To say Hawaii is an anomaly among American states is an understatement. While it’s beautiful, wild, and magically calming, it’s also completely different than anywhere else in the country, feeling more like a far-flung island kingdom than our 50th state. This difference is a huge part of why Hawaii is such a special place to visit. But there’s a huge variety between islands, and you may not always find the infrastructure and amenities you’re accustomed to.
That’s not to say anywhere filled with warm Pacific breezes is ever stressful. That’s just to say if you’ve never been before, Oahu is the best place to start. You’ll find all the deep green nature, wild animals, and sandy beaches of your Hawaiian fantasies. But find it all close enough to a shopping mall if you’re in desperate need of air conditioning. (Hawaii is all about the “trade winds” and not so big on AC.) Here’s why Oahu offers the most complete package of all the islands in Hawaii, and why it should absolutely be your first Hawaiian destination.