WHEN THE PHRASES “beachfront” and “around a hundred bucks” appear near each other in the context of a Hawaiian vacation, it’s best to move fast. And so it goes at this patchwork of five beachfront and six garden cottages and partitioned homes in the heart of North Shore’s Seven Mile Miracle, the gob-smacked surfer’s moniker for the stretch between Waimea and Sunset Beach.
But as stunning as the famed winter waves are from the shore, they are deadly. Tales of beachcombers pulled out to sea are easily coaxed from the friendly locals who frequent the beach, or from Greg Gerstenberger, the Spicoli-esque property manager loved (and sometimes criticized) by guests for his chilled outlook on life (and “lost” reservations). Their warnings are reminders to heed the high surf flags between October and May, letting the surf pros do their thing in the water. If the ocean is too angry, Ke Iki Beach’s indoors aren’t too shabby, especially the more spacious garden suites that come with TVs, full kitchens, parking and bedrooms. The beachfront units are equally appointed, but a couple don’t have kitchens, a shame given the Ke Iki’s proximity to the massive Foodland supermarket.
Rooms start at US$100.
THE MISCONCEPTION THAT Canada’s West Coast gets rain year-round evaporates with a summer visit to Vancouver’s plentiful bands of sand. The gorgeous statistic that only 10 per cent of the city’s rain falls in June, July and August is not lost on the legion or urban beachgoers who head southwest to escape the vertical glass of Lotus City, all the way to Jericho Beach. There they serve up volleyballs, fly kites, cast fishing lines and watch their kids play among the adjacent park’s 54 hectares of mossy trees and driftwood.
Canada’s Most Walkable City 2009: Fredericton
With a population of just over 50,000, Fredericton is the smallest city in the walkable index. It's also one of the safest, with only 25 pedestrian-vehicle accidents recorded in 2007. That's no small stat, given that with two local universities and one of eastern Canada's mildest climates, walking per capita rivals that of larger cities.