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May 11, 2008

Eating and Beaching in Pa'ia


Hangin' ten.

by Mollie Chen

About four miles from Maui's Kahului airport, the laid-back surfer town of Pa'ia is best known for its gas stations (it's the last pitstop before the famously twisty Road to Hana). A few weeks ago, my sister and I made the trek to Hana, Annie handling Hana Highway's sharp turns like a small, very cute racecar driver, and had a lovely spa- and smoothie-filled weekend. But the best part of the trip might have been Pa'ia, where we stopped for a few hours of eating and beaching. Some highlights: The iced coffee from Ha Beanz, served with coffee ice cubes, was so good we went back for seconds. Newcomer Ono Gelato makes all its gelatos on site and has traditional flavors plus homegrown ones like organic Ono Farms Apple Banana and Maui Gold Pineapple. Hana Bay Juice Company's picnic lunches are perfect for taking to nearby Hookipa Beach, which is famous for its windsurfing and kitesurfing. (Keep an eye out for the boogie-boarding dog.) Annie had to physically pry me out of Mana Foods, an overstuffed natural foods market--but not before I snagged a bottle of lilikoi-flavored Maui Kombucha and a bag of Barbara's Snackimals. I've heard that they have great sandwiches, too. 

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