The Deep South - South Point, Hawaii

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Did you know that the southernmost point in the United States sits in Hawaii? Located on the Big Island, Ka Lae or South Point is now a national historic landmark district. Some believe that the first Polynesians to arrive in the islands first came ashore at Ka Lae between 400 AD and 800 AD – and heiau (sacred places of worship), fishing shrines, and other cultural artifacts are evidence of early life at the point.

Today, South Point remains a popular fishing spot for red snapper and ulua and more. Its shores are favored by Hawaiian Monk Seals and turtles. Beware of the water, however, as there is a strong ocean current called the Halaea Current there –named after a chief was swept out to sea at that spot and lost. Winds are strong at South Point too and you will see the wind farm as you drive down the narrow South Point Road that is between markers 69 and 70 on Highway 11 (also known as Mamalahoa Highway). As you make your way to the point, there is a turn off for Papalolea Green Sand Beach, but know that you must have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get there. At the tip of South Point, you are at the very end of the United States; you will see nothing but ocean ahead of you and in fact, the nearest landfall to the South is Antarctica – 7,500 miles away.

South Point is a fun day trip from Kona so you may want to pack a picnic lunch before you begin the drive. For snacks, drinks, or food along the way, stop at Malama Market Oceanview – a small community market with just about everything you’ll need.

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