Aloha, fellow beach lovers!
I’ve been on a fantastic journey exploring Paia, Hawaii’s sandy shores with my boyfriend, and now it’s time to spill the tea on the best beaches in this tropical paradise. You see, planning a vacation can be exhilarating yet nerve-wracking – especially when you’re trying to accommodate everyone’s preferences. My boyfriend wanted an authentic Hawaiian experience with all the comforts of home but without being swarmed by tourists – quite a tall order!
Well, guess what? I dug deep into researching (with countless hours spent reading blog posts and articles) and put my own adventurous spirit to work by personally visiting each beach – all for your benefit! So, you can confidently plan your next trip while avoiding potential pitfalls.
In this article, I’ll share my top 5 favorite beaches in Paia based on fun factors, tourist traffic, breathtaking views, and marine life sightings. Trust me; as someone who recently navigated the murky waters of choosing the perfect spot myself, I’ve got you covered!
Warning: Reading about these amazing beaches might trigger spontaneous urges to book tickets or hum “Margaritaville”— proceed at your own risk!
Ready? Let’s dive right into discovering Paia’s hidden gems and start dreaming about sun-kissed days ahead!
#1. Baldwin Beach Park – Favorite Beach of the Locals
This beach takes the number one place because of the scenic views in every direction. This beach is large and spacious, covered in fine white sand. Perfect for “burying” your loved ones or making sand castles. (My boyfriend didn’t let me bury him, so I made a sand castle!)
We did a morning trip. I loved swimming on this beach. A designated swimming area called Baldwin Cove is safe for the whole family because the water is calm. If you are looking for a more advanced swim experience, the center of the beach has more waves and pulls.
This beach is a local favorite, so there are fewer tourists and a more authentic feel. I loved watching the locals surf and boogie-board while taking a long walk on the beach. I saw some runners taking their morning run here.
It’s the most convenient beach on the list because of all the amenities. Besides parking, showers, bathrooms, and picnic tables, there is a lifeguard and covered pavilions for eating. We had our delicious breakfast here while sitting on the shore and digging our feet into the sand.
My favorite beach of the holiday was this one. I ranked it #1 because:
- Great designated area for swimming and playing in the soft sand.
- The convenient parking area always has space and can be used for other nearby beaches.
- This beach is a local favorite, so you can spend some time watching the surfers and boogie-boarders from Hawaii.
- This is a large beach, so there is space for everyone to spread out or picnic at the tables and pavilions.
NOTE: Bring some shade, lots of sunscreens, and head protection. There is limited shade at this beach.
#2. Baby Beach – Best Family-Friendly Fun
Baby Beach is just a short walk from Baldwin Beach so you can keep your parking. Don’t let the name mislead you. This beach is fun for all ages! Though it is ideal for children because of the super calm water and shallow sandy area, I love that too!
It is a great place for beginner snorkelers or those to relax (like me!). This snorkeling area is about hip deep and full of tropical sea life and coral. I spent over an hour exploring the underwater world.
If you are an animal lover, this beach is also great. Many locals bring their dogs here.
It is a super safe beach for families and has a tide pool for the little ones. We could escape the sun and extend our beach time thanks to the wooded area. This beach is underdeveloped. It doesn’t have many amenities (no bathrooms and showers). I didn’t mind because it felt more organic and calm. Do, however, bring everything you need with you (for a tasty lunch, do the short drive into Paia).
Here is why you need to check out this beach:
- Great place for couples and families with children.
- You can swim or snorkel in the large shallow end where the water is clear and calm.
- This is a pet-friendly beach, so prepare for happy dogs.
NOTE: This beach does not have amenities. Do bring everything you need with you (including snacks).
#3. Paia Secret Beach – The Clothing-Optional Beach
If you don’t mind this being a nudist beach, it is the perfect place to spend some quality quiet time. The beach has a beautiful view of the open ocean. It is the most peaceful beach in the region and a huge contrast to the hectic beaches of Honolulu.
There are several ways to get to this beach, but we just walked from Paia Bay (where we also parked). There is no parking at Secret Beach.
I spent some time reading my book while soaking in the sun. It was quiet and peaceful. I could hear the waves while several people took a swim a ways away with their dogs. We did not see more than 10-15 people the entire time we were there. Some people choose to go nude. Others were in swimming suits. It’s really up to you!
It is a small sandy beach for couples. We enjoyed our quiet time and relaxing swim. It was romantic and a great place to spend the afternoon if you brought food. I did not see any children while we were there, but the vibe was friendly.
Don’t miss this beach just because clothing is optional. I loved it, and here’s why you’ll love it too:
- This is the most peaceful and quiet beach in the region.
- The surroundings, white sand, and seclusion make it an intimate and romantic beach for couples.
- It’s great to visit on weekdays when the beach is almost empty.
- The beach is pet friendly.
- Clothing is optional for those who love to swim naked or want a new experience.
#4. Ho’okipa Beach Park – The Best Place to See a Sunset
You will never be bored at this beach (we went back twice.) This sandy and rocky beach is great for watching or participating in water sports. The waves were big when we were there. It was super fun to watch the pro surfers on the big waves. Other than surfing, people were windsurfing, bodyboarding, and sailing.
Both times we visited in the evening. It was beautiful because part of the beach was filled with huge turtles. I did some research and found out they use this beach for spending the night. It is a great place to swim and meet the turtles, but please keep some distance for the turtle’s safety.
I noticed some people with binoculars looking out for turtles and dolphins, which I thought was fun. (I would prefer to zoom in on some of those amazing surfers but to each his own!)
The sunset was one of a kind. It was super relaxing to have a beer on the beach and enjoy the colors of the sunset. The experience was made better by several skilled windsurfers out on the water. I took some fantastic pictures of all the action.
This beach made the list because:
- It’s almost guaranteed you will see turtles on the beach in the evenings.
- It’s the best beach to watch the sunset because lots of water sports are going on.
- You can try surfing or any other water sports (they are all happening on this beach).
#5. Kaulahao Beach – Best Turtle Beach
This soft sandy beach is ideal for snorkeling and observing the large local population of green turtles. It’s a smaller, less visited beach, so there is a lot of space to stretch out and find your preferred spot. The best time to visit is mid-day when the visibility in the water is the clearest.
We arrived right after lunch. After some time snorkeling (we rented equipment for two hours), the turtles started filling the beach. No matter how often I see them, they are always amazing. This beach has a designated area where the turtles hang out, so it is almost guaranteed you can see them here. It’s a real Green turtle sanctuary.
There was a nice coastal trail by the beach, so we took a great walk. Most of the trail is paved, so no additional gear is needed. We were able to take some great pictures, and it led us to a nice restaurant for drinks.
This beach is well worth your time, but keep in mind that no lifeguards or showers are available. The bathroom is by the parking lot.
The things I loved about this beach are:
- This is a great beach for snorkeling. It is suitable for beginners up to advanced levels.
- There are tons of Green turtles on this beach, so you can watch them sunbathe, eat, or even swim with them!
- You can follow the coastal trail for a nice walk leading to restaurants.
Fun fact: Green turtles are 3 to 4 feet long and weigh 300 to 350 pounds.
Conclusions on the best beaches in Paia:
Paia is the ideal vacation spot for traveling alone, as a couple, or as a family. The city offers a lot of quality dining options and hiking trails. But the best parts by far are the many picturesque beaches you can visit.
Speaking as someone who has visited a lot of beaches, this is a place no one in the family will get bored of. So forget your phone at home (except to take pictures)!
I wish you a happy and safe trip! Visit my other ranked beaches by destination.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What is the prettiest beach in Maui?
Baldwin Beach and Secret beach are regularly on top of the lists for prettiest beaches in Maui! Usually, there are no crowds on these beautiful sandy beaches. Another top beach in Maui is Ho’okipa Beach Park which is famous for its watersports and surfing competitions. It is the prettiest beach to watch world-class surfing.
Is Paia worth visiting?
Yes. Paia is a gorgeous place to vacation. This small town has a thriving art community and offers plenty of delicious restaurants and hiking trails. The best part of visiting Paia is that it has some of the best beaches in Hawaii.
What is Paia Maui known for?
Paia is known for its diverse local culture. The small city has art galleries, small local shops, handmade souvenirs, and great restaurants. Paia is surrounded by some of the best beaches in Hawaii but is not as crowded as the larger cities.
Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Brigitte