Written by Linda Marsicano Monday, November 28, 2011
There are no water parks, no mini-golf courses and no kid-centric all-inclusives on the 28-square-mile island of St. John in the U.S Virgin Islands. Yet this picturesque tropical destination, accessible only by ferry, has something more captivating than manmade entertainment for families-it boasts attractions only nature can create.
Two-thirds of the island is protected as national park territory, providing a safeguard against the rampant development that permeates much of the Caribbean. The Virgin Islands National Park also serves another important purpose: it provides families the opportunity to get in touch with their outdoorsy sides through unique excursions.
"Ken Wild, the park's archeologist, always has a dig going at Cinnamon Bay," says Frank Barnako, author of the popular News of St. John blog. "Wild invites volunteers of all ages to join him and get their hands dirty." This article appeared in the Holiday 2011 edition of Going Places. more...
Written by Robert Reid December 20, 2011
The US: it’s a big place, and there’s a lot of ground for travelers to cover. So what’s buzzing for travelers in the coming year? It’s an annual tradition at Lonely Planet to try to answer that question, so the editors in our US office put their travel-noggins together to carve out a list of what’s new, interesting, and in some cases likely to be overlooked by travelers both domestic and international. Here are our 10 top picks that should be on your travel radar in 2012:
1. US Virgin Islands - In a year when travelers are apt to still be watching their wallets, this is our #1 choice for an American tropical getaway. It’s eternally 80 degrees, rimmed with white-sand beaches on turquoise water, and, yes, it’s a US territory. Each of the US Virgin Islands has their own identity: if you want a break from resorts, St John is nearly two-thirds a lush national park with tent cabins amid trees and hikes to secluded beaches – this sadly may be the last year for the Maho Bay Camps, a long-standing eco-resort which is the place to stay if you’re watching your budget; or try the St John Inn which offers great-value rooms with kitchenettes. For more action, the previously inaccessible Hassel Island, now part of Virgin Islands National Park (St Thomas), can be explored by snorkel or kayak. And word is that the Captain Morgan Rum Distillery on St. Croix will open its new visitor center in spring 2012 – ahoy! more...