Pago Pago consists of small urban areas with colorful clapboard buildings and several Tuna canning factories. The town is quiet and hassle-free with less than four thousand residents, several banks, restaurants and shops. Somerset Maugham once found the town very attractive and vividly described its urban districts in his book Rain.
Downtown Pago Pago has several hotels and inns with the most up-scale being Sadie Thompson and the cheapest - Evalani Motel. Outside the town, you will find pleasant guesthouses, providing quite comfortable accommodation and inimitable countryside views.
American Samoa is rich in Polynesian culture and Pago Pago is no exception. Music and dances are major entertainments as well as major art genres. The most interesting thing is how Samoans compose and perform music. First, they compose songs for every trivia that surrounds them; second, their singing can last almost endlessly. No surprise that the Samoan sets daily news to melody and rhythm and performs it to his neighbor.
The Samoan dancing is also exceptionally original, beautiful and graceful. Every member of a family can dance and the tradition is passed from generation to generation.
Perhaps, the only large cultural attraction of Pago Pago is the Haydon Museum, celebrating the ancient American Samoa culture with a fine collection of artifacts. However, you may still see this culture living amidst Pago Pago residents, who follow many of ancient traditions and customs. In addition, Pago Pago is the best jumping point to discover more distant villages and natural sites of interest.
The town is surrounded by towering mountains, including lofty Mt Alava and Mt Matafao. Both have hiking trails leading to their summits and provide spectacular views over the harbor and town. Visitors say that Mt Alava offers the best views. It is also a part of the National Park of American Samoa, which is a collection of the most diverse and exceptional natural wonders. Among them are a pristine rainforest and a coral reef that has no rivals in the Pacific in sizes, colors, species and shapes of corals.
At the south end of the Pago Pago Park there is a handicraft center at an Old Age Office, displaying handicrafts that are made in different villages of American Samoa, including carved wood objects and hand-blocked tapa-print artifacts.
From one side of the island to the other, along the shores of Pago Pago Harbor the Afono Pass winds, a highly suitable road for scenic tours. Around the Pago Pago harbor there are several small beaches with lagoons safe for swimming. You may rent a car, a taxi or even a family bus, available at several rental companies in Pago Pago, for driving tours.