One of the most interesting destinations on Saipan is American Memorial Park. The unique, 133-acre park honors the American and Marianas people who gave their lives during the Marianas Campaign of World War II. The park is a "living memorial" with beaches, sports fields, picnic areas, boat marinas, playgrounds, bike and walking paths, amphitheater, and a 30-acre wetland and mangrove forest. It hosts a large number of visitors to Saipan, is a central gathering place for the community, and hosts many events throughout the year. The park is also home to many WWII relics, including Japanese pillboxes, fuel storage tanks and bunkers. A Chamorro latte stone is located near the park entrance. We encourage you to come and discover American Memorial Park's free visitor center, museum, museum store and 133-acre park.
American Memorial Park was dedicated on Aug. 18, 1978, to honor the American and Marianas people who gave their lives during the Marianas Campaign of World War II. The park consists of a large visitor center, three war memorials, a peace monument, a large marina, an amphitheater, and a large 133-acre public park. The park is owned by the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and is managed in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service. Pacific Historic Parks assists the National Park Service with fund development, operation of the museum store, and educational and interpretive programs.
The National Park Service extends its welcome to the local residents of Saipan and to all the visitors to the island. Please take the time to come and visit our large and modern American Memorial Park Visitor Center, which is conveniently located on Micro Beach Road in the main resort town of Garapan.
Admission to the visitor center is free and open to the public, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed only on Nov. 25, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1). There is ample free parking at the visitor center, and it's easily accessible by foot from the Victoria Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, Fiesta Resort, Grandvrio Resort Saipan and the Duty Free Shopping (DFS) Center.
Visitors are encouraged to view the National Park Service's "Island of Saipan" 20-minute movie. This movie is on demand and is available in English, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. The "Island of Saipan" movie is a National Park Service documentary of the history of Saipan, from the early 1900s through the Second World War. This documentary film will provide you with an in-depth look at the Battle of Saipan between the Japanese and U.S. forces. The movie also documents the largest Japanese banzai charge of World War II that occurred during the invasion of Saipan. The movie continues to inform the audience of the strategic significance of taking the island that eventually led to the liberation of Guam and Tinian.
The invasion of the Mariana Islands was so important to the overall strategy of the United States that it had a profound impact in ending the war with Japan. All this is documented in the visitor center's "Island of Saipan" movie, and you will leave with a better understanding of the island's unique history, culture, and sacrifice of those who fought and died.
After the movie, guests are encouraged to take a self-guided tour of the visor center's 3,000-square-foot museum, which focuses on the history of the island of Saipan, of the invasion of Saipan, and how life continued after the war on Saipan. You will be very impressed with the authentic WWII artifacts from both the U.S. and Japanese forces that are on display.
Within the museum are dozens of fascinating displays to learn and interact with. The wording within the museum is in English, Japanese, and Chamorro. Here you will learn about the prewar life on Saipan, when the sugar industry was the driving economic force, and everyone was expected to work hard. The museum then takes you to the events that lead to the invasion of Saipan and then into the Battle of Saipan. Military leaders from the U.S. and Japanese forces and their military strategies are discussed and are displayed in a matter that is both interesting, informative, and emotional.
The museum includes tactical maps, battle locations, and troop movements. There are even war sound effects going on while you are touring and learning from each different section of the museum. The museum then shows you pictures of the refugee caves where civilians sought shelter from the battle and images of the famous Saipan suicide cliffs.
After experiencing the long and bloody battle of Saipan in the gallery, visitors walk into a serene, quiet gallery that reflects on the meaning of war and peace. Here in the Honoring the Sacrifice gallery, visitors look through a glass wall into the park towards the American Flag Circle Memorial and the Chamorro Memorial. On the glass itself, visitors can read quotations, memories, and reflections about the war and its toll on the island.
After the museum tour, please visit the museum store. Here you can take home your own piece of history. Our store offers the island's largest selection of World War II books and souvenirs, including Zippo lighters, T-shirts, caps, and other unique merchandise.
Please support our gift shop. All proceeds from the store provide additional support for our visitor center's educational and outreach programs.
The largest of the three memorials at American Memorial Park is the Court of Honor and Flag Circle. More than 5,000 names of those who gave their lives during the Marianas Campaign are inscribed on this memorial, which was dedicated on June 15, 1994, during the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Saipan. Here, the U.S. flag proudly flies 24 hours a day, surrounded by the flags of the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard.
The Marianas Memorial is also located within American Memorial Park. This monument was built to honor the Chamorro and Carolinian people who died during Operation Forager. Here you will discover almost 1,000 names of those who gave their lives during the invasion of Saipan.
The Carillon Bell Tower is dedicated to all the American and Northern Marianas people who died during World War II. In their remembrance, honor and ultimate sacrifice, the Carillon bells chime every half hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
One of the most visited destinations at American Memorial Park is the Rotary Peace Monument that is conveniently located adjacent to the visitor center and is easily accessible from Micro Beach Road. Built by the Wagga Wagga Rotary Club from Australia, the Peace Monument is a beautiful location to reflect on the horrors of war and to pray for world peace.
This monument was built with the belief that peace transcends the simplistic view of an absence of war and encompasses all those measures that improve human relations with positive and harmonious outcomes. Violence and conflict are pervasive global phenomena that are seriously affecting the well being of communities. The rejection of violence, the respect for life and human dignity, the resolution of personal and urban violence and the reconciliation of differences can realize those freedoms under which peace and harmony can flourish.
The American Memorial Park amphitheater was built to hold large events and ceremonies for the people and visitors of Saipan. This outdoor amphitheater consists of a 4,000-square-foot stage, bleacher seating for 1,200 people, overhead lighting, restrooms, a 150-car parking lot, and adjacent grassy areas.
Use of the amphitheater requires a special use permit by the National Park Service. There are no user fees, but a refundable security deposit is required for all events. Applications for the amphitheater must be submitted 30 days in advance to the National Park Service office.
Micro Beach is within American Memorial Park and is one of the finest white sand beaches in Saipan. Overlooking the beautiful island of Mañagaha, Micro Beach is usually filled with kayakers, swimmers, sunbathers, windsurfers, joggers and family outings. Historically, it is the location of one of the first Carolinian villages. Before heading out to sea, the local navigators would come to this area to interpret the stars before heading out to fish or explore the ocean. Today, both locals and tourists enjoy the fine white sand and crystal blue waters of Micro Beach.
Micro Beach Pavilion is a 1,200-square-foot structure located adjacent to the Micro Beach parking area, oceanfront on the beach. It is a popular spot for local parties and barbecues, since it is large, sheltered, and contains benches, a barbecue pit, and a nearby large grassy area. The pavilion is complemented by the native flowering plant beach morning glory and agatelang, planted by Upward Bound students and other volunteers. Unfortunately, the Micro Beach Pavilion does not have electrical power. Use of the pavilion requires a special use permit by the National Park Service.
Within the 133-acre American Memorial Park is over a mile of scenic pathway stretches from the Micro Beach Pavilion to the outer marina area. The park contains many remnant structures from World War II; scattered throughout the park are Japanese pillboxes, buildings, fuel storage tanks, bunkers, and a bathhouse/garden complex. There is even a Chamorro latte stone near the park entrance where Beach Road ends. Activities permitted on the pathway include walking, jogging, bicycling, roller blading, and skateboarding. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on any of the park's pathways at any time.
One of the best features of American Memorial Park are the many picnic tables and barbecue pits along the pathway, near Micro Beach and next to the sports field. These picnic and barbecue sites are available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. It's important that all fires must be contained in barbecue pits off the ground and away from vegetation. Please keep these picnic and barbecue areas litter free by throwing away all trash in the park's receptacles.
One of the unique features of American Memorial Park is its 70-slip marina for 20 to 45-foot pleasure boats. This marina is managed by Saipan's Dept. of Land and Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Division and the Marine Operations Division in cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service.
From Smiling Cove Marina, tour boats depart for water sport activities, Mañagaha Island (a reef islet just 1.5 miles from Saipan), and sunset dinner cruises. This marina was built for public and private recreational use. The marina's facilities include a parking lot, boat ramp, weigh station, docks, and restrooms. The National Park Service is responsible for activities on marina land area, whereas the Fish and Wildlife Division is responsible for managing the docks, water areas and operations. To contact the marina manager, please call (670) 233-1679.
The outer cover marina within American Memorial Park includes a 45-slip commercial boat marina for 25-foot to 100-foot boats and is located at the northeastern outer cover peninsula. The marina is managed by the Marine Revitalization Corporation through a concession agreement with the National Park Service.
Sporting fields, several open grassy areas, and picnic tables are available for sports tournaments, fairs, and other community events. A special use permit is required for these types of events; please contact the National Park Service for future details.
The 30-acre wetland and mangrove forest is a great ecosystem habitat of the Northern Marianas. The wetlands contain numerous species of plants, trees, flowers, and birds, including the endangered Nightingale Reed-Warbler. The adjacent mudflats are an important migratory bird site.
There are four tennis courts at American Memorial Park. This tennis complex is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Other facilities at the tennis court complex include restrooms, free parking, an office, and night lighting. Volunteers from the tennis community help operate the courts, while the Marianas Visitors Bureau maintains the landscaping. Chewing gum and betel nut, smoking, roller blading, bicycling, bare feet, boots, and slippers are not permitted on the tennis courts. Tennis tournaments at the complex require a special use permit by the National Park Service.
The American Memorial Park Visitor Center and Pacific Historic Parks bookstore is open from
9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Sunday.
The lighted tennis courts are available from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.
Address: Industrial Drive, Garapan, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Parking is free at American Memorial Park.
Special use permits are required for groups of 25 or more and for commercial use of the amphitheater, Micro Beach pavilion, sports fields and tennis courts. To download a permit application, visit nps.gov/amme and click on Fees and Reservations.
For more information on the Marianas Campaign of World War II, visit the National Park Service website.