5 Surprising Things Alaska And Hawaii Have In Common


You wouldn’t think that one of the warmest states and one of the coldest states would have much in common, but surprisingly, Alaska and Hawaii have a lot of similarities. In addition to being the last two states to become part of the United States, there are a few other things they share and some oddly coincidental cultural norms.

1) It’s harder to get things shipped there

Residents of both states can find the lack of affordable shipping rates very frustrating. Despite the fact that Anchorage, Alaska is a huge hub for shippers such as FedEx, and despite both states having modern, metropolitan cities with post offices on every corner, some shippers can’t seem to wrap their brains around the idea that it is possible to ship something to either state without spending a ton of extra money. Thankfully, the advent of Amazon Prime has helped to alleviate this problem.

2) Groceries are more expensive

Because grocery items in both states get shipped in, visitors from other states often suffer from some serious sticker shock when they see how much groceries cost. While more urban cities like Honolulu or Anchorage don’t have as much of a problem, smaller villages and towns, especially those in the far northern reaches of Alaska, can sometimes pay $10 for a gallon of milk. Ouch!

3) High cost of living

You might automatically think of California or New York when it comes to expensive places to live, but Alaska and Hawaii regularly make the top 10 list for high cost of living indexes. In addition to sky high grocery bills, you can expect homes in both places to cost more (Alaska’s average home prices top $300,000 while Hawaii’s are more than $500,000) along with things like cable and phone services, utilities and dining out.

4) Shoes get removed at the door

In a tradition that came to the islands with Japanese immigrants, it is customary in Hawaii to remove your shoes at the door. Alaska has the same tradition, although the reason behind it in Alaska might be more practical than cultural; no one wants snow, ice or springtime mud tracked all over their house. Either way, it is considered rude in both states to leave your shoes on when you enter a home.

5) People get confused by their geography

As the only two non-contiguous states, Alaska and Hawaii do not share borders with any other part of the United States. Because of this, standard maps often show Alaska and Hawaii in some far off corner when compared to the rest of the United States – sometimes right next to each other! People often think Alaska is somehow near Hawaii, when it’s actually a five-hour flight from Anchorage to Honolulu. And misunderstandings still abound when it comes to statehood, as people have been known to think of Alaska as still being part of Canada and Hawaii being an independent group of islands.