When driving down Hawaii roadways, there’s no need to worry about those massive advertisements getting in between you and the view of the ocean. Hawaii is one of four states that ban billboards (Alaska, Maine and Vermont are the other states); so, no more constant reminders of how much you should be lovin’ the Golden Arches or how glamorous smoking can be.

A hypothetical photo of what Hawaii would look like with billboards.

Instead, you can enjoy a scenic cruise along the coast that’s unobstructed and much more memorable than any advertising company can hope to accomplish. And that’s exactly what the rule makers had in mind back in 1927, the year the ban took effect. Ironically, that happened more than 20 years before Hawaii even became a state. Territory or state, Hawaii’s pristine natural beauty was meant to be shared with everyone.

While on the topic of the billboard ban, some Hawaii cities prohibit McDonalds restaurants from having the classic red roofs and golden arches for which they’re notorious. For example, the McDonalds in Kaneohe has a green roof so that it blends in with the rest of the stores at the shopping center. Also, those of you who have ventured to this side of Oahu would understand why those huge signature arches might seem out of place in this quiet windward town.

McDonald’s restaurants can’t have red roofs or huge arches, like this one in Kaneohe.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the Outdoor Circle, a local urban-beautification club that has championed the billboard-free efforts in Hawaii. Without their assistance, visitors might return home with a completely different memory of the islands. The view of Diamond Head wouldn’t be as breathtaking if there were condos and billboards at the base of the crater. The same goes for all mountainous regions here, which would easily lose its prominence in the islands with the sight of billboards. That’s why I’m so thankful to be able to look out my window every morning and enjoy a postcard view of the lush, green Koolau mountains.

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