Kalae (South Point) Hawaii Island | Go Hawaii

Kala‘e (South Point)

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Kala‘e (South Point)

What: Southernmost tip in the U.S.
Where: Southernmost tip of the island of Hawaiʻi
Travel to the southern cliffs of the island of Hawaiʻi in the Kaʻū region and gaze out at the endless Pacific Ocean. Can you believe there’s nothing but deep blue ocean between the spot you’re standing on and Antarctica? That’s because you're at Kala‘e, also known as South Point or simply “The Point,” the southernmost point in the United States.
It is believed that the first Polynesians to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands disembarked here at Kala‘e somewhere between 400 and 800 A.D. With the ruins of heiau (temples), fishing shrines and other cultural vestiges found here, it’s no wonder this entire southern tip has been registered as a National Historical Landmark.
The offshore currents and winds are notoriously powerful here and mariners from the first Polynesians to today’s locals have devised clever ways of plying the rich fishing grounds without being swept away. For instance, you’ll find rock loops carved through the lava here that tied off fishing canoes hundreds of years ago. Today, shoreline fishermen use toy boats to haul their lines into deep water or large metal boat hoists and ladders to launch small watercraft. The actual point is a short walk away in front of the black-and-white light beacon, where there are no cliffs.
To get to this rocky shoreline you need to take the narrow South Point Road 12 miles through open ranch lands lined with white windmills. There is a small heiau (sacred place of worship) near Kala‘e so visitors should treat the area with great respect. Because of the dangerous currents here, swimming is not recommended.
Tip: Located farther south than any other restaurant in the USA, Hāna Hou Restaurant is a popular place to stop and eat on the southern point of the island of Hawaiʻi.

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