Here we are in Key West, Florida, having our picture taken at the Southern most point in the continental U.S.A. We are aware of the inaccuracy of this geographic claim, but sometimes it’s fun to do the touristy thing.

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Flash forward one year and here we are in Ka Lae (called South Point), Hawaii, the southernmost point in the 50 states, reached via a narrow winding road off of State Route 11 (between the 69 and 70 mile markers).

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Looking down we could see a rickety ladder leading down to the ocean crashing below. We heard, but did not witness, that locals jump off in calmer conditions. Hmmmm ….What?!!

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After visiting South Point we headed left at the fork in the road to Papakolea (Green Sand) Beach.

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It is possible to drive out to the beach but you’ll never make it there with a two-wheel drive vehicle (with your oil pan still attached). Locals offer transportation at $30 for a round trip ride, but we chose to hike in and out.

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Hiking two miles was a no brainer and we hit the trail with plenty of water. A headwind was howling in our face like crazy the whole way, but hiking along the coast turned out to be a fabulous treat.

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After climbing down to the beach we were unsure if we should swim in the rough surf.

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That was until a local girl walked up and dove right into a wave. Game on. All the men followed!

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The walk back was easy and felt much shorter with the wind at our backs!

On the return to the condo we stopped in at Na’alehu, the southernmost town in the 50 states and home of Punalu’u bakery! Malasadas – nom nom nom.

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Up Next: Big Island Highlights – East Coast