Photo courtesy of William DeSousa-Mauk
It's easy to miss, this tiny outpost on Maui's North Shore, and most travelers on the road to Hana make that very mistake. Their loss. Pa'ia calls itself Maui's "coolest little town," and that title fits. Combining holdover hippie sensibilities, surf culture, and New Age openness, Pa'ia is a funky little crossroads that Big Tourism has managed to pass by.
With a Buddhist stupa consecrated by the Dalai Lama himself, two tattoo parlors, one hemp store, and what is considered the best natural foods store on Maui, Pa'ia is charmingly, distinctively a unique place of 2,668 happy souls—who enjoy five beaches in walking distance of town.
Where to stay: The boutique Paia Inn is a dreamy getaway in the heart of it all by a sugar-sand beach, with garden, town, and ocean views. Rates start at $259;