On one of our leisure days we took a drive from Lahaina to the paniolo (cowboy) town of Paia. This started out as an agriculture center, but now has a mix of art colony, tourist shops, and is known as the world capitol of windsurfing. It is also the last town before entering the long and twisting road to Hana. Parking can be a challenge but we found a lot just as you come into town. Even early in the morning the lot was pretty full. We shopped and had coffee and shopped some more before driving down to Ho’okipa to watch the windsurfers.
Both Bill and I scored treasures in the shops. I found some beautiful placemats at Maui Hands. Be bought a wood walking stick with a carved dolphin for the handle. He found that at Mandala Ethnic Arts at 29 Baldwin Ave. There was another antique store to check out. Paia Trading Company is located on 106 Hana Hwy. I had hoped to find something uniquely Hawaiian but it all looked like our grandmas’ cupboards. Over the years I have always made a point of shopping at the Maui Crafts Guild where I have found several treasures. Being a cooperative that means the artists exhibited take turns runnig the store. It is always fun to talk to them about their work. The guild is located on the ocean side of the highway as you approach from Kahului.
Our coffee stop was Anthony’s Coffee Co. also located on the Hana Hwy. We managed to get the window seats overlooking the street. We had a pleasant view of the small town with lots of surfboards and windboards being transported to the beaches. Traffic was heavy and unrelenting. Also available are breakfasts including lox and bagels, croissants, wraps, omelets and waffles. They also serve lunch and ice cream. We should have skipped breakfast at home because this menu looked pretty good.
Moving down the road we stopped at Ho’okipa Beach Park located at Mile 9. We started to pick up the twists and turns of the road to Hana. At the top of one rise we turned into the upper section of the park. Lots of parking here and even a lunch wagon and craft tables, Unfortunately due to unusual surf and wind conditions there was only one windsurfer out there for us to watch. Marilyn and I decided to go for a hike and we followed the cliff edge fence trail down to a point where we could look down on some tidepools. On the way back we stopped to admire the flowering and fruiting trees along the path. Leaving the park we drove down to the lower level where the windsurfers launch. All the picnic tables were full of family gatherings. This certainly is a popular place for local families. One good thing about Maui…if the thing you came to see isn’t there, there will be something else to look at. One day we took a whale watch. Didn’t see any whales but we saw lots of dolphins and flying fish and the beautiful coast of Maui.
On the way home we stopped at Zippy’s for a late lunch….but that is another story.