Megan McDonald for Only In Your State on the southernmost town in Hawaii. Join us on the Hoku Nui in the pristine waters off the west coast of the Big Island for the best snorkel or manta ray tour on the island.
Plenty of small towns in Hawaii have a claim to fame, but Naalehu’s is unique, in all of the United States. It is the southernmost town in America! Read on to find out what other spectacular things this tiny town on the Big Island can boast.
Naalehu, Hawaii is a small town on the Big Island full of charm.
Besides its endless panoramic vistas, and incredible black and green sand beaches, this town is also the southernmost town in America.
The small town of Naalehu has just over 1,000 residents.
The town is well known for its art scene, including art galleries, interesting shops, a bakery, restaurants, an old theater house, and a museum.
The most famous aspect of Naalehu, besides the honor of its southernmost town in America designation, are its beaches.
“Naalehu” actually means the volcanic beaches, and the ones you can visit while in town are breathtaking. Because of constant volcanic activity, you’ll find white sands and black sands on the island of Hawaiʻi.
The green sand beach, Mahana Beach, is a must-see beach of Big Island.
The green tint to the sand comes from green glassy crystals (Olivine) that make up most of the sand on this beach. Olivine is known on the islands as “Hawaiian Diamond.” It’s denser and tougher than ash fragments.
The green sand beach Mahana Beach (or officially named Papakōlea Beach,) is the main attraction of the area. Visitors are drawn in from all over the islands, and the world, to visit this rare and stunning beach born of Hawaiian volcanic activity. The eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano about 49,000 years ago is the source of these gorgeous green crystals.
If you’re looking for more than just jaw-dropping landscapes, Naalehu is also home to the Kau Forest Reserve. Try your hand at golfing at the Discovery Harbor Golf & Country Club. Or visit the annual rodeo and hula festival at Naalehu! If you have the chance to visit this small town in Hawaii, don’t skip it.