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Set in the Pacific Ocean, closer to the Philippines than the continental U.S., the Northern Mariana Islands might just be America’s best-kept travel secret. The 14 islands, only three of which are inhabited, were taken by the U.S. in 1944, following a victory over Japan in the battle of Saipan. Now a lesser-known tourist destination, the three populated islands: Saipan, Tinian and Rota manage to draw American travelers despite the remoteness. Look forward to forests full of wildlife and great diving opportunities—the Grotto is a must-see for experienced divers, home to sea turtles and reef sharks.