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8 exotic destinations that are part of the U.S.

American Samoa

Photo: Allan Grey/Flickr

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American Samoa

This unincorporated United States territory is a part of the same South Pacific archipelago as the independent nation of Samoa. The traditional way of life is still important here, with many people living by customs and cultural norms that are more closely related to Polynesian village-based governing systems than to U.S. laws.  The islands of American Samoa have a remote and exotic feel compared to more touristy Pacific destinations like Hawaii or Tahiti. 

Away from the main city of Pago Pago, you will encounter little to suggest that you are in a territory of the U.S. The high mountain ridges offer spectacular inland views, while the virtually untouched beaches on the outlying islands of Ofu, Olosega and Ta'u (about 60 miles from the main island of Tutuila) boast clear waters, teeming coral reefs, and a complete absence of other tourists.  Like other outlying U.S. territories, a passport is required to prove U.S. citizenship. American Samoa also requires visitors to have a valid return ticket.