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Guam's tourist jewel, Tamuning nestles along the shore of Tumon Bay, offering shallow warm waters, pure sands, and a vibrant community of shopping malls and family attractions. And being so close to Guam's international airport, it's probably the most convenient Pacific Island resort to visit for a short tropical break.
But there's more than a beach and international chain stores to discover in Tamuning. The island of Guam has plenty to unfold, whether it's the good-time atmosphere at Chamorro barbecues, which last well into the night, snorkeling at sunken coral villages, clambering over colonial-era forts, or touring World War Two sites.
With the dollar as its currency, traveling to the island is handy for American visitors, and the large US military presence has brought Chamorro and American cultures together - resulting in a superb Pacific destination.
The jewel in Tamuning's crown is the horseshoe-shaped arc of Tumon Bay. From Two Lovers Point in the north to Ypao Beach Park in the south, the beach is a wonderful place to swim and relax, and it's backed up with plenty of accommodation choices too.
Guam's indigenous Chamorro people have a rich reserve of folklore and some delicious gastronomic treats for visitors to discover, along with finely crafted souvenirs like sleeping mats (and irresistible coconut candies).
From the seafront aquarium to the super-slides of Tarza Water Park and the small but well-managed menagerie at Guam Zoo, the resort is full of fun places for kids.
When the tropical sun goes down, Tamuning gets into gear, with a galaxy of entertainment options. Watch devilish tricks at Magic Rocks theater, enjoy the comedy cabaret at Encore! or settle down for a BBQ feast in front of the spectacular Taotao Tasi dinner show.
The coral reefs around Tumon Bay and Guam in general are excellent spots for diving, and PADI-certified experts can show off the exuberant damselfish, moray eels, and blennies who call the reef their home.
Situated in the Guam Plaza Resort & Spa, Tarza is a massive water park with multiple slides, wave machines, and lazy rivers - just what you need when the tropical heat becomes a little bit too much.
Tumon Bay is a fine place to enjoy beach sports, with its placid waters. Whether you love to jet ski, water ski, parasail, windsurf, or snorkel, there are providers by the ocean who will be happy to make your vacation dreams come true.
One of the most important Chamorro sites, Inarajan can be found in southeastern Guam. It's worth the trip to see the thatched huts of the village, cool off in the ocean pools, and snap up unique craft souvenirs.
Once the site of a Romeo and Juliet-style tragedy (in Chamorro legend at least), Two Lovers Point is a gorgeous lookout that offers unbeatable views of the bay and the sunset, and it's easy to walk to from central Tamuning.
Guam's premier aquarium, UnderWater World is in the heart of Tamuning. As you wander through its transparent tunnel, look out for over 2,000 marine species - a truly world-class collection.
Guam is warm all year round, so whenever you travel, you can expect some heat. Dry season from January to June is generally thought of as the best time to arrive, being drier and slightly cooler than the rainy season (July through December).
Most visitors arrive at Tamuning via Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport - Guam's only international aviation hub. Airlines like China Airlines, United, and Jeju Air fly to Guam via a number of Asian stopover cities. When you touch down, Tamuning is less then 3 miles to the north and a taxi shouldn't cost more than $5-6.
If you choose to hire a car from the airport, getting to Tamuning could hardly be easier. Just turn left on side road 10A, then take Marine Corps Drive northbound, which runs straight into town.
Guam Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) buses run regularly from the center of the capital Hagatna to Tamuning. Take Blueline 1 from the central bus terminal, which costs just $1 and takes 20-30 minutes. The Red Shuttle Bus also runs from Hagatna and Tumon into Tamuning, but charges a little more ($4) per ride.
Tamuning has a range of comfortable accommodation options within easy reach of the airport and the beaches. Highlights include the Tamuning Plaza Hotel, the Wyndham Garden Guam, and the Sheraton Laguna Guam. All have pools and access to the sea and run shuttle buses to tourist attractions. Staying in the center is a good bet - you'll be well connected to various attractions and can easily reach malls like Guam Premier Outlets. Nearby Two Lovers Point and Tumon are also worth a visit.
Public transportation is not Guam's strong point, although GRTA and Red Shuttle buses ply the coast and run into Hagatna. The Red Shuttle is great for hopping from beach to beach, while GRTA buses are cheaper, at $1 a journey (though less frequent).
In general, Guam's taxi companies charge a flag drop of $2.40, followed by $4 for the first mile, then $0.80 for every subsequent mile. If you need to head into town, a fare from Tamuning to Hagatna will tend to be around $10.
Hiring a car is a popular way to see the island. Companies like Avis and Thrifty have local offices, and you should find a vehicle for $20-30 per day. Bikefixguam also offers cycle hire for people who want a more active way to get around.
Guam Premier Outlets is home to global brands like Calvin Klein, Skechers, Levi's, Forever 21, and Hilfiger, and is a great place for fashion fans to explore. However, the Chamorro Village Market is probably more fun. Combining traditional Chamorro BBQ stalls, live music, and craft stalls, it's the area's liveliest shopping destination. But if down-to-earth bargain hunting is your thing, make a beeline for Dededo Flea Market on Marine Drive - you can find anything there.
ABC Stores and Payless Markets are the major local supermarkets and are reliable places to stock up on American products and essentials like sunblock, sunglasses, or baseball caps. Prices are usually slightly higher than in the USA, with a gallon of milk coming to $11 and 12 eggs costing about $3.80.
From flavorsome "red rice" to citrus-inflected kelaguen dishes and hearty barbecues, Guam's cuisine is both familiar and unique at once. Seafood and meat BBQ joints are common, and with Core BBQ Garden & Bar and Avenue Steak & Lobster, Tamuning hosts a couple of gems. Meskla Dos is one of the best Chamorro eateries around, while Table 35 offers global cuisine (miso-rubbed steaks are a specialty) and an extensive wine list. Prices vary, but a good meal can be had for $20-30 per head.