Guam Main

guam-main

The Spanish may have once ruled this Micronesian island for more than three centuries, but the modern world has definitely left its stamp here. Consider this: With nearly a dozen golf courses (some designed by Nicklaus and Palmer), Guam has become a favorite golfing holiday for Japanese unable to find playing time on the exclusive and pricey courses at home. Or this: Islanders boast that the world's largest K-Mart store is located here near Tumon - and is open 24 hours a day.

The Second World War was the turning point for modern Guam, and for a little history primer of this U.S. Territory, tour the War in the Pacific National Historical Park in the capital of Hagatna (and perhaps some of the more than 100 World War II sites scattered across the jungles and shores). Then fast-forward to fun and games largely inspired by the longtime U.S. Naval presence...say racing around on a jet-ski, riding horseback into the hills, chartering a deep-sea fishing boat (marlin are here year-round), betting on the greyhound races, or wearing out your plastic at heavy-duty, duty-free shopping malls -- before checking in at the local Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood for a little nightlife warm-up....

If that sounds a bit like a tropical USA, remember you can always escape to the water. Fifteen or so dive shops attest to the quality of the diving and snorkeling on both coral reefs and World War II wrecks. On an outer reef dive such as The Blue Hole off the southern coast, visibility can reach 200 feet -- and a world of combat and shopping malls can seem very far away indeed.