Maui's Northshore: Rumor vs. Reality
For those whove made the northshore their home base for past vacations, the experience of being in an uncrowded lush tropical environment far outweighs any negative issues that they have presupposed. For those who havent stayed on the northshore, some misconceptions can preclude them from even thinking of staying here, and thereby perhaps have them miss an opportunity to have a unique vacation. These negative rumors and the reality include the following:
1) Rumor: the
northshore is too windy. Reality: its no more windy and often
less windy than other popular tourist locations on the island, with the exception
of Wailea and Makena on the southshore. Both Kihei and Ka'anapali routinely
get higher wind speeds on most tradewind days. But this is good
news since the trades cool off the hot island air to make it very pleasant
during all times of year.
2) Rumor: the northshore is too wavy. Reality: its flat like a lake at the beaches most of the year, with the exception of the winter months of December - March. Waves usually break on an offshore reef located 100 - 300 yards offshore anyway though there can be some shorebreak at popular beaches like Baldwin on the northshore, but even there its usually fun for boogie-boarding. During the summer months, however, shorebreak is common at southshore beaches. At all beaches on Maui, its usually not dangerous at any time, though there are days of rare exception so caution should always be exercised.
3) Rumor: the northshore is too rainy. Reality: it does rain more on the northshore than the south or west sides, hence the more lush/tropical northshore appearance, but rain is usually in the form of passing showers that come in on the tradewinds and usually effect areas to the east like Haiku much more. Infrequent storms do effect all the islands and theres just as much likelihood of them effecting all shores equally. Statistically, though every year is different and weather is unpredictable, the northshore still only has about a 10 - 25% chance of rain in the areas close to the beaches, near Paia town, which still means a 75% chance of sun during the winter months, more like a 90% chance of sun during the other months.
4) Rumor: staying
on the northshore would take you "out of the loop" of "where
the action is" on Maui. Reality: if you're looking to be close
to some great outdoor activities like windsurfing, hiking, and biking, the
opposite would be true. But if you still want to have the flexibility to enjoy
the other shores, the really nice feature about Maui, as opposed to the other
Hawaiian Islands, is that it's very easy and convenient to get from one side
of the island to the other. It's just a 30-minute drive from Paia town to
the best beaches on the southshore and just a 45-minute drive
to Lahaina town on the westside. There's certainly more nightlife available on the southshore and westside but even that's in short supply here on Maui (but don't miss Willie K on Monday's at Hapa's in Kihei, call first to be sure he's playing).
5) Rumor: there's too much jet noise from the airport on the northshore. Reality: jet noise is NOT an issue at most of the properties we offer on the northshore (the exception being those with direct windsurfing access). There are several good oceanfront properties that offer beach access with no jet noise whatsoever.
In other words, none of these issues is worth considering when making a decision whether to stay on the northshore. What should be considered is what type of vacation experience you want to have and in what type of accommodation you wish to stay, cottage vs. condo, rural/residential vs. resort, and what do you want to spend, since northshore accommodations are approximately half the cost of what you can get comparably in other locations on Maui, making it the most affordable location on the island.
Paia is at the center
of the northshore, about 10 minutes from the airport in Kahului. It's an old
sugar cane plantation town that has since turned into a "funky meets
trendy" little gathering place, real little, as in one stoplight. But
the tiny-town atmosphere of Paia boasts many boutiques, quaint coffee shops,
and various restaurants of all kinds in all price ranges, including some of
the best on the island nearby. Just up the road from Paia, world-famous Ho'okipa
Beach attracts surfers and windsurfers alike from around the world. Makawao,
a few miles up the mountain from Paia, is another small town that time forgot
which contains many boutiques and restaurants. There are several uncrowded
sandy beaches on the northshore, with mile-long Baldwin Beach near Paia being
the main one, a perfect place for strolling, sunning, swimming, or boogie-boarding.
The northshore is ideal as a base for jumping off to explore more remote parts
of the island like the tropical rain forest past Haiku which extends to Hana,
the upcountry area of Kula and Haleakala Crater, and the West Maui Mountains.
Kahului is conveniently close by as well with supermarkets, restaurants, and
the island's largest mall, which includes a multiplex movie theater. The northshore
has developed slowly over the years but still offers the best of both worlds:
a laid-back casual culturally-diverse atmosphere with modern amenities and
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