5 Reasons Hawaii is even more awesome than you realize

The Hawaiian Islands are a geographical jewels for the obvious reasons of weather and landscape, making them the top tourist, luxury, and vacation destinations they currently are, but there are reasons Hawaii is the best tourist/lux/vacation destination of them all that are less obvious.

 

 

Everyone likes piss-warm ocean water and beautiful beaches but I like Hawaii in particular and Oahu in specifical for these 5 reasons.

 

1- Urban but Natural
The locals and the tourists alike complain that areas in Hawaii, and especially Oahu are much more city-ied up than it should be, but people forget the other side of that coin which is: Humans like cities. The compacting of living and retail space in large paved areas is convenient and attracts commerce that sustains the place and offers services and products humans enjoy.

Even though I think the city planning on Oahu is mostly missed opportunity at doing something unique and is generally unimpressive and too expansive – it is crazy-cool that it all rests within 3 minutes from some of the best beaches in the world on one side and the most hikable jungles on the other.

 

 

2- Foreign but American
Architecturally the islands cities may be generic, but visiting Hawaii is different than visiting San Diego or Miami because of the Polynesian history and influence in the area.

Hawaii has a unique status of having been the home of a culturally distinct ethnic kingdom that then merged with America, so the native-Hawaiian aspects are easy to embrace and enjoy. International travel is great, but there is a strong something-to-be-said for feeling like you’re in a foreign land without actually stepping outside the borders of uh’merika. Sometimes you want to go to China and experience the authentic culture and cuisine and sometimes you just want to get Chinese take-out and/or stroll around the markets in Chinatown for awhile. Hawaii offers the travel version of that experience.

 

 

3- Connected but secluded

Hawaii never markets themselves as being secluded but it’s actually the most secluded inhabited area on the globe. The islands that make up the state are a full width of the United States away from Los Angeles and about that same distance away from Japan on the other side with north and south just being endless oceanness. They’re just a few little blips out there in the blue, yet once you land it feels no different by way of disconnect than being in any other American city. It’s like traveling to Bali or Thailand but everyone speaks English, all your familiar TV channels are present, the currency is your own, your cell service works the same as it does anywhere near your home and when it doesn’t there are wifi hotspots in the same frequency and locations (like Starbucks) than where you came from.

 

 

4- High-end but middle-class chill
Hawaii does the mix of lower-class and luxury better than anywhere else I’ve been or heard much detail about because it actually blends them. Everywhere else you see a sharp mix between wealth and lack of wealth its a checkerboard like areas in California in particular where you’ll see mansions next to shacks. You see those in Hawaii too, but the atmosphere among the shacks and the mansions are at least similar. Walk into a 4+ star hotel in the lower 48 states and there is a different atmospheric change than outside of its doors. Sometimes it’s snooty and elitist, but even if it’s not that direction, the tonal shift is huge. In Hawaii, the upscale shops and hotels are inhabited by people with a more beachtown attitude, even if they’re worth a few million and the staff in these establishments are generally much more friendly than anywhere else. You can ask directions or other questions unrelated to the profession of the establishment or just browse the place at a Burberry store or hotel lobby in Hawaii with a far more pleasant reaction than if you tried to pull that Pretty Woman crap in New York City, for example.

 

 

5- Exotic but but actually comfortable

When you venture into the trails and non-trails of the Hawaiian wilderness you get all the fun of a Brazillian rain forrest or an African jungle without any of the things in those other two places that are present and trying to kill you. No jaguars, no gorillas, no lions or tigers or bears. Not even any disgruntled honey badgers or beavers or angry deer. Very very rarely will you be able to even catch a glimpse of a scary looking spider and even the ones present there are not venomous.

And did I mention no snakes? None. Zero. There’s nothing even remotely scary in Hawaii except for sharks and they are far less present and far less dangerous or likely to chomp you in Hawaii than the danger of that is in, for example, the entire eastern coast of the United States. I would randomly jump in the water in most places off the coasts of Hawaii but no way off the coasts of Massachusetts. And if one wants to never be near a shark there are lots of beaches and swimming areas where they have never been spotted coming near like Waikiki. The same can’t be said for the most famous beaches in California or Florida. Every time you go in more than waist deep water there, you are are running a much higher risk of encountering an unfriendly pair of jaws.

Nature is terrifying and locations on earth that are warm have the most terrifying killers and ruiners of a good time that nature has to offer. Very cold and snowy areas and deserts don’t have many things besides the weather that will kill you or really ruin your day but warm locations are packed with them. Everywhere you go that is beautiful to look at or comfortable weather-wise to be in is out to balance out the pleasantness with horrible plants, bugs, and animals. Except Hawaii. Hawaii has the least horrible things in it than any other place I’m aware of on this planet.

No horrible plants, bugs, carnivorous mammals or dangerous reptiles, and very few shark attacks make Hawaii number 1 in nature-comfort and one of the few “paradise” locations that doesn’t then ruin that image with untold horrors.

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