Enchanting Saipan is the capital and largest of the Northern Mariana Islands. About 12.5 miles long and 5.5 miles wide, Saipan is the principal island and major commercial center of the archipelago. Formed by a rising coral reef, this tropical island paradise offers beautiful white sand beaches with crystal clear water and ocean-riding, fresh, clean air. Visitors to Saipan will find a well-balanced mixture of tourism activities, beautiful nature with modern amenities, nightlife, and shopping venues.
The island’s turquoise lagoon hides wrecks and remnants of the Pacific War and is a snorkeler’s and scuba diver’s paradise found. Towering cliffs and a pristine jungle lures hikers with caves still filled with the detritus of a war now remembered by ceremonies held at inspiring peace memorials built by many nations. The CNMI Museum of History and Culture is a good starting point for first time visitors to grasp the expanse of this island’s history through pre-history and the administrative eras of Spain, Germany, Japan and the United States. With its visitors center and memorials, the American Memorial Park offers a strategic and personal look at the island’s World War II history. Other worthwhile and exciting attractions are a sightsetting tour of the northern Marpi region. Don’t miss a stop the ‘Last Command Post’ of the Japanese Imperial Army or Suicide Cliff where thousands tragically leapt to their deaths. Visit the old Japanese Jail where aviatrix Amelia Earhart was thought to be held captive.
Alongside all of Saipan’s amazing history and prehistory going back 4000 years resides a fringe of new, modern resort hotels, restaurants and shopping venues worthy of a spot on 5th Avenue. Considered the downtown district, Garapan is where most of the restaurants, bars, and shopping centers are located. World class golf is to be found on five 18-hole and two 9 hole courses all overlooking the majestic seaside cliffs. During late spring, the Saipan Beach Pathway, Beach Rd., and other thoroughfares are lined by Flame Trees in blossom.
Managaha Island is a short boat ride away where the crystal waters of the lagoon offer award-winning snorkeling and water sports. The cavernous Grotto is rated as the #2 scuba dive anywhere in the Pacific.
Americans and Asians alike will have no trouble finding tastes of home on Saipan. American chain establishments from Pizza Hut to the Saipan Hard Rock Café abound on this Commonwealth of the United States territory, but there are also several independently owned restaurants like Boka Boka on Beach Road whose menus include traditional island favorites like chicken kelaguen. A very hot pepper called donne sali is a common ingredient in many Chamorro dishes, while a roasted coconut dish called apigi and wrapped in banana leaves is a common sweet treat. Joeten is the most popular supermarket on the islands, and Garapan is famous for its large number of bakeries.
Bars and Pubbing on Saipan
On the surface, karaoke and hostess bars seem to be the only nightlife options on Saipan. However, revelers who dig a little deeper will find many more Western-style bars, especially along Saipan’s coast. Despite its Italian Mafia-inspired name and décor, the Godfather’s Bar (Palm Street, Garapan), is a perfectly safe and legal way to party among locals and tourists from around the world. Eight cable televisions, seven nights of live music, and more than 20 different beers are just a few reasons why this is one of Garapan’s most popular party spots. The Naked Fish Bar and Grill on Beach Road, next to the World Resort, is another popular Saipan watering hole, especially during its weeknight happy hour specials when bands play and drinks are discounted by 50 percent and appetizers are free. The Blue Koi Tavern(Palm Street, Garapan) is an ideal place to relax and enjoy late nite drinks and companionship with beautiful hostesses.
Many bars along Saipan’s Beach road serve tasty food with their lively atmospheres, including Route 33 Bar and Grill (Beach Road, Mariana Islands). A popular sports bar where Traditional Filipino cuisine is served alongside down-home Texan favorites like chicken fried steak and bacon cheeseburgers. Everyone is invited to this bar’s free pool and dart tournaments. Those preferring a dance club environment may prefer GIG Discotheque (Garapan), whose theme is Egyptian and whose music is primarily hip-hop.
Dining and Cuisine on Saipan
Asian and American are the most commonly served cuisines at Saipan restaurants, but the Buffet World Restaurant (Susupe, Saipan) may be the best place to sample all the dishes the islands have to offer during a single meal. The Wave Jungle can be clearly seen from this ground floor restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Brunch and live music are served on Sundays. All of the Korean kimchi dishes at the Saipan World Resort’s Myung Ga Restauraunt (Susupe, Saipan) are prepared with authentic ingredients imported directly from South Korea. The Kinpachi Restaurant(Coral Tree Avenue, Garapan) has become one of Saipan’s most frequented restaurants for its wide variety of Asian and traditional Japanese teppanyaki cuisine. Delicious Asian and seafood meals are served seven days a week at this popular sidewalk cafe. One of Garapan’s best kept dining secrets is the Mango Six Café, a popular coffee shop whose daily specials include delicious desserts and Premium Quality Coffees. JC Café (San Jose, Tinian) may be one of the most recommended Northern Mariana Islands restaurants outside of Saipan. For nearly 20 years, this establishment has offered pool tables, an ATM, a poker palace, and a free delivery service accepting all major credit cards. Minako’s Café (Broadway, Tinian) serves this small island’s largest variety of Asian and American dishes.
Much more awaits the happy visitor to Saipan…….See More
While vacationing on Saipan, the Gold Beach Hotel is an ideal tropical resort destination for leisure, sports, dining and relaxation. Experience the true essence of paradise at The Gold Beach Hotel. If you would like more information about current room rates, or vacationing in the Northern Marianas, please contact us and we will immediately reply back to you. The Gold Beach Hotel also offers special low weekly and monthly rates for the traveler desiring an extended vacation on Saipan. For your convenience, the hotel also has a grocery and restaurant on site.