Guam, known as the place where America’s day begins, is a small island territory in the Western Pacific. Although Guam is only about 209-square miles, it is filled to the brim with beautiful beaches, cultural sites and activities. At its narrowest point, Guam is four-miles wide and a mere 30-miles long. This means that you can easily explore all parts of the island on your trip. Some highlights you might want to include are the War in the Pacific Historical Park Museum, Two Lovers Point, Chamorro Village, Plaza de España, and the Latte Stone Park.
The War in the Pacific Historical Park Museum is located in Santa Rita in the southwest and explains Guam’s history with the U.S., especially during World War II. During the war, the Japanese invaded the island for three years before the US reclaimed it. The museum offers interactive maps, a documentary screening and exhibits on Guam’s history with the US, Japan and Spain. The museum also has free admission.
Puntan Dos Amåntes, also known as Two Lovers Point, is the site of one of Guam’s most famous folktales. The story is that when two forbidden lovers were being chased, they ran to a cliff overlooking Tumon Bay, tied their hair in a knot, kissed and jumped off the cliff. The classic love story is expressed in a lot of Guam’s art; even if you don’t go to the site, you are likely to see artwork depicting the story. Today, many couples visiting the site put a lock on a fence to symbolize their love.
If you’re looking for a place to buy souvenirs and meet local artists, visit Chamorro Village located in Hagåtña, Guam’s capital. On Wednesday nights it is packed with vendors selling handmade crafts and jewelry, woodwork, fresh juice and barbeque as well as music and dancing.
Plaza de España, also located in Hagåtña, was built in 1693 as the Governor’s Palace when the Spanish had control of Guam. Although much of it was destroyed when the U.S. reclaimed Guam after World War II, many of the original structures are still standing.
Another location in Hagåtña is Latte Stone Park. Latte stones served as pillars for early indigenous homes. This park displays latte stones as well as other monuments. Even today latte stones are a prominent image throughout Guam. Several stores and local artists specialize in making art and wood sculptures in the shape and of these pillars.
Guam offers a beach vacation setting and relaxed island attitude without a language barrier. You’ll find a lot of the same restaurants and stores on Guam as you would in the US (including the world’s biggest Kmart.) At the same time, Guam has a diverse culture that combines indigenous Chamorro culture with Japanese, Spanish and American influences. This cultural mix is seen in the food, music and architecture making it a place like none other in the world.