Extending from Kanaha Beach Park adjacent to the Kahului airport, past Paia and Haiku to Huelo, Northshore Maui conjurs up visions of rain and wind…in a good way. Hookipa Beach, the world class windsurfing beach, has put Northshore Maui on the map. Paia is the most well-known probably because it is the easiest to reach. On the ocean side of Paia is Baldwin Beach that has taking a pounding over the years and has lost a lot of its beach. A funky little visitor’s town, Paia was formerly a plantation town servicing the plantation camps housing workers that dotted the area around the Paia sugar mill. Vestiges of the camp homes remain as eager young wayfarers seek them out for bargain shelter.
Just past Hookipa, the Pauwela lighthouse stands watch marking the spot in the lower part of Haiku where locals know the weather is more moderate, with sun filled days and nights of gentle rains. There is almost a cult-like feeling to living in the Haiku area where the residents are thoroughly in touch with their environment and spend a lot of time familiarizing themselves with each backwoods’ road and trail and utter directions like “you go up Ulumalu Road in Peahi, turn right onto a road that doesn’t look like one and travel on it until you can’t go any more”.
Travel up the flank of Haleakala, past the village of Haiku you find yourself among gentlemen estates on streets with names like Hogback Road, Kokomo Road, West Kuiaha, Kaupakalua and finally to some of the wettest spots on Maui at Maui Ranch Estates and Awalau Road. But to the people who live there, it is God’s country. Stop at Fukushima Store in Haiku town for a to-die-for hotdog. George stocks some of the finest wines you could ever want for your dinner table.
Select the lower route, the Hana Highway, and you pass through windswept areas of Pili grass and old pineapple farms. One of the first developments on the makai (ocean) side of the Hana Highway was named Aina O Ka Hale Pili. For the longest time we had a poster hanging in our office of the land predevelopment which elicited a million questions of where it was and could they buy it today.
Huelo used to be a haven for hippies but is heaven to those who wish to live off the grid. An area we used to call “Toolshed Heights” because many of the dwellings were built illegally by calling them a tool shed, afforded some of the most spectacular ocean views that you could ever imagine, unfettered by any utility lines. Ever hear of Jaws? That notorious surf spot is there on the Northshore. Discover the North shore. You will want to live there.
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Tamera McKay Photography