out?  They’re buying seaweed at the Salad Bar and filling up on hemp (aka maui wowie) granola bars at Mana Foods.  It’s how they keep their 6-packs so tight.  Grab a beach mat, soak up the sun on Baby Beach (Paia Bay) or Ho’okipa and enjoy their natural beauty while you watch them paddle out to seek the perfect wave.  Be entertained for hours, for free.

And if you’re like me and you fall in love with Hawaii, you will start to tell people, “I’m from the Big Island.”  More info on Paia Town, click on

Baby Beach (Pa'ia Bay) Pickup: "Aloha babelicious!"

Baby Beach (Pa'ia Bay) Pickup: "Aloha babelicious!"



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