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8 under-the-radar gems of the National Park Service

By: Matt Hickman on April 2, 2010, 6:38 p.m.
Ofu Beach in National Park of American Samoa

Photo: Peter Craig/National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons

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National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa

Sometimes, in order to find the most unspoiled American national park, it helps to leave America. American Samoa, an unincorporated U.S. territory in the South Pacific's Samoan island chain, is home to a national park that's postcard perfect: desolate coral sand, beaches, scuba- and snorkel-friendly coral reefs, lush tropical rain forests, exotic birds (and bats) and those jaw-dropping South Pacific sunsets. The National Park of American Samoa is spread over gorgeous islands and was created in 1988 to help preserve and protect the islands' unique ecosystems. Welcome to paradise — just be sure to tread lightly.