About a year ago I bunkered down with Google Maps and tried to pick out every single “extreme settlement” (i.e. an inhabited place) in every single state and territory of the United States. By extreme, we are talking about the northernmost, southernmost, easternmost and westernmost communities.
It wasn’t an easy list to compile, and I’m still making revisions to this day (you can find the original post here). It’s especially tough when applying these rules to states with straight borders, of which many have multiple settlements right on those borders. What breaks a tie? If you count the center of town, that would favor smaller locales. Or do you just go for a friendly tie in those scenarios? I prefer the latter for now. This list is meant to be organic. If you have something to add or to question, don’t hold back! Leave a comment as I consider any and all revision suggestions.
What’s cool about such a list is that it provides a traveler like me extra incentive to hunt down each and every one of these geographically quirky towns, for no other reason than to say you were there on the _____-most outpost of that state. I’ve actually visited a few quite recently and will be sharing pictures and stories from my visits (even if they are only a couple minutes of driving through) on a separate page of the blog.
Here are a few “extreme” destinations that I’ve hit up recently…
Key West, Florida (Southernmost Florida/U.S.) – Feb. 1
I finally made it to the southernmost town in the United States – Key West. I arrived at nightfall and left three hours later, restricting my short stay to Duval Street and a pass by the Southernmost monument.
Wahpeton, North Dakota (Easternmost North Dakota) – March 1
Exactly one month after Key West, I found myself passing through the easternmost town in North Dakota (how’s that to a followup to Key West). Wahpeton barely beats out Fargo due to the state’s border extending slightly east the further south you go. It’s apparently home to the famous “Wahpper”.
Dakota Dunes, South Dakota (Southernmost South Dakota) – April 20
Dakota Dunes is a relative paradise – a planned residential community hugging the extreme southern end of the southeast tip of South Dakota (that is a lot of souths). The southernmost point of land in the state is nestled in someone’s backyard on Spanish Bay (my best guess is somewhere behind that house in the photo – but there are multiple man-made outcrops around the area where the spot could be).
Hudson, South Dakota (Easternmost South Dakota) – April 21
Seeing as how I was on a role with South Dakota, I decided to visit Hudson, which actually extends just a bit further east than South Dakota’s aforementioned southeast “peninsula”. The only way to get to Hudson, like probably many places on this list, is purposeful – you usually won’t find yourself driving through 294th Lane in Lincoln County, S.D. unless you are very, very lost.
Westfield, Iowa (Westernmost Iowa) – April 21
On occasion you’ll find one of these towns that recognizes its location on the map and incorporates that status into its name. The accurately named Westfield is just that. In a part of Iowa dominated by fields (and what part of Iowa isn’t), Westfield is the westernmost.
You can find the complete list of these towns below:
- Alabama – Northernmost: Ardmore. Southernmost: Gulf Shores. Easternmost: Phenix City. Westernmost: Yellow Pine.
- Alaska – Northernmost: Barrow. Southernmost: Adak. Easternmost: Hyder. Westernmost: Shemya (note: by direction traveled)
- Arizona – Northernmost: Colorado City. Southernmost: Nogales, Naco and Douglas (maybe Hereford, too) Easternmost: Window Rock, Lupton (note: Rodeo, NM spills over into Arizona but is not registered as an official populated place) Westernmost: San Luis (note: Gadsen could maybe be considered as well)
- Arkansas – Northernmost: Blue Eye. Southernmost: Junction City. Easternmost: Blytheville. Westernmost: Maysville.
- California – Northernmost: New Pine Creek. Southernmost: San Diego (San Ysidro District). Easternmost: Parker Dam. Westernmost: Ferndale.
- Colorado – Northernmost: Julesburg. Southernmost: Arboles. Easternmost: Holly (note: also least elevated town in Colorado). Westernmost: Dinosaur.
- Connecticut – Northernmost: Quinebaug. Southernmost: Greenwich (Byram Neighborhood). Easternmost: Oneco (note: part of Sterling) Westernmost: Greenwich (Pemberwick Neighborhood)
- Delaware – Northernmost: Granogue, Brandywine, Barkley. Southernmost: Fenwick Island. Easternmost: Fenwick Island. Westernmost: Newark.
- Florida – Northernmost: Esto. Southernmost: Key West. Easternmost: Palm Beach Shores. Westernmost: Walnut Hill.
- Georgia – Northernmost: McCaysville. Southernmost: St. George. Easternmost: Tybee Island. Westernmost: Rising Fawn.
- Hawai’i – Northernmost: Princeville. Southernmost: Naalehu. Easternmost: Pahoa. Westernmost: Pu’uwai.
- Idaho – Northernmost: Eastport and Porthill. Southernmost: Franklin. Easternmost: Freedom. Westernmost: Eaton.
- Illinois – Northernmost: Apple River (note: South Beloit and Russell could be considered as well) Southernmost: Cairo. Easternmost: Allison Township. Westernmost: Warsaw.
- Indiana – Northernmost: Hesston. Southernmost: Tobinsport. Easternmost: Patriot (note: kind of a cheat here, but the outskirts of town stretch out a tad farther than places along the northeastern straight-line border). Westernmost: New Harmony (note: a populated place named Welborn Switch could be considered).
- Iowa – Northernmost: New Albin and Chester. Southernmost: Keokuk. Easternmost: Sabula. Westernmost: Westfield.
- Kansas – Northernmost: Summerfield. Southernmost: Elkhart, Waldron and Elgin (note: Elgin may have the southernmost town center of these three. The abandoned town of Treece still has a population of two and would qualify ahead of Elgin). Easternmost: Mulberry or East Galena (note: parts of Kansas City can be considered, but the two aforementioned towns have town centers that are more qualified here). Westernmost: Kanorado.
- Kentucky – Northernmost: Dayton. Southernmost: Dukedom and Fulton. Easternmost: Woodman. Westernmost: Tyler (note: Kentucky Bend could be considered).
- Louisiana – Northernmost: Junction City (note: Springhill could also be considered). Southernmost: Cheniere Caminada (note: Port Fourchon is further south but doesn’t appear to have a permanent population). Easternmost: Pilottown. Westernmost: Bethany.
- Maine – Northernmost: Estcourt Station. Southernmost: Kittery (Kittery Point CDP) (note: Appledore Island is an uninhabited but staffed island much further south, but belongs to Kittery). Easternmost: Lubec. Westernmost: Wilson’s Mills (a village in Lincoln Plantation).
- Maryland – Northernmost: Lineboro or Cardiff (note: other options exist too) Southernmost: Crisfield. Easternmost: Ocean City. Westernmost: Red House (note: or possibly Kempton).
- Massachusetts – Northernmost: Amesbury. Southernmost: Surfside-Nantucket. Easternmost: Siasconset-Nantucket (note: Nauset Heights may be considered as well). Westernmost: (Town of) Mount Washington.
- Michigan – Northernmost: Copper Harbor (note: Mackinaw City could be counted as the northernmost outside of the Upper Peninsula and islands). Southernmost: Morenci. Easternmost: Port Huron. Westernmost: Ironwood (note: Pentwater could be counted as westernmost outside of the Upper Peninsula).
- Minnesota – Northernmost: Penasse. Southernmost: Elmore, Emmons and Lyle. Easternmost: Grand Portage. Westernmost: St. Vincent.
- Mississippi – Northernmost: Southhaven. Southernmost: Lakeshore or Pearlington. Easternmost: Eastport. Westernmost: Sibley or Natchez (and surrounding communities).
- Missouri – Northernmost: South Lineville. Southernmost: Cooter. Easternmost: Deventer or Wolf Island. Westernmost: Watson.
- Montana – Northernmost: Del Bonita and Sweet Grass. Southernmost: Lima. Easternmost: Fairview (note: Westby could possibly be considered too). Westernmost: Heron.
- Nebraska – Northernmost: Pine Ridge (note: also known as Whiteclay). Southernmost: Hardy or Byron. Easternmost: Rulo. Westernmost: Henry.
- Nevada – Northernmost: Denio. Southernmost: Laughlin. Easternmost: West Wendover. Westernmost: Verdi or Border Town.
- New Hampshire – Northernmost: Pittsburg. Southernmost: Pelham. Easternmost: New Castle. (Note: Star Island could be considered if it has permanent population). Westernmost: Hinsdale.
- New Jersey – Northernmost: Montague Township. Southernmost: Cape May Point. Easternmost: Alpine. Westernmost: Pennsville (note: Elsinboro may be able to be considered as well).
- New Mexico – Northernmost: Costilla. Southernmost: Antelope Wells (note: This community only houses border agents. Columbus would be considered then if you dismiss Antelope Wells). Easternmost: Glenrio (note: The “tie” goes to Glenrio as it is split by the N.M./Texas border whereas Texico sits next to the Texas border). Westernmost: Rodeo.
- New York – Northernmost: Rouses Point. Southernmost: Staten Island-New York City (Tottenville Neighborhood) Easternmost: Montauk. Westernmost: Findley Lake.
- North Carolina – Northernmost: Grassy Creek. Southernmost: Bald Head Island. Easternmost: Rodanthe. Westernmost: Wolf Creek.
- North Dakota – Northernmost: Portal and Maida. Southernmost: Forbes. Easternmost: Wahpeton (note: Fairmount looks like a very close second). Westernmost: East Fairview.
- Ohio – Northernmost: Conneaut. Southernmost: Burlington. Easternmost: West Hill. Westernmost: College Corner.
- Oklahoma – Northernmost: South Coffeyville (note: Manchester appears to be a close second). Southernmost: Haworth. Easternmost: Arkoma. Westernmost: Kenton.
- Oregon – Northernmost: Astoria (note: Warrenton appears to be a close second). Southernmost: New Pine Creek or McDermitt. Easternmost: Ontario. Westernmost: Port Orford.
- Pennsylvania – Northernmost: North East. Southernmost: Blackrock or Pen Mar (possibly a place named Sylmar just east of Blackrock could apply too). Easternmost: Matamoras. Westernmost: Farrell (note: This one is difficult, taking suggestions here).
- Rhode Island – Northernmost: Woonsocket (note: possibly a neighborhood in Woonsocket called “Social” could apply, or a place called “Grants Mills” further east). Southernmost: New Shoreham. Easternmost: Adamsville. Westernmost: Watch Hill.
- South Carolina – Northernmost: Lake Lanier. Southernmost: Dafuskie Landing. Easternmost: Little River. Westernmost: Long Creek (or Battlecreek, note: most people probably consider Westminster as the westernmost).
- South Dakota – Northernmost: Lemmon or Morristown. Southernmost: Dakota Dunes. Easternmost: Hudson. Westernmost: Camp Crook.
- Tennessee – Northernmost: Tobaccoport (note: part of Bumpus Mills). Southernmost: Copperhill. Easternmost: Trade. Westernmost: Memphis (note: specifically Westwood neighborhood).
- Texas – Northernmost: Texhoma. Southernmost: Brownsville or South Point (note: South Point originates further south than Brownsville, but Brownsville territory extends further south than South Point). Easternmost: Toledo (note: note sure if Toledo is populated. Nearby South Toledo Bend would be considered for this spot then). Westernmost: El Paso (note: specifically the West Valley area).
- Utah – Northernmost: Portage. Southernmost: Hildale. Easternmost: Ucolo. Westernmost: Wendover.
- Vermont – Northernmost: Derby Line. Southernmost: Vernon (specifically South Vernon area). Easternmost: Beecher Falls. Westernmost: Chimney Point.
- Virginia – Northernmost: Reynolds Store. Southernmost: Danville (note: many qualifiers, but the southernmost point of the, in theory, slightly curved southern border is part of the Danville area). Easternmost: Chincoteague Island. Westernmost: Gibson Station.
- Washington – Northernmost: Point Roberts (specifically Maple Beach neighborhood), Blaine and Sumas (the small boundary communities of Frontier and Laurier could maybe be considered as well). Southernmost: Washougal (specifically an area called Parkersville. Could also consider an area called Mount Pleasant even further southeast). Easternmost: Asotin. Westernmost: La Push.
- West Virginia – Northernmost: Newell. Southernmost: Faraday. Easternmost: Harpers Ferry. Westernmost: Prichard or Fort Gay.
- Wisconsin – Northernmost: Sand Bay. Southernmost: Pleasant Prairie (specifically the Carol Beach neighborhood, which contains the southernmost point of Wisconsin). Easternmost: Detroit Harbor (also known as Town of Washington or Washington Island). Westernmost: Benson.
- Wyoming – Northernmost: Frannie. Southernmost: Washam. Easternmost: Pine Bluffs. Westernmost: Freedom.
- District of Columbia – Northernmost: North Portal Estates Neighborhood. Southernmost: Bellevue. Easternmost: Northeast Boundary Neighborhood. Westernmost: The Palisades Neighborhood.
- Puerto Rico – Northernmost: Isabella. Southernmost: Playita (south of Salinas) Easternmost: Culebra. Westernmost: Rincon.
- U.S. Virgin Islands – Northernmost: Peterborg. Southernmost: Whites Bay. Easternmost: Knight. Westernmost: John Oley.
- Guam – Northernmost: Dededo (note: specifically the Potts Junction area). Southernmost: Merizo. Easternmost: Yigo (note: specifically Lupog area). Westernmost: Naval Station (note: if you disqualify military bases, then Agat would be next in line).
- Northern Mariana Islands – Northernmost: San Roque. Southernmost: San Jose. Easternmost: Kagman II. Westernmost: San Jose.
- American Samoa – Northernmost: Alaufau or Ofu. Southernmost: Swains Island (note: if not considering this disputed territory, then Taputimu is the southernmost). Easternmost: Fitiuta. Westernmost: Poloa or Amanave.