Great American Beach Towns

by Sarah Tuff

HALEIWA, HAWAII

The sand: Oahu has 112 miles of coastline and 130 beaches, but the stretch surrounding Haleiwa has 40 surf breaks and is known as the Seven-Mile Miracle. Aloha.

Marine life: Maybe if you'd been born in Haleiwa, you'd write lyrics like Jack Johnson. OK, maybe not. But the surfer and musician was certainly inspired by the surroundings of his sleepy hometown on the north shore of Oahu, with tumbling turquoise waves that swell to 25 feet, pineapple plantations, and dozens of hip little eateries, shops, and studios tucked among the prodigious palm trees. Surf N Sea, one of the island's oldest surf shops, has rentals and lessons, plus scuba diving. In between sessions, hit the Haleiwa Arts Festival, which takes place in mid-July and exhibits sculptures, watercolors, photos, and jewelry by 130 island artists. Another work of art: a banana-coconut-pineapple shave ice from the legendary M. Matsumoto Grocery Store.

The sanctuary: Indulge your daydreams at one at the five beachfront bungalows at Keiki Beach. They have kitchens, grills, and cable, but the real amenities are the hammocks, tropical cocktails, and gorgeous sunsets.

Keiki Beach Bungalows
Tel: 808 638 8229
One-bedroom bungalows from $135

Surf N Sea
Tel: 808 637 9887

M. Matsumoto Grocery Store
Tel: 808 637 4827

NEXT: Talk of the town

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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