In recent years, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has enjoyed a surge of popularity among tourists. The most-advertised tourist attractions in this American territory in the Pacific include its World War II heritage sites, its pristine beaches, and its vibrant nature trails. But there’s another selling point to the Northern Marianas: its rich, but laid-back nightlife.
It won’t be hard for couples, business travelers, or groups of friends to find something to do at night. But if you need recommendations, CNMI Phone Book has a few good ones. Read our guide on the nightlife of the Northern Marianas, and check out our listings for places you should visit once the sun goes down!
Before you plan any outings, there’s something you should remember about the nightlife in CNMI: it’s quite different from that of big tourist destinations. The vibe you can expect among locals and other nighttime revelers is quite casual and relaxed. You won’t experience the same kind of noise, big crowds, traffic, or grandiose posturing that you normally would in a big city or a popular island holiday destination. To the many visitors of CNMI, this is actually a good thing!
CNMI’s nightlife offers the perfect balance to those who want to go out and have fun—but not be reminded of the hubbub of their daily lives. So when you head out, bring your wallet, some good company, and an open mind—and leave your pretenses at the door.
The following are the six most common nightlife activities in CNMI. You can set one aside for each night you’re here, or you can do more than one activity on a single outing. It all depends on your schedule and your preferences.
We recommend kicking off your evening by having an honest-to-goodness meal. Having a great dinner will get you acquainted with the local flavors, as well as the pulse of the local community. For starters, you can look at our listings of Chamorro restaurants in CNMI. Delicacies like kelaguen, escabeche, estufao, and hineska agaga should fill you up and get you energized for the rest of the night!
For drinks, you can check out the most popular bars in CNMI. In these establishments, you’ll be sure to get a good cocktail or bottle of quality ale. We suggest that you go to a bar that offers live music so that you can enjoy some entertainment while you knock back a drink.
Karaoke culture is very strong in CNMI. This isn’t surprising, as the diasporic communities in the Northern Marianas—namely, the Filipino, Japanese, and Korean peoples—are known for their love of karaoke. If you haven’t done karaoke in a while, consider letting loose at one of CNMI’s karaoke establishments. Show off those pipes and belt out your favorite classic or current hits!
Bowling, Billiards, or Darts
Timeless analog activities like bowling, billiards, and darts are still in fashion in CNMI. If you’re traveling with a big enough group, you can visit one of CNMI’s bowling alleys. Alternatively, you can look for a bar or restaurant that has its own pool table and darts board. Practice your aim with a round of darts or solids and stripes.
Poker and Other Play-to-Win Games
Another option is a game or two of poker in one of CNMI’s game rooms. Poker should whet your appetite for challenge and help you keep your card-playing skills sharp. Just be warned: the regulars at CNMI’s small casinos can play an aggressive game!
Lastly, the Northern Marianas are home to a number of exciting nightclubs. See our listings for CNMI’s nightclubs, and find out whether the ambience is to your liking. Again, you may not encounter a superclub kind of experience, but that’s part of the charm of CNMI’s clubbing scene.
Last Tips for Nighttime Revelers in the Northern Mariana Islands
For a truly good time in the Northern Marianas, CNMI Phone Book recommends you do the following:
- If you are a total newcomer to CNMI, stick with establishments near your hotel or resort. This will minimize your chances of getting lost.
- Space out your nighttime activities. Don’t try to do everything in a single night. Otherwise, you may be too tired to enjoy your day tour, snorkeling trip, or hike the next day!
- Note down the exact address and contact number of where you’re staying. This will make it easy for you to get assistance in case of an emergency.
- Always keep your valuables close to your person. Never leave your wallet, purse, or cellphone unattended, and secure your pockets to prevent anything from falling out.
Take the usual precautions, and you will have an awesome time. Look forward to a stellar nightlife experience when you arrive in CNMI!