Hawaii

Mary Grierson: Floral artist celebrated as one of the most

In 1960 a woman applied for the post of exhibitions officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She didn't get the job, but was able to show her interviewers her portfolio of flower paintings, and was engaged instead as an artist in the herbarium. This was Mary Grierson, soon to become recognised as one of the world's most distinguished botanical artists.

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Surf war: boys from Brazil vs Hawaii's angry young locals

You only have to watch Edison de Paula carve his way across one of the spectacular waves that wallop Oahu's shore to realise surfing isn't a laid-back sport. When the swells hit 30 feet, one wrong move can send you to a watery grave. At Pipeline, a break famous for its perfect "tubes," there have been 70 deaths since the 1960s. At nearby Sunset Beach, a man went missing, presumed dead, only last week.

The Big Six: Surf hotels in the Americas

Suitably located in "Surf City USA", the Shorebreak is one of Huntington Beach's newest hotels. It channels the surf heritage in its colour palette (lemon, tangerine, cerise, lime and ocean blue), vintage-leaning design and beach views. After a day out in the ocean, guests can congregate for cocktails around the fire pits at The Deck lounge or head back down to the beach for Huntington's nightly bonfires.