There are things you give up in Hawaii when moving here from the mainland. Hawaii offers a lot of things that the mainland does not, such as sunshine year-round, gorgeous beaches all over the island and a paradise setting. However, there are some things that we can’t offer, that you’ll have to give up if you decide to move to Hawaii. There are some fast food chain restaurants we don’t offer, and there aren’t very many cute fall garments like boots and sweaters offered here. A lot of our public places are also much smaller, like our roads and parking lots, for example, so be prepared to drive in tighter places.

1. Foods

We don’t have Chipotle and it sucks. We also don’t have Cane’s, In-N-Out, Five Guys or Port of Subs. It’s really sad. The primary fast food chains that can survive in Hawaii are bigger chains like McDonald’s or Burger King. However, we do have a lot of local food that replaces all of these, like Foodland’s Poke and Zippy’s Bentos, the mainland doesn’t have these! We also have Teddy’s Burgers and Kama’aina Burgers, and those beat In-N-Out any day of the week! Not to mention we have the most amazing fruit bowls in the world (not joking, I haven’t found a fruit bowl that tastes better than Hale’iwa Bowls.)


There’s no In N Out here in the islands.
Animal Fries + 3×3 Cheeseburger by punctuated is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original

There’s no In N Out here in the islands.

2. Long drives

Road trips are non-existent in Hawaii because the longest drive is going to be an hour or so. If you drive around the island, that could be your road trip, but you’ll start and end in the same place, so that’s not really much of an adventure. Locals in Hawaii makes jokes about our interstate highways because they literally don’t go to another state. We’re on an island, you can’t get to another state without whipping out your canoe and paddle.

long drives

No road tripping here on the island! credits Kaique Rocha used under Pixels license with permission.

3. seasons

There’s no such thing as a “white winter” in Hawaii. There’s no snow or freezing cold temperatures. Girls don’t wear uggs here, and no one goes snowboarding. We go surfing in January, just like we do for any other month of the year. We also don’t have that much of a selection of winter clothes because of this. There’s no money in it for retailers. It’s a really different lifestyle here. The coldest it gets in the winter time is 75 degrees. There’s more precipitation during these months, so a lot more rain and humidity, but other than that, it’s still warm enough to wear tank tops and slippers. The change of seasons is non-extant. 


No snow in paradise. No attribution required.

4. Everything is smaller in Hawaii

Be prepared to hone in on your driving accuracy skills because all of our parking lots are smaller here in paradise! Real estate is so limited and expensive that we cramp up our parking to make room for other things. Parking spaces are smaller and lots in general are also downsized compared to the mainland. Our driving lanes are also much smaller and much less in quantity; with all of the traffic that we have, it can be frustrating at times on your commute home from work. It’s important to be a good driver in times like this.

parking lot

Parking lots are small, tight and often times very packed.
MassCUE 2011 by Algot Runeman is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image may have been resized or cropped from original

5. Fall/Winter wardrobe

Being a girl, I’ve come to love winter fashion. Sweaters, boots, scarves and leggings are all part of my winter attire. If and when you move to Hawaii, you’ll most likely have to give all of this up. Actually, you WILL have to give all of this up. I owned one pair of leggings when I moved to the mainland from Hawaii. Leggings are not necessary in the tropical weather, and if you do choose to wear them, you’ll most likely pass out from heat exhaustion, even at night. It’s still warm at night. Like I mentioned earlier, there are not many winter retailers out in the Pacific because there’s simply no need for them. Some stores sell boots, but they’re not high-quality boots. If you need winter clothes because you plan on traveling somewhere cold for the winter months, you’ll need to order these things online.